All women worry about body image, the way we look, acne, looking too light in photos, looking too dark, weight, body type, having an ass or not, and even breast size when all our different shapes are beautiful. We worry about perception in photos before posting them sometimes. Take twenty- five selfies and only like one. Some girls are obsessed with fixing photos and editing themselves for Instagram and twitter. The truth is we are all self conscious in some way. Regardless of skin tone, we are all striving to love ourselves as we come, despite the difficulties in learning to love yourself in todays society. Here's a short list of difficulties many melanin girls face so that you know you aren't alone on this journey of self love:
There are many difficulties in 4c and kinkier textured hair. In dating, sometimes you can’t help but fear the day its time to go to sleep in your twist out for the first time and your praying he has an understanding of shrinkage and the fact your "set it off" braids will be a popping braid out in the morning. We've all had that “Do I look bald head” moment in the mirror after you wash your hair or take down twists when you are in that awkward length stage. You can’t just “forget” to twist your hair at night because a wash and go is more like a wash and 2 hours then go, the more kinkier your curl. Black girls' hair grows long with care and consistent regimen. Black hair is beautiful as a TWA (teeny weeny afro), that "I swear if I stretch this curl out its long", and the "my arms are tingling just trying to put all this hair in a pony tail stages. Kinky hair is beautiful on black women of all colors and backgrounds. Our hair defies gravity, it grows towards the sky.
For girls with looser curls, a good hair day can quickly be ruined when those curls turn frizzy. There’s pressure to have the same texture, volume, or curl pattern as other girls that are light complexioned or bi-racial when hair textures come in all patterns on all colors of black women. For black women who are of multiple races, it can be difficult coming of age and learning to care for your hair texture if you don’t have a woman with knowledge of your hair texture to guide you. Parents (particularly black girls with white mothers) and child are learning their hair type together or there is no help truly learning their texture at all. The story's of girls with beautiful natural hair that would straighten it constantly to a state of damage simply because of lack of knowledge of proper hair care is common. We must also recognize and bring end to the stigma of only light skinned girls having “good hair.” Its negative for both darker AND lighter complexioned women with 4C or kinkier textured hair that don't “fit” the certain mold in terms of physical appearance. There are also dark skinned women with loose textured curls. Healthy hair is good hair, and to end the stigma, colorism, and stereotypes about black women and hair, it will take lighter complexioned black women's use of their privilege and also building confidence in melanin women of all hair types.
In describing Melanin Women:
Light skinned girls are stuck up, won’t text back, conceited, don’t have insecurities, all think they are better than others, and not good female friends. Light skinned girls don't care about black activism. Dark skinned girls are mean, ugly, sexualized more, no representation in media, too loud, aggressive,unwilling to marry, ghetto, less desirable, and are not allowed to feel the full range of emotions including anger.
Firstly, a Queen will leave a man's texts on read regardless of if she is light or dark complexioned if she's not interested, and as women, we have the right to say no. These stereotypes exist to keep black women separated and against each other. Negative traits can be found in women of all different backgrounds, but so can anything positive. In order for melanin girls to evolve, we must be able to recognize our own negative traits and confront them as individuals. We must derive meaning from our actions and correct ourselves continuously as we evolve to our higher self. This does not mean all women fit negative stereotypes and images that society tells us we are. There is no ONE true way to be black, and never let anyone box you into conforming. Your black is beautiful wether it is suburban or inner city, loud or timid, shy or in your face, care free black girls and black girls that care about a lot of things, your black is still beautiful.
TO END many of the stereotypes and to make advances in society as melinated women, we must work together. This looks like ending perpetuating stereotypes about dark skin and light skin girls through hash tags and social media posts, not to be confused with exhibiting pride in who and what you are. This looks like supporting other melanin women rather than hating, fighting, or being negative to other black women. Ending colorism amongst black women looks like acknowledging the privilege that comes with being light complexioned while also using it as a platform to speak up WITH your darker complexioned sisters that get classified as mean or angry when the speak up. Doing the work to end colorism looks like acknowledging that another black woman is your sister and not your competition. Doing the work to end stereotypes and misconceptions about black women looks like lovingly correcting our brothers that deepen divisions between us with colorism disguised as preferences.
While focusing on your weight and working out make sure you are doing it for you, and not anyone else. Make sure you could live posting a photo of you without a filter, or coverups, and love it even if it only got 5 likes cause you the shit. And more importantly because love of self is better than anything else in this world. We are all journeying and learning together so join the club, Melanin Girls Club. Where we are freeing ourselves of a lot of the bondage that society tries to weigh us down with cause we know that we're ALL magical as fuck.
Peace and light, Ye'