When I was between the ages of 7 and 15 I thought I was too dark. My nose was too round. I really hated my lips – why were they so full & thick? I hated my body: the day my breasts sprouted & Nature pronounced me “Blossoming Black Rose”. I simply hated the African in me. I did not understand my culture & I did not know how to belong. Too Westernized for ‘Africanism’ and too black for white people.
It wasn’t until I figured out that I don’t have to fit in anywhere, that I had a new-found confidence in myself.
My skin? I loved the soft, light-brown tone of my skin. My curves began to intrigue me. My full lips that had gentle hues of rose brought me warmth. I found the small roundness of my nose cute & I discovered that the confidence with which I walk, stems far beyond and below the Earth I tread.
I found that my confidence had nothing to do with my skin. Confidence, like self-love and many other things, are inside jobs. It was not my skin. My skin was not the catalyst. My skin was not the tool I use to claim my space & command respect.
When I found my confidence I met the black man. I found that stereotypes and the one-track mind of some men led to us, black women, being painted with a different brush.
A brush that made thick & determined strokes of arrogance, demanding, materialistic, lazy, stupid, unforgiving, angry, arrogant, controlling, un-loving, un-affectionate, crazy, insecure, too independent, power-hungry, broken, damaged.
I could really go on but the brush strokes that some black men slander & destroy the image of a black women with is not my concern. My concern is the audacity & lack of respect. The generalization & the negativity.
I cannot speak against or for white women because I have never been white, not even in my past life. I always jokingly refer to having been an Egyptian in my past life. So not even my fantasies can speak up for me. I can speak for women though. I can speak for people.
What I can say is flaws are universal. Flaws penetrate racial & gender barriers. Flaws are part of our human nature. Flaws are not embedded in history, genitals or the amount of melanin found in the skin.
I stand for women. Why? Because I believe that we are strong and intelligent beyond what we fathom. We don’t believe in ourselves because the slightest whiff of self-confidence is dismissed as something negative. We bear children and we build homes, we support men that build even bigger empires outside of the home setting. We ourselves, are capable of building empires outside of the home setting.
I stand for men too. Why? Because I believe each gender plays a different role. That when empowered to do so, men can be nurturing, loving and so phenomenal. But, men have become so stripped of their purpose & power that they believe violence or slandering the other sex will elevate them.
As a collective, women have been flawed and as a collective, men have been flawed. To reduce it down to race disappoints me. At my most ignorant stage I thought white men were saviours. It is not about race – it is an internal job that each individual is tasked with.
Black woman: you are not validated by a man, you are not validated by material things, anger doesn’t represent strength, you are capable.
Rise above the stereotypes & focus on your vision. Everything else will then become meaningless static.
I simply stand for people.
Have an amazing week.
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.