I have this theory. Don’t we all?
My theory revolves around my body and the relationship I’ve had with it my entire life. My nails grow fast and that was a wonderful thing until I realized that everyone wanted a back scratch from me. My hair, on the other hand, grows slowly and when I’ve gotten a bad haircut it’s a painfully long waiting period until I like it again. Even then, I have a love/hate relationship with it. It’s high time I gave up the ghost, though, because when it comes right down to it I haven’t liked my hair because I bought into society’s view of beautiful hair: long and straight.
That’s a whole other issue unto itself and I have not the time to delve into it right now.
Theories are funny things. They exist for us so long as they aren’t debunked. After that they become “something which we once believed” but can no longer prove.
I say all this to set the stage for an issue for women of color: we do, for the most part, completely enjoy our bodies and all the curves and softness that comes with it even until the point of annoying our fairer sisters on the feminist front.
We have asses that are round and cushiony and we like it.
Our hips are wide and sway side to side and we work that shit like there’s no tomorrow.
Lips are ours and belong to our culture as normal and a part of who we are and how we chew our food and kiss our loved ones.
We make no excuses for these things. In fact, when women are marking off the laundry list of what they dislike about themselves I am, secretly sometimes, feeling sassier and happier inside because I’ve learned to like my body. Really like it.
Not every pair of pants hides my childbearing gut. And not every dress accentuates my breastfeeding mammaries (albeit ones who, in their heyday, saluted every person I passed). It’s not that my body is different from so many other women. It’s that I accept it and hope to honor it.
How do women get to this place?
That would be too tedious a recitation and one that requires more space here than I have to address it. It’s easier to say what I have not done to get here.
I haven’t had a so-called “beauty” magazine enter my home since I was a teenager. I don’t need their definitions of magnificence to try to convince me to be unhappy with myself and deny my body those potato chips.