Do you struggle with showing anything but the "strong black woman" trope? I know way too many black women who have a hard time acknowledging their pain, failures & weaknesses for many valid reasons. It's hard for black women to admit: "I am not okay."
Where are you on the spectrum?
In my early 20's before social media was a whole thing, I started sharing my pain early & often. I was a young Minister eager to change peoples lives & vulnerability seemed like the best way to go about it. In many ways, it worked. I was able to gain trust & help younger women survive. For that time, I am extremely grateful.
The more I told my story across stages the more folks extended gratitude for nothing else than being willing to share. It was surprising to me. I didn't understand what a gift is to others to be REAL. This is -in part- why we love Cardi B. She doesn't hide. She doesn't hide any little bit of her, it seems.
Not to say sharing your hardships on blogs, IG stories, conferences or wherever isn't difficult. I've had major occasions of anxious "vulnerability hangovers" for up to 2-4 days after sharing something vulnerable. But after more than 20 years of writing & speaking my hard & messy truths I can say it's all been worth it for myself and for others.
A few days ago, I wrote how much I am currently struggling with being a stay-at-home Mama to our kiddos, one of which is a rambunctious toddler. Many people extended grace & mercy. Mothering is hard. It wasn't written for others necessarily, but I do imagine a world in which we can all share our messiest truths & not be judged on the spot.
In essence, I was trying to communicate that it's okay, not to be okay. It's okay to say you're not okay. It's okay to not present a perfectly curated IG profile kind of existence. Life is brutal.
It's okay to reject these tired tropes assigned to black women as if our inhumanity is still written into the law. Contrary to popular belief, we do feel pain, agony, sorrow, exhaustion.
Reject it. A part of self-love is understanding who you really are in the face of blatant lies.
Resist, Sis. Resist.
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