Hate on Me

2:44 PM

A few days ago, I was taking part in a local event as a spoken word artist and this was the first time my mom had seen me perform live. And like a proud momma, she video taped it on her phone. The next day, she showed it around, even to my sister who was at the event, and while my sister was watching it, the woman who worked in the salon of my mother's store took a peek.

First, she acknowledged it was me performing, then she pointed out that my hips looked broad. To this, my sister said that they were good, child-bearing hips. All the while, I was chilling in an alcohol-fueled buzz, that kept me cooler than a cucumber in a deep freeze. But then clarity came to me, as it normally does, a day later.

Questions spun in my head as I did my work.

Why didn't she comment on my performance?
Why was my whole existence on the stage reduced to the way I looked?
Why was she hating on me?
Couldn't she have at least said something akin to nice?

In this time and space, I don't know if I'm pissed or sorry for her. The angel on my shoulder is mouthing off, saying that she is a reflection of a society that objectifies women. That our bodies and faces are used to sell everything from perfume to alcohol to condoms, so why is it a big deal that the first thing she notices is the way I looked. Also she is a hair stylist who just last year had liposuction to remove the fat about her waist and she bleaches her skin to a degree that it's hard to determine what true skin colour is, she looks at natural hair with disdain and her make-up can veer towards the clownish side. (Okay my angel is not a total angel) But why does what she think or say matter to me?

But still, I'm pissed. Not so much at her, but what she represents, because I'm thinking she is the many in this particular economic scale. The many who think they need to 'tone down' their darkness, the many who will call you ugly behind your back and smile in your face trying to find something nice to say about you. Or they may be so bold faced as to tell you each and everything wrong with you as they prance around with eyebrows so severe it's obvious that it's not natural.

Then I'm saddened because now I'm pulling them down in defense of myself. Why can't we as women see other women not on their looks but on their actions. Think about it, if we were watching an Usher concert, we wouldn't notice what he's wearing. Hell, some rappers barely dress up on the stage, but God forbid if a Beyonce or any female artist didn't bring her A-game when it comes to the way she looks on the stage.

Why can't we judge a woman based on what she has accomplished, by her character, by her contribution to society? Why should she be judged by the plumpness of her lips, the fullness of her backside, the tightness of her clothes?

Plus what does this say to the young girls coming up? Yes, we as women are making strides in the workplace, we are leading in academia, but still all these accomplishments seem to disappear if we don't look "good". Or why do we have to lose our femininity to fit into what is classed as the professional world?

It has taken a while for me to realize that I should be dressing for myself and not to fall under the rules society has placed on beauty. As such, how I look should make me happy instead of please others because others make a value judgement of us in a split second and that judgement is based on their world view as opposed to who I am and who you are. Those who harp on the way a person looks, doesn't have anything better to do or is picking on something they dislike in themselves. Plus, does what they think really matter in the bigger scheme of things?

Here are some home truths,
  • What people think is not going to put a roof over your head;
  • What people think is not going to put food in your mouth;
  • What people think is not going to keep you warm at night;
 So at the end of the day, what people think, doesn't matter. What matters?
  • Doing amazing sh*t
  • Having fun
  • Surrounding yourself with amazing people
  • Laughing your head off
  • And most importantly, loving yourself, from the broad hips, the budha belly to the blotchy skin.
 As for the lady from the salon, I've got only one thing to say to her,

Bless Your Heart.

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