We are living in a confusing time. On one end you have women being abused, assaulted, and harassed based on the physical characteristics of their body. There are men who think that any woman with ass, lips, hips, and tits deserve to be objectified and used as sexual objects. There are women who are more qualified than their male coworkers, forced to forsake dreams of family and personal fulfillment in order to acquire professional success. Ironically, when she reaches the pinnacle of her sacrifices and she finally lands the sought after position, she is paid significantly less than the under qualified man sitting in the office next to her, simply because she is a woman. Women get up each morning and go out into a world that still regards them as chattel. America, one of the greatest nations in the world is headed by a man who was recorded saying, “he grabs women by the pussy,” it doesn’t get much clearer than that. As much progress as we have made over the years, there is still so much more to be done for women and Women’s Rights.
Then we have the Amber Rose generation who are proud to be labeled as sluts and campaigns against Slut Shaming, even hosting Slutwalks. Now, if I may defend Amber and her crew for one moment, I don’t think they are encouraging women to be sluts, I believe her message is that women have the right to sleep with whomever they please and if she should take multiple partners why is she labeled a slut when a man who does the same is applauded. I believe her message is about sexual equality, at least I hope it is. The obstacles that Amber’s message presents is, it confuses impressionable girls and young women, either they are to be the good girls their mothers raised them to be or they are going to follow the lead of Amber Rose or Kim Kardashian, lets not even start the Kardashian conversation. There are so many voices speaking causing our young women to be raised in conflicting surroundings. If we are to silence the confusion, there has to be more conversations about self-respect, self-worth, self-esteem, and self-love.
I grew up in a house headed by dominant take no shit women. One of those women was my Aunt Barbara, she was mean as a rattlesnake and she never ran from nothing or nobody. It was this woman who taught me how to fight and how to stand my ground no matter who was in front of me. She is responsible for the aggressive straight shooter that I am proud to be. When I would be on the block as girl with a body that was more mature than her age, the guys would stare and make remarks, I was quick to put them in their place; I didn’t play those sexist games with hood dudes, still don’t. To this day, the quickest way to get on my bad side is to objectify me because of my body. We have to start having conversations with our girls that ignite and empower them to stand fearlessly in their rights as human beings and women. We have to let them know that it’s OK to say no to the Pastor, The Executive, Teacher, Police Officer, and even Bill Cosby; your body is your body and nobody is allowed access to it without your consent. PERIOD!
Let’s start with self-respect, somehow having a big butt has become the goal to reach for. If you go on Instagram, you will find girls and women standing in poses that accentuate the size and shape of their behind. Getting likes and comments because they have big butts, has become their source of validation. As I said previously, I have had curves since childhood and as I grew, I understood the power of my physical anatomy and if I chose to I knew how to use it to my advantage, I think all women were taught this lesson by a sassy sister or the rebellious auntie. However, I don’t think they intended for the lesson to be perverted and used to diminish our worth and value as humans regardless of our physique. Why are twerking videos, and butt pics more acceptable than pics of females working to achieve their goals to be independent, creators of businesses, and trailblazers for those coming behind them. I enjoy my figure, especially my thighs cause the are full and banging. I am a proud member of The No Thigh Gap Club but that is not the totality of who I am nor is it something that I wear as a badge of worthiness. I am worthy, you are worthy, we are worthy because we exist as humans full of capabilities to create and do anything not because of our bodies but because of our intelligence.
Self Worth, self-respect, and self-esteem go hand in hand, you can’t have one without the other. To know that you deserve respected as a person and as a woman, to understand that you are not less than because you are a female, and to understand that you are the portal through which life emerges, makes you deserving of reverence. The same men who assault and harass women would not exist without those same women. When there is a true understanding of the power of the woman there will be a paradigm shift in the workplace, in our communities, and in the way we treat ourselves. We can’t demand to be respected by others when we aren’t giving it to self. You may be stacked like a brick house, thicker that cold grits but is that all that you are? You may have curves that stop traffic and make folks weep, but is that all that you are? We have got to know that we are so much more than what we look like and fall in love with who we are inside and out.
There is nothing wrong with sex and being sexual but when that is all that you aspire to be there may be an error in your self-love factor. Ok, you have a big butt and you want to use that to become successful and gain notoriety, what happens when that butt sags? Ok, you are an Instagram baddie, posted up in poses with your butt oiled up looking like the perfect peach, what happens when Instagram is gone? If your butt wasn’t big and round, who would you be? These are the questions that we need to ask girls, the questions that make them look at themselves and decide who they want to be and how they want to present themselves to the world, questions that awaken their feminine consciousness and provoke self love. When a woman loves herself she lives by a code of standards that demands respect, she will be the one who says no to the predators, she will be the one who fights for the women who don’t know how to fight for themselves, and she will be the one to lead us into a new era of respect and equality for women, even if she has a big butt and a smile. Onward