BODIES, SOCIETAL PRESSURES, AND LOVE.
BODIES: This Earth is beautiful and we have been formed and made out of cosmos and atoms and blood and parts put together to make us. A girl in my class asked me if you weren’t in your body, would you still be you. So if she cut off my head and my body still remained, would I not be me anymore, what parts are me?
And we often associate ourselves with our bodies. But our souls are us, essentially. Our souls can transcend time and still exist even after our bodies do not. So all the changing and adapting we do to our bodies to assimilate into society is gone when we die. But we work on our mind, and focus on feelings and words, that can be carried with our soul as long as it exists.
SOCIETAL PRESSURES AND LOVE: Growing up, I wanted straight hair, a skinny body, lighter and clearer skin and so on and so on, whatever society was telling me I should have, I wanted. I think my mother tried really hard to tried to bring out the afrocentricity in me and make me aware of my roots and proud of who I am by buying me black barbies and toys, and giving me books about Africa and black historians and forcing me to read Roots growing up. And I am thankful for that but unfortunately society overpowered what I was taught at home. I think some of the things I did to to be thin was kind of sad that I won’t blog about them. I didnt develop an eating disorder or anything but I worked out a lot and I realized it wasnt for my own personal pleasure, it was to adapt to what society wanted. But its so unfortunate that there is a system in the world that thrives off of making people feel bad about themselves. Everything does. Shaving creams, anti-aging cream, makeup, nail polish, nose hair trimmers, acne creams, etc. They all thrive of making you feel like the way your body is right now is not good enough and can always appear better.
I began to realize my love for myself and who I am when I got to college, probably my second or third year. And Im only in my fourth year now so it wasnt that long ago. I watched one documentary about the Black Panther Party and that ignited my pride and interest in my history. As I began to educate myself about my own history, I learned that there is beauty in the strength of my people. I know there is beauty in resilience and fighting back and being unapologetically yourself. Thats beautiful to me. So I dont care how “untamed” my hair my looks, or how my clothes arent “presentable” or that my skin isnt the clearest because thats not what makes a person. Those things arent me. Its my character, who I am, how my mind works that makes up who I am. Since my values changed, my perceptions change and I am completely, wholeheartedly in love with myself despite everything else telling me I shouldnt be. I love who I am, how I look and where I come from. I’ve allowed myself to appreciate the folds and falls and crevices and marks on my body. It has life and stories and memories in it all and thats absolutely incredible and I’ve learned to appreciate that. And hope you are learning to appreciate the your folds, falls, crevices and marks because they are beautiful and have a story to tell and your body is trying all the time to keep running to make sure you’re alive. Your body is resilient and thats beautiful.