I’ve always thought Daphne was the definition of “golden”. What is “golden” you ask? Well it’s the best way to tell someone that they are awesome, or swell. Daphne, “golden” means that you are relaxed, never out of style, wicked awesome, graceful despite pressure, divine…etc. I remember the first time we met, some party here and there in high school. I was mesmerized. You have this marvelous aura about you. This dazzling energy that you continuously (and so willingly) extend to others. We hugged, like we had known each other for years–kind of like two misplaced souls rekindling the flame. I’m thankful I get to exist in the same time and space that you do. Continue brighting the world. Thank you sharing.
I’ve started this series because through my own self acceptance search/journey I’ve realized that we, as humans, all have problems with our skin suit no matter what it looks like. The point of this series is to confront our flaws AND to highlight our excellence. I hope one day we’ll all be able to wake up and that voice in our mind which lists all our faults on repeat will be much quieter if not silent. The mirror will be less scary. We’ll smile as we pass our gorgeous selves. We’ll have a bounce in our steps. One day we’ll love our bodies exactly as they are right now. We might have bad days . We might have bad weeks. Yet once we unlock that key, that key of self love we’ll know we can get back to a sanctuary within our bodies. Our bodies and our selves are waiting for that love, waiting for that permission to just be. As I said to Daphne, (and as I say to all my future spotlights), be gentle with yourself, you are meeting parts of yourself that you have been at war with.
1. What makes you feel beautiful?
I feel beautiful when I feel happy and healthy, when I drink water and compliment people, when I eat hummus instead of cheese fries, when I put on blush because it makes my face bright, when I actually get sunlight, and when my hair does “the thing” with out being told.
2. What makes you feel powerful?
I had to build up my core strength to help with my back issues. It gives me better posture and keeps my spine aligned. I feel powerful when my core is strong, when my hair is back and off my face, and when I take the time to fix my own problems. Part of “adulting” for me has been becoming my own handy-(wo)man mechanic, and plumber. I think self sufficiency makes me feel the most powerful actually.
3. What would you tell your past self about beauty and bodies?
I would tell my past self to keep dancing, to not compare your body to your friends, to not straighten your hair everyday, not only because it damages it, but because it isn’t you, and to wait because one day you’ll get boobs, and then huge boobs and then medium boobs, and you’ll learn you carry your weight in your boobs, and none of it will go to your butt or hips but thats ok too.
4. How does your skin color make you feel?
My skin color makes me feel a different way everyday. The first episode of Dear White People sums it up perfectly when Joelle tells Sam “You’re not Rashida Jones biracial, you’re Tracee Ellis Ross biracial ― people think of you as black,” I sometimes wonder how others interpret my biracial skin. I feel creeped out by the fetishization of “light skinned” and mixed girls and guilty that my complexion is found palatable to the mainstream white media. I did a few commercials as a kid, I was always the token black little girl next to my blonde and brunette counterparts, I found this problematic even at age 9. I knew the producers saw me as just black enough, but not “real black” like my friends at school. I wonder if this is the way people see me. I wonder why so many of the female faces of the revolution from Rosa Parks, to Angela Davis, to Amandla Stenberg in 2017 all share my skin tone. I wonder why I still can’t find a foundation shade, like once they pass Jessica Alba all foundations go either grey or orange, its 2017. My skin makes me confused but at the end of the day i’m the most proud to be black.
5. How have you struggled with your body?
I struggle with my lack of hips. I have always been naturally thin which I know is something many girls strive for. I grew up in a predominately black neighborhood where thin was never really the goal. I have always been self conscious about my broad shoulders and little hips, I feel it makes me look masculine or childish. I recently realized there isn’t really anything I can do about my actual bone’s structure so I embrace it. For a long time I didn’t wear off the shoulder shirts because I felt they made my shoulders look particularly wide, well I bought my fist one…. and my second, and they make me feel great. One of my best friends told me recently that she likes my shoulders and that they make me look strong, I had never thought about it that way before.
6. Complete this sentence… “In my body is a safe place to be because….”
‘In my body is a safe place to be because….” no matter what it looks like it can do so much, My body climbed mountains and can stand on its head, it can still quadruple pirouette, and do push ups, it can walk in heels, and it can stay on the couch all day if it wants, because my body earned it.
From Daphne, with love.