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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.
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Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

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Why Purity Culture Ideals Are Harmful

It's not great for one's self-esteem

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I haven't grown up with experience in purity culture. I was lucky to have parents that were open and accepting, as well as schools which taught not with a motif of shame, but of caution and respect to us as young adults. The only reason I really know a good amount about purity culture is because of the internet, and having friends who grew up in this kind of environment.

As many people do not know what purity culture is, it is an ideology within more conservative Christian sectors which puts emphasis on not having sexual relations before marriage and promotes strict modesty standards, especially for young women, regarding clothing and behavior.

There is nothing wrong with choosing to wait until marriage, as everyone's sex lives is their personal business, but it is the way abstinence and purity is taught in this culture that is harmful to both young women and men, specifically the idea that women are less pure or valuable if they choose to have sex before marriage, or that men have little self control when it comes to sex.

Of course, it's not only in this specific conservative subset that these ideals are preached. A popular comedy show on Netflix, "Jane the Virgin," starts off in a flashback of main character Jane as a young child, depicting her grandmother showing her a flower, and then telling her to crush the flower while claiming that the flower essentially represents her if she chooses to have sex before she gets married.

I've heard so many instances of girls being compared to objects such as bicycles, flowers, unwrapped candy, and being told that, much like objects, they have the ability to be "ruined" and "used" because they didn't dress modestly enough, or chose to lose their virginity at the "wrong" time. When I was younger, I saw a video on Youtube where a speaker came into a middle school classroom with a paper heart. Using scissors, he cut off parts of the heart, claiming that each time you have sex with someone you give part of your heart away, and it impacts your ability to truly love the person you were meant to marry.

Here's what's wrong with this. People are not objects. We are complex and nuanced, with the ability to love more than one person in our lifetime. It is incredibly damaging to a young girl to imply to her that the most valuable thing about her is her virginity, instead of her heart, her goals, and her humanity.

It is also disingenuous and insulting to young men to believe that all they want from a woman is to have sex with her, or to push the viewpoint that men in general can't refrain from harassing a woman depending on the clothing she's wearing. Men who are good people are not like this. And it can also be damaging to a young man to teach him from a young age that sexuality is something to be ashamed of.

People should be allowed to accept that their sexuality is a part of them, and make their own decisions without feeling pressure or shame. The only time I think someone has any business in someone else's sex life is to make sure they are informed on how to be safe and respectful.

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