Walk of shame or stride of pride?

I’m looking after a dog this weekend and he keeps on insisting on waking me up around 8-8:30 am to go for a walk. Out I go and even though I hate it at first, it’s quite nice to walk in the morning sun and on the empty streets, it wakes me up in a nice way.

Being up early on the weekend also introduces you to other things, like all the lonely striders on the roads. I’m talking about the famous “walk of shame”, or shall I say “stride of pride”?

How do you spot a walk of shame?
First thing is the clothes. Is that dress suitable for a morning walk or maybe it was better for last night’s adventures?
Then look at the shoes. If you live in a town like mine that has cobble stone everywhere, high heels is a no go if you just want to go for a stroll in the morning. Some shoes can also a be a bit too dressy and wouldn’t be the obvious choice when going to the store to get some milk.
Third thing to look at is the hair. Sometimes the hair still has the same do as the night before, maybe a bit tangled, but it looks nice.
The face. This is easier to spot on women because many of them wear makeup which might be a bit smeared since last night. Or maybe they’re still wearing that red lipstick that looks great but still not suitable for a walk in the morning.
The eyes. Most “shamers” try to avoid eye contact, although in Sweden that would be a normal thing, we never look anyone in the eyes. Going home early in the morning usually means that you didn’t sleep that much last night, and maybe some drinking was involved? This makes your eyes a bit glossy and maybe they have a shade of red.
Posture. When having a walk of shame you usually don’t want to be seen by anyone, the sooner you get home, the better. And when you don’t want to be seen and also wants to avoid eye contact, you hunch and look down.

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What’s the difference between walk of shame and stride of pride?
Well, the words themselves speak quite clearly: are you walking home because you did something you might regret later? don’t you want anyone to know what happened? or are you proud and want to tell the whole world why you’re going home at this hour? Maybe there isn’t that much thought put into it, you just walk home, but the way you do it people could either think “haha, arriving home late, are we?” or “look at that girl, I envy her!“.

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Can only girls be shamers/priders?
Of course not! It might be a bit more usual that it is a girl, but I can’t find any statistics. I think however a girl is easier to spot when walking down a street than a boy because a man’s clothes aren’t as revealing as a woman’s when it comes to style and appropriate clothing for the day activity. In general girls like dressing up a lot more when going out and as I mentioned before, we usually fix our hair, put on makeup, maybe we wear a dress and high heels. Guys can also dress up but the style doesn’t usually differ that much from day time. Maybe they wear some fancier shoes and a jacket, but almost always they wear pants which they could also use during the week.

How can you change your shame to pride?
First of all, if it really is something you would regret (and then I mean really regret), don’t do it in the first place. I’m not into regretting. I see it as an experience and that experience might be good or bad, and hopefully it changes, or strengthens, my judgement for future occasions.
Before leaving the person’s house, have a quick look in the mirror. Maybe make sure the makeup looks alright, maybe brush through your hair quickly or put it into a ponytail. Straighten out your clothes and make sure you don’t forget anything, especially if you don’t want to repeat the night’s events.
When walking, make it look natural, walk with a good posture and smile. That smile will make everyone (who cares) think that this girl/boy is happy and something really good happened last night. If your gaze is screaming hungover!, walk with the phone in your hand. Smile as if someone cute were texting you, or if you have the luck of bringing sunglasses, wear them! In the end it’s all about acting confident.

This is how every stride of pride should look like:

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