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Curly Nikki

Self- Concept Thursdays!

By January 27th, 20219 Comments

Self- Concept Thursdays!

OWN Your Beauty
by April Clark, MSW of LC Counseling

Many times in life, individuals will let others define what their beauty is. I say how beautiful you are, depends on how beautiful you feel. So why do we allow others to define us? As smart and beautiful as I know I am, there are a few rare moments when I feel uneasy about my appearance.
Just recently, I was surrounded by beautiful Black women and became insecure. I immediately started with some self-talk (coping skills I teach many of my clients to deal with stressful moments). I was saying things to myself like, ‘April you are so beautiful, educated, and loved’. Then I started sizing myself up, comparing myself to them. I was comparing my wealth with their wealth, checking out their clothes, shoes, hair, etc. When I speak of wealth, I am speaking of comparison about all things, not just monetary.

Now, mind you, no one said anything unfavorable to me, but my insecurity made me defensive. Why? Because in that rare moment in my life, I allowed society to determine my beauty. Nothing had changed about my ideology (about myself) from the time I left home and entered that social setting. I will tell you that I am usually a very confident, secure, and assertive person. I am also compassionate, caring, and giving. I am well educated and financially comfortable. I have a healthy marriage and healthy children that are fairly well behaved. On most days, I think I should be the poster child for resilience.

So again, I ask why?

Because I live in a world that allows the media to tell me what beauty looks like. It is unfortunate that we allow others to own our beauty. I had to take my beauty back in that situation. I did that through recognizing that I was just as beautiful with my kinky hair, full lips, wide hips, and busty chest. When I decided to have a natural look, I knew it would be challenging. It is hard being well educated and not conforming to Corporate America’s view of beauty. However, I had to do what felt right to me. When I decided to go natural, my friend and stylist asked me why. My response- I wanted to look and feel organic. Organic? I pride myself on being genuine. The real deal! You will rarely catch me in fancy clothes. Jeans and a shirt are my thing. I was tired of putting so much effort into my hair when it did not mean that much to me. I love to feel pretty and special, but why does that mean my hair has to be straight?

I decided to own my beauty by just letting my hair be what I define beauty to be… in all it’s kinky curly glory! So OWN your beauty by making beauty what you are and not what you see in others. OWN your beauty by being authentic, the real deal. Therefore, let your real deal be what you define it as and not others. And I will add, there are occasions when I go straight, that’s the beauty and versatility of natural hair!

Can you relate to April’s experience?
How did you overcome?

9 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you April Clark for sharing your journey with all of us. This is very encouraging to read. I often feel the same way about my beauty. I am definitely trying to own my own beauty and appreciate myself the way God intended me to be.

    @Kitka 82
    I have been experiencing the same issues you go through day to day. It is very rare that I hear about others struggling with being quiet, reserved,ignored, and being criticized for their personalities. I just wanted to tell you are definitely not alone.

  • battlekat says:

    Great post! It hit close to home.

  • Anonymous says:

    You are obviously a very beautiful person, inside and out. Your rich skin color and strong features compliment your decision to go natural. Thank you for sharing your journey in such and honest, open and vulnerable way. We need more of people like you in today's world- where everything seems to be about illusion and make-believe.

    I have found that I feel most beautiful when I look for the best in others and express it to them. I also feel better about myself when I do a little something special for me – an at home spa night after a hard work out, a glass of champagne after a very healthy meal, wrapping my head with a henna or DC treatment and having a hot cup of tea while listening to some old school Jazz. The little things help!

  • b. says:

    @ kitka82:

    As is often said, "still waters run deep" 🙂

    I go from one extreme to the other (my parents are at the opposite ends of the spectrum in gragariousness — so sue me for making up words).

    @ April Clark,
    Thanks for the article. I have to keep an emotional stick handy to beat back thoughts like these all the time. My swing and aim is better than it used to be, but the thoughts come nonetheless. Like many things in life, insecurities are managed, not "gotten over".

    I also have to remind myself that sometimes I really am not the prettiest, smartest, [fill in blank] in the room. And *that's okay* — I am STILL uniquely fabulous and I have every right to be wherever I am. Life's a journey…

  • KC says:

    I personally struggle with owning my inner beauty– my personality. I tend to be aquiet and reserved, and am often criticized or ignored because I don't run my mouth all day lol.

    Sometimes people judge me for the way I talk and carry myself. I am often excluded from group conversation at work, even though I am friendly and make an effort to speak to those around me.

    I can't be bothered. I know that my personality is unique to me. I don't want to change just to fit in. I will keep being friendly, but I will still keep doing me. For now, I'll consider that invisibility must be my superpower LOL.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think I am still trying to own my beauty. so much of my beauty was defined in my hair because since I was 3 and allopecia took every strand of hair off my head, i have been battling this idea of society that beauty is long flowing straight hair. I am now in a place where I am defining what I deem to be beautiful. from the thickness of my hips to the fullness of my lips, i am embracing every "flaw" that society sees as my signature beauty marks. Thanks for this article.

  • Anonymous says:

    I thank you for the article. I feel some what the same way. I just did my big chop this week. I feel kind of funny, but I know I can make my natural hair work for me. Sometimes I do feel like people are looking at my short hair and looks. For the most part this is the way God made me and I am proud of it, now I have to continue too believe it in my mind and heart.

  • Patience says:

    Working as a trainee therapist, I come across this in women and men that I see. And you almost want to say to say to someone 'make up your own standards of beauty and don't be defined by anyone else'. But I don't. Because even as a therapist knowing all that I no, I still sometimes find myself comparing my self to others, thinking does my hair look okay to others, should I be wearing makeup. But I always tell myself, you are beautiful as you are anyone who doesn't appreciate that doesn't deserve to know you. God didn't make a mistake when he made my face and my hair and my body. You are beautiful.

  • Anonymous says:

    Still trying to own my beauty inside and out. Thanks for this article.

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