So, I’m super excited to share with you my first article that has ever been published on a website outside of my own. For me, all I do is read in electronic format. I hate paper at home. I think it’s because I deal with a lot of paper at work. That being said, I’m trying to write my first book and I decided to take a break from writing to focus on getting some thoughts on “paper” and hopefully getting something published. Well, it happened. This past weekend, I receieved an email that my article was submitted for publication on one of my favorite websites. The website if “For Harriet” and I read it daily. Here is the published piece here.
It was edited and the title changed, but I’m published. The original is in my July posts. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to link it through embedding, but it’s located here: https://athomaspointofview.com/2014/07/09/femininity-and-all-that-jazz/
Earlier last year, I went through a major change in my life. I had so many friends tell me that I needed to take time out for myself and find the “true me”. So, I told them…I know who I am. But, then I stopped to think that they may not know who I am. But did it really matter as long as I was happy?
My friends are seeing major changes both inside and outside of me. They don’t understand that most of my life I’ve spent running from the “true me”. The “true me” was scared of her femininity. I hated the changing shapes of my hips and I didn’t want to accept the curves in my body because I’m a woman who was taught brains before beauty. So, what did I do? I tried to hide. Hide my curves behind baggy clothes and box structured pant suits because I didn’t want to draw attention to my body. I liked being under the radar.
I know that I’m a woman with hips that are in the double digits, but no one taught me how to embrace my shape and ever changing body. To truly love my coffee colored skin. To love my oddly shaped nose that no one in my family has. To love the fullness of my lips or the smallness of my breasts. No one taught me that I can be sexy without dressing like I worked the corner of a busy intersection in a seedy part of town. Because sexy wasn’t something that I identified with. I wasn’t sexy. I was too big to be sexy. I was just big. So, I just hid myself behind a proverbial wall never to draw attention to myself.
When I was younger, education was stressed. Not beauty, but brains. I was taught that it is more important to be smart. Focus on education, learn my history and be self-sufficient because as a woman it would be hard for me. You know the glass ceilings and such. I am both simple and complex at the same time. I am greater than the sum of my parts and both my femininity and color make up the whole of me, but there is more. A lot more.
So, I took the path laid out before me. I focused on being smart and structured in the business world. I wanted to be seen as keen, analytical and dependable. I wanted to be taken seriously and not to be the “angry black female” or the “emotional woman” at the table when discussing business. I wanted to have a voice that was valued. But how did I do that? By dressing the part. I dressed the part of the sharp, no-nonsense, business woman who wanted to be rewarded for her brains not her beauty. I wanted to climb the corporate ladder on my own merits and not my backside, but I was naïve.
I discovered that hiding my femininity behind boxy glasses and sharp pant suits didn’t make me appear smarter. Nor did wearing tight clothes with six-inch heels. I needed to find a balance. I could still climb the ladder on my merits without thinking I had to enter into a sexual harassment type situation. I needed to find me. But, not just find me, to like me and accept who I am. To realize that my voice is not based on how I dressed. I am not a size 6 or a size 10. I’m in the double digits when it comes to pant sizes, but this year I realized that it is okay to be a beauty with booty and still wear clothes that show my femininity. I wear more dresses and bright colors that compliment my skin tone. I get beautiful earrings that draw attention to my beautiful face wearing my Chanel glasses and I swing my hips proudly as I embrace my curves. I have sass and smarts and I deserve to be seen and not hide behind my clothes. So, if you see my timeline flooded with selfies, it’s because I’m embracing and loving my femininity. I’m shedding pounds and layers and stepping into my own one outfit at a time.