Body Image

A Letter from Society, to you: How dare you have confidence?

Kids, let me tell you the key to getting along with a lot of people. A rather simple tweak to your current attitude towards Life that may have been hindering you from making friends who’re comfortable around you and keeping you from lovers who might adore you..

Have low self esteem. 

I know, I know..everyone’s telling you to have more confidence right? Believe in yourself and know your worth right? But let me tell you what happens when you do. 

 

Relationships

Everybody knows all strong, intelligent women die and end up as Madea characters in Heaven. And I don’t mean the lead. No, the odd looking sister who has a story but not enough of one for us to bother with the details. The one who ends up broken and finds love with a broke bus driver who only has poetry and Chinese take-out to offer. That one.

How do you avoid this?

Downplay all your talent and prowess.

The only things you should openly admit to being good at are keeping quiet and listening, cooking and cleaning. Don’t you know that it’s 2013 and the only time a woman should exercise her Freedom is when it’s appealing to a man? When you step out of your comfort zone [In the kitchen, on your knees] to have a threesome or, in a rather daring move, share a beer with him. 

People don’t like partners with opinions [contrary to theirs], I thought Steve Harvey already told you. Did you skip the “How to stop thinking and finally keep a man” chapter? Honestly. How will you ever fulfill yours and every other woman’s dream of settling down with a man who’ll stifle your ambition and mould you into a younger version of his mother that he can fuck with all that independence? 

It simply will not occur. 

Have you seen those women who prioritize, put themselves first and hold their heads high? Comfortable in their knowledge of Self and worth? 

Who wants them? I mean.. Assuming they want one, they usually end up with supportive, equally strong partners who’re on their wavelength but..Who’s willing to wait for that long right? 

Be a good little girl and think you’re nothing more than a servile creature, created from a part of a Man that he didn’t necessarily need, and go forth. 

Body Image 

No decent woman is comfortable with her body. Only sluts are, and you don’t wanna be that, do you? I thought not. Hate your body. Tell yourself you will always need more here and less there. Hide it. Have sex in the dark and ask your partner to keep their hands on your neck or in yours. If they can’t, to themselves. Cover up or show too much in a form of emotional torture only you feel the full impact of.

Never be content.

Never be happy. 

Hate parts of yourself passionately, with dedication, it’s what you’ve been taught to do, so do it.

Laugh it off in public as you discuss it with equally insecure friends, seeking reassurance and not finding it from those as broken as you. 

Tell yourself this is your Life. As it should be. 

Work and Passion

Don’t be a bitch. I know that Lady wrote that book about why men love bitches but I promise you, it’s a lie.  You’ll just be the assertive..I mean, angry..woman  bitch in the office earning more than the men, skipping between your e-mail tab and your vibrator order form.  

You don’t need success in the workplace. Come on, we leave that for Beyonce. You, dear honey, sweet thing, only need to do enough to get by. You might mess around and actually achieve all you want, which might in turn scare all your potential suitors, meaning you’ll be alone and shame your parents. Don’t do it.

When applying for a job, put the basics. “Works well with others..Can work for long periods of time without supervision” you know, that. Don’t appear spectacular. Don’t show the world you actually can do anything, and do it exceptionally well at that. That’s showing off, at the very least, being proud, and that, Lady considering speaking out of turn, is for men. Confidence and drive are for men.

They don’t call it having “balls” for no reason. 

Be modest.

Be chaste. 

Say you aren’t as amazing as you are.

Say your work isn’t all that good.

Say the world could do without what you contribute it. 

People will love you. 

– Signed with Love,

Society and The Patriarchy 

 

They will love that you’re a woman who “knows her place”.  One who they don’t deem threatening, one who won’t change anything. A safe place.

They will adore you.

They will love you so much they’ll all pile onto you at once, seeking to get a piece of you, ripping you apart and keeping souvenirs. 

Some will take your last bit of Confidence. Others your hope. Others your sense of Self. Everyone will have pieces of you and all you will have left is your reflection.

But hey, at least they’ll love you, right? 

Right?

 

 

Where is my Glory?

“Hair is a Woman’s Glory” – Maya Angelou

I went to the barber yesterday to cut off the troublesome ends of my hair that kept hopping off and leaving a trail like a shedding sheep dog behind me. Understand I went for a trim.  Unfortunately my barber came in drunk, probably high too, misunderstood what I meant, and took most of it off.  Why would I let a drunk man cut my hair? Because I know him and I’m lazy, too lazy to make the 10 minute walk to the salon the next day, and so I stayed.

My head’s fine, he didn’t sever off my ear and leave the floor looking like a scene from Saw 3. It was covered with most of my hair and a bit of my joy. 

Understand, having short hair is a decision one needs to be prepared for.  One I’ve made before, but my biggest issue was that I wasn’t ready this time.  It’s Amber Rose short, and I call this my “Pretty Little Lesbian” look.  I’m constantly touching it and I catch myself muttering “G.I Jane”. 

But that’s neither here nor there, I just wanted to share my shock and pain. This is what I really feel about the look.

 

I’ve always said I feel sexiest when from the barber.  

