‘Black men don’t love their black women.’
‘Once I got my big chop, I was no longer seen as attractive.’
‘I don’t have long straight hair, therefore, I am not what society deems as beautiful’.
Depending on who you talk to, some of these statements may ring true. To be quite honest, I think it’s all a load of steaming bull, but to be fair, I’ve never really cared whether or not black men love me. I also never big chopped, so I don’t know how I’d feel if I did. Though my hair is long, it’s not straight, so I’ve gotten my fair share of “Girl, your hair is nappy!” or the “CEILY!!!!” in reference to the Color Purple. None of this has really made me think I was any less pretty though, it just confirmed to me that the people around me were truly morons. I mean, I’m stunning, you don’t need a PhD to see that.
All kidding aside, from very early on, I decided that I would determine what beauty was and is to me. That way, nobody else’s ideals of beauty are important enough for me to even attempt to aim for. At the end of the day, I am who I am and I have to be beautiful to me first before I can expect others to see what’s fine about me.
One of the biggest problems that some of our natural sisters face, especially in the beginning of their natural hair journey, is seeing how truly beautiful they are. Forget what this rapper may have said about dark skin women and what that rapper may have said about natural hair being nappy. They’re rappers, why the hell do you care what some dude with a microphone thinks about YOUR HAIR? Anyway, in spite of what everyone around you may be throwing out as sexy, beautiful, and appealing to society, confidence trumps everything aforementioned.
Where’s Your Swagger?
Look, at the end of the day, you’re stuck with you. 24-7, 7 days a week, 365. With that said, why shouldn’t you be the coolest person you know? If you find yourself in an ‘I’m not pretty or good enough’ slump, the bad news is, you may have lost your swagger. The good news, though, is that it’s not lost forever and fairly easy to get back. There’re three things that you need to do to get your swagger back.
- Find a theme song. Nothing coaxes out my swagger like a little Beyonce or my theme song You Be Kill’n ‘Em by Fabolous. Pick a song that makes you feel like moving and instantly puts a smile on your face. Something that sings/speaks to the essence and beauty of you is preferable. Here’s 5 songs if you’re having trouble:
- You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet
- Diva by Beyonce
- Champion by Buju Banton
- Pretty Brown Eyes by Mint Condition
- PYT by Michael Jackson
*make sure the song is on repeat
2. With the music playing, walk up to the mirror and take a good look. Your Feel Good Juices should be flowing by now, so it will be easier to see all that fabulousness that you were missing when you lost your swagger. Take a gooood look and enjoy the view, darling.
3. Play up Your Assets. By now, you’ve probably falling madly in love with yourself, so it shouldn’t be hard to start pointing out some gorgeous things about yourself. What did you discover? Maybe that your skin is flawless. Perhaps you’re impressed with your smile. Especially the cute gap! Could it be your big brown ‘come and get it daddy’ eyes? Whatever it is that you rediscovered and are proud of, flaunt it. How? If you have fantastic skin, try a lotion with a hint of shimmer. You can go out on the town looking like a sexy disco ball! If you have beautiful eyes, pull you hair up and out of your face, put on a little mascara and make eye contact. (HEEEEEY) If you have a great smile, brush, floss and SMILE MORE OFTEN!!!
By now, your swagger should be so awesome, you should be strutting down the aisles at the grocery store because you’re so damn fine. Go get ‘em girl! Don’t hurt anybody!
Work What You Own and Own What You Work
You are who you are. There’s only one make, model and type of YOU. Nobody else can offer the world your brand of personality, style, attitude and fabulousness. Be proud of that and consider yourself blessed. Instead of fussing over what you don’t have, why not focus on what makes you fabulous and what you can do to share your fabulousness with others? There are people out there waiting to see you reach your full potential. Reach for the stars and forget about the haters!
Acknowledge The Ones Who Show Interest and Ignore The Idiots
At the end of the day, you’re not going to please everybody. There are going to be some people who just don’t like the way you look and who aren’t willing to give you a chance anyway. Forget about them. If they don’t like your hair, your smile, your complexion, or your figure they can go kick rocks. For every person that thinks you’re less than, there’s one important person whose opinion matters most: YOURS. Don’t let anybody define who you are and what’s not pretty about you. In fact, make friends who are happy to be a part of your “I Rock!” campaign. If you can’t find it in your immediate circle, there are websites like Afrobella, CurlyNikki, and Shatterproof Glass Dolls who will gladly support you and think you’re beautiful, just the way you are.