She goes beyond discussing traditional self-defense tools and emphasizes the importance of body language in self-defense.
While safety for women is a big concern, our current reality exacerbates the issue as we are often conditioned to live in a state of constant fear and caution around unfamiliar men. The fear of being pursued on the streets during unusual hours and the fear of violence has profound impacts on women, affecting them in various ways.
It compels them to avoid nighttime gatherings, evening jogs, wearing attention-grabbing outfits and at times, even forming friendships, out of the apprehension that being too open or friendly might be misinterpreted as an invitation by others. These factors capture the horror women live in, but a TikTok user (@mags_a_million) has decided to tackle that fear and give women the confidence to protect themselves in times of danger.
The video posted on TikTok goes beyond the boundaries of self-defense tools, including pepper sprays, pocket knives, gut punches and emergency phone calls. Mags explains how playing the defensive role is the worst tactic of self-defense when you know you are being followed or attacked.
She went on to say that body language is a game changer when it comes to defending yourself and shared some of her best advice for being safe while you are with a potential attacker. "Body language is your number one weapon in situations like this. The other day I talked about how to hold a knife, but I don’t want it to even get to that point," Mags says in the video. "The easiest way to reduce your chances is through body language."
Mags continued to say that attackers do not target individuals high on the totem pole or who have places to be or people to meet. They typically select someone who is low-key or has few or no friends, associates, loners and someone gullible and submissive. "That is their type," she adds. "You appeared to be the most docile and easiest to take advantage of."
So, to change that and let them know that you are watching their every move, Mags says that the best way is to look them right in the eyes. "I know it’s scary, but you can’t grab your phone, because recording is not going to stop them. They don’t give a f**k, they’re going to do it. They’re going to smash your phone, break and dispose of it anyways," she notes.
Mags gets up from her chair and demonstrates the types of body language that can make you seem confident or meek. "Imagine you’re the creepy person. Which one seems more intimidating – if you’re looking on the street, you see someone in there, I’m getting creeped out." She begins to walk with her phone in her hands and constantly looks behind after every step. Avoiding eye contact when feeling scared can create a negative impression and pose safety risks.
In the second example, Mags takes a more assertive stance by standing in front of them, looking at them and letting them know you are watching them too. "You carry yourself like you got a whole army behind you," she adds.
Mags notes that an attacker can feel and sense your fear because "thoughts and ideas are tangible." She adds: "You can’t 'think' the fear, or else they can smell it. So you've got to go, 'Hey, try it.' I've got a whole army of people that will come get you if you even try it.' It changes the whole dynamic."
The viral video struck a chord with many women in the comments section, who thanked her for sharing insightful advice to stay safe. "Learning how to do aggressive crazy eyes has saved my life more than once and I'm thankful someone told me about them," said @missjasminejade. "Make direct eye contact and bark like a rabid dog and then suddenly they’re the ones scared," added @kalie.bug. "Love this advice. So valuable. Eye contact is everything. Side note: High on the ladder is a more inclusive turn of phrase," wrote @wowjencow.