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Everyday I look in the mirror and see someone bigger than what’s actually there.
I accept being flawed, but inside I secretly pray for perfection.
I encourage and compliment others only to hide the fact that I’m super insecure and hesitant.
I love him but I’m expecting him to cheat on me.
I wanna say no to people but I’m afraid I’ll hurt them.
I put others before myself, even when they’re hurting me.
Sometimes I wish I were prettier and smaller.
I’m very scared to go after my dreams.
I hide all of these feelings with a smile, sometimes.
There’s 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week, I devote 6 days to work.
Getting up everyday with the same routine: take a shower, wash my face, clothes, makeup, hair.
I have to be a sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend and girlfriend.
I make sure I gave my all to each role I play in my life.
I’m always something to someone, but what about me?
What about what makes me happy?
What about doing the things I like to do?
What about my dreams?
Why can’t I just be me?
It’s time for me to get selfish.
It’s gonna be a fairytale, at first.
“Flowers for no reason” will be replaced with chicken wings.
You WILL gain weight.
You will want to spend every second together and then “A few years from now, you won’t even want to see his face.”
It will get hard, you’ll wonder if this person is worth it.
You will argue, but don’t worry that’s normal.
You will make sacrifices, it’s not all about you.
You will have to fight to make it work.
You’ll have to admit when you’re wrong.
The truth about relationships is this: love and trust conquers all.
I have eyes, I’m not blind.
I see you sitting there, staring at me.
You want to come over.
As you’re probably undressing me with your eyes, my mind wonders.
Maybe you’re an decent guy, maybe you’ll send me flowers for no reason.
Maybe your lovemaking is just as strong as this stare you’re giving me.
Maybe I’m the one to make you throw in your jersey, maybe you could have been something to me.
Maybe you’re… Not him.
So before my thoughts get me in trouble, I’ll sip this cognac and avoid you.
I’ll avoid temptation and walk away.
They say “folks get brown in the sunshine.”
Black is not a singular shade, the hues are infinite.
Buttercup, caramel, dark chocolate, we’re a yummy array of shades.
I’m always in awe that I possess this beautiful gift. I celebrate the men and women who share this same gift with me.
No spray tanner needed, no bronzer.
Just God, sunshine and maybe some cocoa or shea butter.
How could something so beautiful pose a threat to those who are pale?
How could something so beautiful is seen as not being good enough because of European standards?
God bless melanin.
There are times when randomly my mind goes back to you.
That slight pain in my heart you caused returns but then my mind begins to race with questions.
Questions like: why couldn’t you give me a chance?
Would you love me if you did?
What couldn’t I do that she did?
What was it about me that made you put me in the friendzone?
Would we be happy?
Then I tell myself:
You shouldn’t have compared yourself to her, you’re good enough.
You should forgive and forget him.
You should thank him because you’re happy now.
Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda.
“Don’t do that, that’s unladylike” is what I was told by the women in my life growing up.
But that leads to me question, what the hell is ladylike?
Is it crossing my legs & reapplying lipstick after it’s smudged?
Is it keeping my mouth shut ¬ speaking my mind?
Is it settling for less pay or to only have sex missionary?
Is it being told you pursue your dream because you were born to be domestic?
Is it being flawless and perfect?
If these are the things that make me “lady like” you can keep it.
I’m happy being me.
I could remember our first date, coming down the steps you took your shades off and stared at me. Your eyes glimmered.
Months 1-3, the stare stayed as we learned about each other, love is still brand new, your eyes are still bright, I think I love her.
Months 3-6, it starts to fade. Ever so often when I put on a dress for our outing or when my makeup is freshly done, it comes back, she’s mine.
Months 6-12, Honeymoon over. We disagree,we juggle work and life, after it all, we still love each other. We both stare at each other, this is real.
It was around 11 o’clock at night, I had just gotten home from work and the only thing on the tv screen were infomercials. That’s when I saw it: wanna know the secret to the perfect hour glass shape? Try hour glass angel, the waist trainer that gives anyone a smooth silhouette! After I looked at my extra wide waist accompanied by love handles I ordered the “miracle product.”
As a child, I was told that beauty equals pain. Those nights sitting between nanas legs with the hot comb, those stiletto heels that you wore to the club trying to be cute or in this case, a waist trainer. we were programmed to equate pain to beauty. The more painful, the more beautiful.
My main objective for buying this waist trainer was to get rid of my love handles.
The one part of my body besides my belly that I’m the most insecure about. The one part of my body that was a daily reminder that I was fat. Those damn love handles.
Those same love handles that hang over my jeans and that I cover with high waisted jeans and long t-shirts.
Those same love handles that were nonexistent during highschool because of my track body and high metabolism, but made an unexpected appearance in my adult life due to college and birth control.
Those same love handles that are the first thing my man grabs when he hugs me.
It’s hard enough to live with love handles in a social media filled world. We are reminded everyday that we’re not beautiful or attractive because we don’t have a perfect hourglass figure.
We are reminded constantly on Instagram and Facebook by celebrities who either are naturally small or surgically enhanced that we too can have a perfect figure by wearing waist trainers and drinking slimming teas. It’s enough to make you scream!
That week I spent waist training was very painful, but I told myself that generational lie: pain is beauty. I told myself that if I wore this waist trainer enough I would be more attractive, I would be able to wear crop tops and be sexier for my man, I would be beautiful. The waist trainer did improve my posture , But after being breathless because I had it clipped up tightly and after I saw that it left dark indents on my sides, I threw it away and looked at myself in the mirror.
Then I came to a realization, I am beautiful just the way I am. I am worthy of every compliment, smile, flirty repartee given to me by perfect strangers. My size does not dictate my beauty.
It’s ok if I have a little extra on the side and if my love handles were bothering me so bad, that I could just go to the gym and diet instead of seeking a miracle in a wired band or nasty tasting tea.
I’ve learned to take it as a compliment that my man loves to hold on to my love handles and pull me close to him.
We need to stop telling ourselves that beauty equals pain. True beauty comes from acceptance. It’s being able to see what the media and people deem as a flaw as a unique part of you and that is painless.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get a refund from the waist trainer, but I can look into the mirror and smile because I love my skin, my shape, my weight, my body as it is. Hey, they don’t call them “love” handles for nothing.
This post is part of The Layers of Beauty Tour created by GG Renee of All the Many Layers. Follow the tour through the blogs of 25 women exploring the complexities of womanhood and beauty from A to Z. Click here to keep up with each post and enter to win a giveaway package of goodies for your mind, body and soul. #LayersAtoZTour