There’s something about knowing that you put in minimal effort into your appearance and you still look good that makes you feel good.  Not as much time, not as much pressure, not worrying over how long to straighten it, which combination of products to use, how to style it today.. you just condition, moisturize and go. 

When it comes to having short hair, you find yourself trying your best not to look like a little boy.

Especially in my case. I’m short so in baggy clothing I could possibly pass for a teenage boy. An androgynous teenage boy maybe? But anyway, I’ve met a lot of women who agree, with short hair, your make up needs to be on point. Even if it’s just eyeliner, lipstick and blush. Why?

Because a lot of the time your hair is what upholds your femininity, right up there with the obvious breasts, hips and buttocks.  When you don’t have braids or a weave or an afro, you have to have something that can be looked at and still show that you’re a woman. I don’t know why but that’s just what is, sometimes. Personally where as with longer hair or a larger afro I would feel comfortable leaving the house with nothing but Vaseline on my lips, with short hair, it’s the pink lipgloss and liquid eyeliner, standard. Or maybe it’s us and we  feel the need to display our femininity in such a way. Possibly.

When it comes to attraction..

Oftentimes people look at you like you’re a new breed of woman, because I realized, what might be just hair to you, is a statement to another.  I read this morning that being a woman with short hair “means you can trek your own path and stand against the crowd, you don’t accept the rules of society” and all I thought was, “Damn, it’s not that real!”. But maybe that’s how people see it. I’ve had men come up to me and stare, marvel, and ask “Why don’t you have a weave like other girls? Do you relax your hair? Are you a natural Black woman? You’re beautiful.”  And that leads to my other point..

 

Hair isn’t always political.

I think after watching “Good Hair” we all got our panties in a bunch and started looking down on women with processed hair, placing women with natural hair on pedestals and every woman’s personal decision was scrutinized and somehow used to determine her self worth and stance on racism or whatever. Listen, the decision to relax my hair, cut it, dye it, fuck, eat it, is my own. What do I want? Will it make me feel beautiful? It’s a choice about your appearance. As is applying nail polish, as is  picking an outfit. I’m not ignorant to the fact that some women feel long, straight hair determines beauty, but that doesn’t apply for the rest of us. I’m not a “Natural Sista”. I’m not “different”. Just a Lady with short hair. 

The Idea that not all women can rock it.

Forget that. The argument is usually that some women have ugly heads. And so? Some men have ugly heads too nobody complains about that. As a woman why would you bother and spend money on something you don’t want to cover up something you weren’t insecure of in the first place? Get it girl. Get it. 

“Are you okay? Why cut it?”

“Cutting off the hair has been related to imbalance in life, trauma, and mental health issues.” Well..See.. I understand this one. I’ve been known to cut it or dye it when bothered by something or trying to move on from something but, it’s understandable. We associate our appearance with our experiences and so changing that is a way of shedding those bad memories. It doesn’t mean we’re crazy or preparing to torch an ex boyfriend’s house. Well, sometimes. 

So, you know… I hope you Haired me. *Laughs alone* My glory lies in my ability to make any decision that I want to determine my beauty. Even if that’s sometimes altered by a drunk man with a machine.

Adieu.

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That Pink Matter

Something’s been on my mind for a while now..The Vagina.  I’ve watched mine change since I started having sex and realized,nobody ever discusses the fact that as you grow,and begin to have sex,it changes.

One would be prepared for the internal changes, they are expected,but when your labia begins to elongate,or you watch porn and begin to wonder whether your clit is the right size,these are issues we simply don’t know how to deal with. Who do you discuss this with? It’s one thing to feel fat and talk weight gain with your girls, or breast size, stretch marks, but our vagina is always a taboo topic,and uncomfortable to bring up no  matter how close you are with someone.

For a while I had to wonder,what does the average vagina look like?Is the porn vag [small clit,hairless, nonexistent inner labia] a true depiction of what IS?Or what should be? Is mine normal and if not,what to do about it. I took some time and did some research on the idea of “The Perfect Vagina” and thankfully stumbled upon a documentary that hit the spot,so to speak.

Women across the board are getting surgery just to feel like they have a “normal” vagina. This includes labiaplasty, vaginal muscle tightening, having fat transferred to or from the labia and reducing the size of one’s clit. Now,as insecure as I might be at any point about my Lady,I doubt I  would. I understand though.

Your vagina is the one thing you want to own and adore. That is what defines your womanhood, for many. It is your pride and glory and once you think that that one part of your body,the one that is really YOURS and not on display,may be imperfect,it could crush you. Insecurity ruins one’s sex life. Many women I know have sex in the dark to hide their bodies and even with the lights off,can’t enjoy it because they KNOW why the lights are off. Now with Vaginal Insecurity, even the basics become a chore, if not a little slice of Hell. You think “What if he fingers me and he doesn’t like it?He can’t go down on me, I’m ugly down there..” and eventually,once you’ve crushed yourself enough,sex becomes a threat more than a promise. You begin to resent your vagina because it is not pretty. The same way you might dislike your hips because they’re too wide or your hair because it’s too curly and your vagina becomes another bodily burden. This is the pressure to be perfect and I’m afraid it’s seeped down to our Holy Ground.

