Month: April 2015

Woman, You Are Not What People Define You As.

I think as women we have it hard already. There’s so much that society expects from us and yet still stomp us down. And on top of all that some of us actually absorb that negative energy into our lives.

I learned young, not to let other people’s opinions upset me, or define me. Especially on how I look. Listen give me constructive criticism on my work. I’ll listen. You start trying to tell me how I should look and I’m going to laugh at you. Who are you? Do you know what my first name is?

I was never going to write this post. It was inspired by this beautiful girl I follow on Twitter and Instagram. Beautiful, dark skinned and thick girl. I do not know her personally and obviously I cannot judge her struggles. But what I noticed is that people always attack her boyfriend using her as ammunition. “How can you call me ugly? Have you looked at your girlfriend?” Why is this guy calling other people ugly? That would require another blog post. A topic for another day.

But I’ve been following this lady for quite some time. She’s smart, witty and funny. And even before the new boyfriend she was always having issues with her skin color. She wants to bleach and be a yellow bone. Initially I thought she’s joking and maybe she really was. But when you keep saying the same thing over and over again over a long span of time obviously we take you seriously. And she also wants to be skinny. This is someone who has a very nice body.

Im really not judging her. I, myself am dark skinned and a bit big,bodied. I understand the struggle.

My mother is light skinned and I take after my dad. People never believed that I was my mother’s daughter because skin colour. So from a very young age I was exposed to this light skinned vs dark skinned nonsense. Im talking at 5 years old. Of course at some point it was an issue for me. But I dealt with it around the time I was 14. When I got to high school I was very much okay with my skin tone. Why was I never okay to begin with baffles me.

So I totally understand where this lady is coming from but I feel that as people, as women more especially we have to stop letting other people define us. No one is born with the idea that they should be lighter or skinner. It all stems from the society we live in.

You cannot be hiding your body because you feel fat. If you feel that you are not healthy do something about it.

You cannot, as beautiful as you are, think you must be light skinned. Why?

And I know that there is a lot of negative comments on social media. I’ve been subjected to it myself. I had someone say I look like a man. Of course I look like a man. I am my father’s spitting image. I am the female version of my dad. I am my father’s daughter. Through and through. You want to bring me down? You have to work harder than that.

All I’m saying is I know that we all have our struggles. People spewing their venom in our direction all the flippen time, about things that we aren’t secure about to begin with. The world is made up of bad and good. So whatever your struggle, be it your body, your hair, your career, whether someone wants you to have a child and you are not ready and instead of understanding they want to question your feminity or whether you are woman enough, it doesn’t matter what it is, if we don’t learn not to absorb this negative energy we are going to be unhappy with ourselves.

It’s not easy. I didn’t wake up one day and be this defiant about my body, my career and everything that I feel strongly about. It’s a process. But the minute I decided to not entertain the negative energy everything started falling into place.

I hope every woman learns this. You are never defined by what people think of you.

Warsan Shire- The London Story

“Afraid of what love may ask of us, we fill the space with noise and pets.
Worship and diets.
Black-outs and beauty products.
Sleeping pills and dinner parties.
Porn and apathy.

“I hold your hand as we drive through the city towards whatever is beautiful.
I feel my bad memories dispel like puffs of smoke – one by one.
You wear a white glove and pull my sorrow out by the ears.

I look out into the river and when I look back at you, your eyes are wide spinning plates in the dark.

I thought love skipped past women who looked like me.
Tenderness had failed my mother and her mother.
In the right light, you can see their faces in mine when I look up at you from under your good weight. At the park, I watch you blow smoke out of your perfect mouth.
You’re afraid of lying down with me and never wanting to get up again.
That scares me too.
Comfort that consumes you.

I try to imagine what our daughters would look like.
Their obvious beauty embarrasses me.

We’re all slightly ruined by the things we’ve grazed against.

I dance with you in the dark, the grass under us still growing.
Press my mouth to your ear to say “Ameen”,
which is to say there is nothing more to say,
which is to say I have never been so sure.

I prayed for you and here you are, ameen.”

– Warsan Shire

The London Story