Don't Kiss & Tell
“No…wait. Do you have to kiss when you go to the cinema?!” I said with maximum alarm and a suddenly beating heart, as I laid down on the school pitch.
“YES!” my friends chimed in chorus.
It was less than 24 hours before my first ever date *internally screams* & I had just realised the moment I had read endlessly about in Jacqueline Wilson books and watched adoringly from countless reruns of High School Musical – had arrived. I was about to have my first kiss *externally screams*.
However, I didn’t lose my lip-ginity that day-I was too petrified. In fact, I was so nervous, throughout the entire movie, I started shaking ever so slightly and had to blow it off as I was cold.
I didn't have my first kiss till I was 15. From my year group, the books I had read and from the movies & TV shows I had watched, I was ‘late’ to lose my lip-ginity. No one in my school would laugh at a girl for not having kissed a boy but it was like that kind of unspoken law we all knew and acknowledged but never, ever spoke out loud. If you had a boyfriend (or had boys that wanted to be your boyfriend) then you were peng/buff/attractive. And if you didn’t get that sort of attention…well then. Let’s just say, if we played Kiss Chase in secondary school no one would be chasing me.
Deep down, that affected me. I had an endless list of things that I wished I could change about myself. When my then-boyfriend asked me out, I was hesitant to say yes because I thought it was a prank. When I had learned to accept the fact that a guy actually liked me, my confidence in my appearance grew, or rather, I became confident in my appearance. I stopped being shy around boys because I didn’t fear, nor care, that they probably didn’t find me cute.
These were all positive changes, right? Well, not really. I had placed all my beauty, my sauce, my attractiveness in the hands of boys. That was my marker as to whether I looked good or not. If I was actually beautiful or not. The problem with this is, if you break up with that boy or there are no boys around to affirm you, you stop believing in it. And existing is a lot harder when you let other people’s opinions rule or define you.
It took me years to even realise I had this issue. Long after the boy I lost my lip-ginity to had moved on, I had to rediscover myself. What did I like about myself? Why did I like that thing about me? Was it because it was in line with the current beauty trends or I knew it got me the attraction I wanted? The same went for the things I didn’t like about myself. What could I improve on, not change? What didn’t I like about myself but also made me unique?
Growing up as the dark-skinned girl, taller than a lot of the boys, a little bit chubby in the “wrong” places and never big enough in the “right” areas, definitely posed as a challenge to my self-esteem & self-belief. But I grew to be more intentional about accepting compliments and telling myself:
but making sure that I was my standard of beauty and would not let any guy, friend or foe or society’s beauty standard define how beautiful I am.
The same goes for you, girl. You may not believe it or see it at the moment but promise yourself you will and are committed to finding your beauty and self-worth. Find one thing to compliment yourself on every day for 2 weeks. Write it in your notes. It’ll feel uncomfortable at first but push through it. It might be difficult, but your beauty is there, sis. With or without a partner. With or without your lipginity.
You probably want to know how my first kiss actually went? It was awkward. I had Googled and YouTube ALL week about having your first kiss. What lip stuff to wear, how much tongue is too much tongue-all that cringy stuff. And well, there were no fireworks or anything haha. I think I was far too nervous and full of butterflies to feel anything tbh.
Could I have survived without kissing him? YUP
Did I become more pretty or attractive after kissing a guy? NOPE
To any girl who hasn’t lost their lipginity or had a boyfriend yet. Whether you’re 13 or 18: there is nothing wrong with you.