There have been many times I’ve avoided wearing brighter shades of lipstick because I was afraid I’d call too much attention to my lips. I actually LOVE my lips, though. I feel like they’re perfect. So why was I afraid to whip out my hot pink liquid lipstick?
After some time, I realized that it had more to do with how my exact features were perceived as “sexy” and “exotic” when they were on someone else. Because cosmetic surgery is so rampant now, I’ve actually been approached by people asking if my butt is real.
For those of us who were blessed with shapely thighs, hips and lips, it can be difficult to exist in our natural bodies. We’re often labeled as everything from ‘inappropriate’(see the 4th grade teacher in ATL whose body went viral) to ‘thot’, even if there’s minimal skin showing. Why is it ok for my features to be chosen from a menu on a whim.
It goes beyond lips, and spills into other parts that make up who we are. I was so close to vomiting the first time I saw “boxer braids,” and the nastiness thrown at Zendaya for her faux locs said so much about how society rolls when a certain Jenner was praised for her “unique style choice” when she rocked the same style out in public prior to the Zendaya fiasco.
Basically, lots of times I feel like there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any part of me. I’M JUST NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE BODY CONFIDENCE. Black women are taught from a young age to be ashamed of their bodies. If a creepy older man approaches you in an inappropriate manner, it’s your fault for wearing “too tight” clothes. When that man who addresses you like a piece of meat as you walk down the street becomes aggressive because you showed no interest in his “aye girl!”
“can I walk with you?” what then?
You’ll be told that you shouldn’t show off your body and not expect those kinds of reactions. Where do we actually fit in? Who is willing to take up for us as we are?
Do you have certain features that you feel are more appreciated on others? Is there a part of your culture that you’ve recently seen popularized in the media? I want to know how it makes you feel!