Little Darlings 🚺 Anisa
For our Little Darlings Series, we produced a limited edition pink version in support of Planned Parenthood. Whatever side of the street you live on, hopefully the one thing that it all comes down to and we could all agree upon is that every woman has a basic, fundamental right to her own body. You don't have to be a feminist to believe that.
In this edition, our friend Anisa shares her personal experience of when she needed to turn to Planned Parenthood. Although it is in her own words, parts of Anisa's story resonated similar to my own experiences. The stories may be different, but the support that Planned Parenthood brings to so many women, especially young ones, is a rite of passage. I will forever stand with PP, because during a time in my life when sexuality felt so frightening, it was the only place that I could turn to.
Words by Anisa Young
Planned Parenthood holds a near and dear space in my heart. Not only did they help me in uncertain times but it also gave me a voice. Growing up, sex was beyond taboo in my strict Asian household where the birds and bees were never uttered once. Outside of my house, sex ed was something that we all begrudgingly went through in the fourth grade, when even the penis diagram made me blush uncontrollably. Thus I grew up feeling that sex and everything related to it, vulva included, were things best left unasked and unspoken about. Tie that together with a horrendous experience at the student health center at a top-tier public university that takes pride in being super liberal, welcoming, and all-inclusive turned me into a ride-or-die Planned Parenthood advocate.
I was nineteen when I walked into my student health center looking to get an IUD. I wasn’t sure which one I wanted or if it was even the right choice for me. As I sat in the exam room, nervously waiting, I read the STI pamphlets to distract myself. The nurse practitioner walked in and blasted a string of background questions, shooting them off one right after the other. It felt sterile, cold. I couldn’t even find time to take a breath. She asked how many drinks I drank per week, which is a question that most college students dread and will fudge a little. I tried to evade that question and said that I can sometimes finish off a bottle of wine in one night. She pauses, looks up from the computer screen and lock eyes, I was acutely afraid. “This is the behavior of an alcoholic,” she says and hands me the number of Alcoholics Anonymous. Stunned and shocked, I couldn’t find a single word to say. She proceeded to ask if I needed birth control in the interim until my IUD appointment, which was 3 months out. I said no, that was not necessary as I wasn’t planning on having sex given that I was still a virgin at the time. She then told me that she didn’t believe that a girl who could drink a bottle of wine by herself would be someone who would remember to use condoms. She forced a birth control prescription on me as she walked out.
I left the exam room feeling so much guilt and shame, I cried in the shower that night. Her judgement wasn’t something I would easily forget. Since that scarring experience, I have turned to Planned Parenthood for all of my reproductive needs. In the last 5 years, I have gotten everything from breast exams to pap smears, from free condoms to birth control. Not only that but Planned Parenthood gave me a safe space—a place where I was able to ask the questions I never felt comfortable enough to ask. I never think twice about answering truthfully, I never have to hold back and change what I say in fear that someone would shame me for my actions. It was in these exam rooms that I learned about different forms of birth control, of the various STIs and how to detect their symptoms. It was within those four walls where I learned the evils of bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections and how to take care of them.
They taught me how to take care of myself and my body, both physically and mentally. Planned Parenthood has been there for me in my times of need and I’m ready to return the favor now. I was thrilled to learn that DNAMAG is donating a portion of their proceeds of the pink Little Darlings Boy Tee to Planned Parenthood and so incredibly honored to have modeled for it. I cannot stress how much I love Planned Parenthood, I sing their praises high and low to anybody and everybody. I respect them so much for what they do and how much they do. I believe in them wholeheartedly because everybody—and I do mean EVERYBODY—deserves to have a judgement-free environment where they can get the help and guidance that they need at an affordable cost. Especially now. 🚺
When you purchase a Little Darlings Pink Boy Tee, we will donate 20% of the sale to Planned Parenthood. We believe in this organization and we want them to continue helping, supporting and educating young women about their choices and their bodies. This special edition tee is now available in our online shop.
BY THE WAY, ABOUT THE T-SHIRT
The creative idea behind the t-shirt is inspired by a cult 1980's film Little Darlings. A typical coming-of-age film, perhaps the most original of its genre, it portrays girls becoming women, falling in love, losing virginity and forging friendships. Our boy tee signifies the modern day little darling and that even as an adult we carry within us all of our youths nostalgia. A woman is strong because of her past. (Watch this clip and then you should try to find the full movie on YouTube. And can you spot a very young Cynthia Nixon?)