Walk of Shame? More Like Walk of Fame

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The walk of shame is a long-standing college tradition. For those of you living under a rock, the basic definition of the a walk of shame is the blatantly obvious walk home the morning after an eventful night that ended with a nightcap of sex. If students have never performed the rite of passage, then do they even college?

One of my favorite hobbies on my Saturday morning bagel runs is to pick out the people who obviously had way too much fun the previous night. I have seen it all, from a girl who clearly had not seen a mirror that morning wearing her hookup’s sweatshirt and beer-stained black Jeffrey’s to a guy shirtless with the dirty Timberlands and hickeys galore to match. Heck, I have even seen a girl trying to leave a frat mid-afternoon at the height of daylong season, the night after a freak snowstorm, and wearing a skimpy little black dress.

Although, the best and most frequent time to catch a nightcrawler scurrying back to her lovely abode is on a Saturday morning, the day of a 12 o’clock football game amidst the fall semester. The turn of the leaves and the tossing of the pigskin grants students, families and alumni the excuse to wake up at dawn, relish in tailgates and follow the suit of an obnoxious but motivating student section. With football season also comes families and young children parading throughout campus observing their future, including the time-honored tradition of the walk of shame. The faces of onlookers range from disgusted to second-hand embarrassment to laughs of approval. I have even witnessed and experienced the disgusted looks of mothers, the longing desire from fathers to return to their glory days and the questionable looks of children who are slowly losing their innocence to college escapades.

For those people who lack the need to stereotype and the tendency to turn their noses up at a public display of a good time, give yourselves a pat on the back. But, for the individuals who have forgotten their own youthful adventures or even the younger generation who throws judgment in the form of glares and slut shaming, please continue to read, understand and learn about a new perspective.

Besides maybe a trip to the doctor, what harm is in the walk of shame? Why is it shameful and stereotyped? You see a girl scurrying home in her heels? Give her a high-five and your elbow. You see a guy walking home shirtless? Chest-bump him. You see a mother acting above it all? Invite her to your next party.

The walk of shame should be appreciated and celebrated like any other college tradition or experience, but instead it is criticized and blown out of proportion. My biggest issue with the negative connotation associated with a female or male walking home in the garb of the night before falls in the way of pessimism for fun, individualism and experience. Generally, there is no harm in sex, but society seems to forget without sex I would not be writing this article, the Patriots would not have won four Super Bowls under one quarterback and coach duo and Trump would not be representing the Republicans in the most double-edged sword election I have ever lived through. The walk of shame also adds to the issue of society’s ongoing problem with stereotyping and prejudices–in this case slut shaming and body image.

The embarrassing aspects of a walk of shame stems from the stereotypes and jealousy of the onlookers, but let me remind everyone: the year is 2016, not 1950. Girls, put your heels back on, smooth out your dress and hold your heads high. Boys, button your shirts, lace those dirty, dirty Timbs and smile at everyone. If you really want to stick it to the people who rain on everyone’s parade then high-five them and give them a little bit of whatever you had last night. I hereby declare the walk of shame now the walk of fame. In the wise words of Borat, “I make sexy time!” and so should all of you.

Madeleine is a sophomore majoring in journalism and minoring in entrepreneurship at Penn State University. She hopes her obsession with Massachusetts sports teams will land her in the heart of Boston. Madeleine also enjoys Bob Dylan, avocados, and being weird.

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