I have to wonder,who are we trying to obtain the Perfect Vagina for? Us? If there was nothing to compare it to,would we be all that bothered? Is it for men,for them to find us attractive? To please them and become their perfect porn star?

I asked my male friends and only three of them stated they did NOT, in fact, believe the Perfect Vag existed. The rest? Their description was basically that of a virginal vagina. Understandable I guess because Virgins are thought to be ‘Pure’ and women are always expected to be. But I fear if we DON’T in actual fact discuss this,we will turn against the one thing that the media hasn’t had of ours to drag through the mud yet.

Dr Matlock,a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who is the Go To Guy when it comes to vaginal rejuvenation surgery was quoted in a magazine article as saying women should all aspire to have the perfect [virginal] vagina. This is a man,with a penis,telling US what we should feel and do with ourselves. I was outraged. But then I had to stop and think,they’ve made us believe what our breasts and asses should look like,what made me think our pussies weren’t up next on the list?

Since then I’ve had quite a few sit downs with female friends and have discovered,these are thoughts many women have,we just never discuss it. “I think I have an ugly vagina” is not easy to spew out and so many of us suffer in silence.

It’s a damn shame and I hope once women actually wake up and begin to actually bother loving themselves fiercely through all this bullshit,we’ll be okay. We’ll be happy.

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A Real Issue

“A real woman has curves”.
“A real woman never lets her man leave the house hungry or horny.”
“A real woman always puts others first.”
A “real woman” is something that I , as a woman, find hard to define, so who is attempting to? And failing dismally while at it.
TheFreeDictionary.Com has several definitions for the word “Woman”, some of which include:
wom·an (wmn)
n. pl. wom·en (wmn)
1. An adult female human.
2. An adult female human belonging to a specified occupation, group, nationality, or other category. Often used in combination: an Englishwoman; congresswoman; a saleswoman.
3. Feminine quality or aspect; womanliness.
4. A female servant or subordinate.
5. Informal
a. A wife.
b. A female lover or sweetheart.

I have to wonder, which definition are we attaching “real” to? The first one? The second?
To me,it seems the Fourth. A real female servant or subordinate because let’s face it, we live in a misogynistic, patriotic world. And from the quotes above, doesn’t it seem like we’re merely preparing these “real” women to be the ideal servants?

While writing this I had to ask,what makes a Woman? We could be biological and say XX Chromosomes. We could say “The acceptance, cultivation and use of overly feminine character traits/qualities”, but would that even begin to graze what it is that really makes a Woman? Can it be defined? I find myself stepping out of the regular mold  of puberty making every girl a woman, and wonder on the men who feel trapped in their bodies, the transgender community and realize  beginning to even attempt to say what a Woman is is firstly downright rude,and second, possibly impossible.

I tried none the less and what I could come up with was this: “Strength”. And as with anything or anyone that is considered ‘Real’,the strength to be as one REALLY is, as is in one’s nature to Be.

It is degrading to attempt to box in Femininity to such an extent as to define what is “Real” and what isn’t. As there have been women who’ve nurtured and taught, the Winnie Mandelas and Mother Theresas and Joy Phomaphis, there have been women who’ve conquered and blazed new frontiers  the Joan of Arcs and Ellen Johnson Sirleafs and Unity Dows. None has made a lesser contribution in their respective fields because of their body shape, or been seen as a failure because they were not there for every meal at the dinner table.

We must ask, is there anyone out there who is of the mind that “A real man is skinny”, or “a real man never lets his wife leave the house tired and horny” or “a real man sacrifices himself for those around him”?I think not, and in the event that they do exist, their number compared to those who believe in these “Real women” traits would be a mere fraction.

I find myself questioning whether Misandry is the only way to counter Misogyny. Understanding between the two sexes seems to be a far fetched pipe dream considering how things are at the current moment. Women are becoming more vocal and their disgust at how we’ve been treated and portrayed is evident. Women such as Kola Boof,Egyptian/Sudanese-American Bestselling novelist, poet, television writer and author of THE SEXY PART OF THE BIBLE are quite vocal about how they feel regarding how the Media portrays the female,more specifically,the Black woman and I find that women who speak out against such injustices are labelled loud, crass,unruly and bitches. The majority of men view Feminist views as silly, unnecessary, and the condescending ones find us standing up for our rights as “cute.”

Martin Luther King stated “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. Now don’t you find that breaking down the internal make up of females and making them feel inadequate as they already are is really a diversion off other matters? Most men and their need to be Superior seems to be the issue here. Women must be pretty trophies and leading them to insecurity makes this easier. It could also be other women perpetuating this way of thought because it’s what they know and they too would like to feel like “better” females. Either way, neither is winning as far as I’m concerned.

It is senseless to try to say what a Real Woman does, looks like and believes. People have been around long enough for us know we cannot DEFINE,as much as we try. Unfortunately,as much as we’ve evolved physically, intellectually many are still stuck in the stone ages with their beliefs. No group of people is Less than any other. Not Blacks, not women, not homosexuals, not blondes, not the lady with an A cup bra size. We remain separate but equal. But few know this, and even fewer seem to believe it.

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