Flaws And All

“my skin’s too dark, my skin’s too light, my hairs too frizzy, my hair doesn’t have volume, my roots are nappy, may whole head is nappy, I wish I had freckles, I hate my freckles, I need to loose 10 pounds, my chest is flat, by butt is fat, my hips are wide, my nose is wide, I want laser hair removal, I want laser eye surger…

I… I… I…We…We…We…Should love ourselves just the way we are ‘Flaws and All’

A few years ago when my constant-video-shooting cousin, Nu was living with me but preparing to depart DC for the next phase of her life, she came to my office for lunch and said ‘we’re shooting a music video when you get home by the way’… ‘we’ meant, her and I.

When I got home she had a whole wardrobe laid, props included, dresses, books, basketballs, all laid out for our ‘scenes’. The song…Beyonce’s “Flaws and All’. We shot 90% of the video before the sunset and added a few other scenes later. Someone dear to my heart once said ‘when you weren’t around, I’d go to youtube and watch this video of you’. Those words were heavy and made me reflect on my flaws, not just internal but external.
We have to ask ourselves what are really flaws and what are things God/Spirit of Life/ Allah / Mother Nature, simply just did not give us. Society has created boundaries on beauty ideals that are simply not realistic and or worthy of living up to.

I remember having my hair relaxed around 6th grade like many little brown girls. I sat in my Godmothers kitchen while the creamy crack burned my head, I winced and wiggled and when it was all done. I felt ‘pretty’ because my new, hair past the middle of my back, was now blowing in the summer breeze. This was the beginning of the end. I never could get it quite right. What to do with the mop on my head, so 8 years later my sophomore year at Howard, with NO CLUE what lived beneath the relaxer, I gave it up, trim by trim semester by semester I clipped out all the relaxer and felt LIBERATED! I’ve always lived by India Aries song ‘I am not my hair’ to an extent, but I was in love with this enormous afro that sat upon my crown, I still am. The way of the world and world of professional black women has changed the face of beauty. We’re educated women who RUN IT, with our locs, our fros, our perfectly coifed relaxed and blown out manes, our twists, curls and everything in between.

All that to say, we were born with thangs; hips, chests, naps, attitudes, poofs, frizz, freckles, kankles (fat ankles)…Its not about what cards you were dealt, its how you play em, and if you feel (unreasonably) that you were given lemons, you better find a damn good recipe for lemonade. We should all be at places in our lives where we embrace who we are. Everyone has things about themselves they view as flaws, that are in fact not flaws at all, just pieces of themselves they’re not happy with, most often times for superficial reasons.

I love you all endlessly. Look in the mirror, tell yourself you’re perfect just the way you are, and mean it.

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~ by tortillacachupa on April 27, 2010.

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