I’m Every Woman

You know, when I turned 25 last week, the day didn’t really feel that significant. But nonetheless, something shifted in my mind. At 25, I will have completed two degrees and enter the workforce. In short- I can now say, without any qualifications, that I am a grown woman. It feels good. *cues Tony, Toni, Tone*

I’m fast approaching the end of my scripted life. From here on out, there is no predetermined path- it’s just me, doing what feels good and growing as a person. And all of a sudden, I find myself caring less and less and sometimes, not at all about what other people think, or about what disasters could potentially occur. Eff it. I’m going to do the best I can and let the chips fall where they may. In keeping with my new outlook on life, I’m doing a makeover of sorts. I’m out of the stage where jeans, fly sneakers, and cute t-shirts are all I need to get by in life. It’s time for me to start dressing like an adult. But what does that mean for me? I want to look powerful, elegant, sexy. I’m tired of being cute just being cute. I went to a potluck-turned-houseparty last week and danced like I was at home alone. In front of other people. I never do that! I guess I just have my own way of doing things. Up until this point, my goal was to graduate, get a job, and hopefully have a worthy male companion to share it with. Clubbing, drinking, worrying about looking sexy- they were all things that could deter me from my primary focus on academics. I come from a working class family, so I literally can’t afford to leech off my parents until I’m 35. I just don’t have that luxury.

Except now, I do. At this point in my life, all I have to do is not screw it up! So the pressure’s off. As long as I don’t slack off with my classes, I’ll graduate. As long as I continue to network and stay on my job search, I will find a position. And I’m with a man who loves me unconditionally and wants to spend the rest of his life with me, so what do I have to be scared of? I’m far away from the humiliation-laden hallways of middle school. I’m no longer a naive, insecure high schooler. I can let it all hang out, so to speak. Sexiness and sensuality are not reserved for the skinny girls, or the perfectly hourglass shaped Beyonces of the world. It’s truly a state of mind. When I lost weight my senior year of HS, I thought it would make me feel totally different but I had the same insecurities as before. And I don’t have to wait to lose 10, 20, 30 pounds to love myself and enjoy the body I have. Lately I’ve found that I can work out or not, eat a salad or not, without a crippling sense of guilt or obligation. I do it because it makes me feel good, and if sometimes what feels good is having a cheeseburger then dammit I’ll have one.

Let go and let flow.

Dying to be beautiful

Yesterday I came across an article detailing yet another butt-injection related death. In case you didn’t know, butt injections (yeah, that donk on Nicki Minaj? Not real) have become increasingly popular. So much so that people are letting themselves be hoodwinked into letting folks with no credentials, licenses, or medical expertise inject them with God knows what. So far I’ve heard of cement, pig fat, petroleum, caulking, and industrial grade silicone being pumped into people’s behinds. It’s just crazy to me!

First of all, it should be common knowledge by now that you get what you pay for when it comes to medical care. Cosmetic procedures have been woefully underregulated for years now. Since these procedures are elective, the medical (and legal) community don’t take them as seriously as they should. It’s true that licensed plastic surgeons have done residencies in their field. However, things like Botox and butt injections can be performed by any medical doctor. I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust a chiropractor whose seen a couple of Botox demos to inject poison into MY face. No thank you! Still, even those circumstances are rarely fatal because it’s taking place in a sterile environment, with the proper equipment, by a medical professional who will follow up with the appropriate after-care. The problem is that since the standards are lower, people think that just anybody can perform these procedures. Even LaKeisha down the block. -_-

But what really saddens me is the lengths that women go to to prove that they’re beautiful. Ladies, we are literally killing ourselves trying to achieve an ever-evolving standard of beauty that almost no one can reach without limitless time and money to spend on perfecting their appearance. And maybe not even then. The money we spend on all these lotions and potions to erase the wrinkles, define the curls, smooth the jiggle, etc is unfathomable. It’s not enough to put chemicals on our faces and hair, now we’ve got to put it in our bodies just to think that we’re presentable! There was a study done saying that looking at thin models and plus size models makes women feel bad about themselves, which tells me that a lot of us are just downright uncomfortable with our bodies. Which is sad because it’s supposed to be a temple that we cherish and celebrate.

I like to consider myself low maintenance, but Lord knows I’ve fallen prey to the Beauty Industrial Complex too. When it comes to hair products? You name it, I’ve probably tried it. And even though I’m not a spendthrift, I’m going on a shopping fast because I honestly don’t need anymore clothes or shoes right now. I just want all of us to realize that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. There’s nothing wrong with the body you were born with it as long as you take good care of it.