So let’s talk about this feature image…
I participated in this personal project called Scars of our OWN by Sarah, owner and photographer of OWN Boudoir. It is a project where participants are exploring there external and internal scars. These photos were done in March and I had been going back and forth about whether I should share them or not. But I returned to the poem below (which I wrote back in January) and knew this was the perfect piece to share with this image. So first shoutout to Sarah for making this experience so amazing. What are my Scars? A part of them is dealing with my body image. I have many assumptions about what my body says about me and how I operate in the world. Some of them are valid and others are things I need to work through. More about my experience with Sarah will be shared on her website so stay tuned there, but in the meantime, enjoy this piece.
For colored girls who live for snap filters and a little bit of cleavage
This poem is for you.
For you women whose thighs rub together and have jeans that are proof of the friction.
This poem is for you who have love handles that need to be appreciated daily.
For you still learning to appreciate those handles.
This poem is for all the BS you put up with
The frustrations , the questions, the triumphs
This poem is here to lay it all out.
This poem doesn’t have answers
But it has truth, and to be honest, I like to sit in the truth.
I like to sit in the uneasiness and vulnerability and boldness of it.
So this is for colored girls trying to lose weight to reach their full bad bitch potential
Who have reached the point where their motivation is to stunt on these niggas
Just to prove a point
For colored girls who wear sizes 16 and up and still want to be sexy in what they wear.
Thank Black Jesus that Lane Bryant and Target have answered our prayers
And that there are online boutiques like Monif C and Elloquii, but some days how our bank accounts are setup, we stay in our prayer closets for better deals and stretch pants
For colored girls who are good enough for late night rendezvous, but not good enough to take home
Cuz in reality our big bodies don’t get real love
They get half assed intimacy in our inboxes after midnight
In reality our big bodies don’t get fawned over, they get overlooked
And it’s a daily battle to tell ourselves you are beautiful
You are worthy so fuck these niggas and their superficial standards
For colored girls who manipulate the shapes of our bodies with Spanx and tights to smooth out rolls and have scars where the material rolled up or stayed on too long
But this dress has to have the Spanx so we deal
For colored girls who aren’t considered “thick” because we don’t have an ass
We have stomachs and thighs with stretch marks
So we are looking for the word that describes our shape and it’s a word or words that we are proud of
For colored girls whose breast cups extend into threes and into the alphabet past Ds into Fs Gs and Hs
And even then we still want to buck the system and not wear a bra
And trust me, these triple D’s don’t always have a bra holding them hostage
They need to be free
To be free colored girl… I sometimes get there
Like that one summer I put on a two piece bathing suit without a wrap to cover up my thighs and let my stomach out.
I snapped photos of myself in the sand and in the water
And felt free
Cuz there is something about cleansing and freedom in water
I felt invincible and beautiful and loved all by myself
I shash shayed past thinner women with bigger confidence
I sent photos to friends and potential baes
To be free colored girl, I sometimes get there
When I take nudes of myself once I get out the shower
There may or may not be a collection in a private app on my phone
There may or may not be folks who receive them in their inboxes
On those days, Instead of shaming my body and trying to hide it
I spend time admiring it
And yet sometimes I am uncomfortable in my nudity
I suck in and twist to paint a better picture, a better image
To be free colored girl it can be uncomfortable
But this is for colored girls who, despite being uncomfortable,
Rock that dress with the right fit for our curves
Shoot those shots in DMs
And take those selfies with good filters
with of course a little bit of cleavage