Mercedes–I don’t know if I can properly articulate how you make me feel. At times I feel as though there are no words. You are one of the strongest women I know. One of the bravest souls I have had the pleasure of walking this earth with. We met in Cultural Leadership years ago. I found (and still find) you irresistible. It’s the way you carry yourself– soft, but with vigor and passion. It’s your sheer beauty. It’s your ability to love again and again, no matter how harsh the previous storm was. Mercedes you are shining–pure, golden, holy. You’re a blessing not only to me but to all those who know you. Thank you for 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 Mercedes, (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?
Skirts and my hair. But also the smiles I get from others. When I can get someone to genuinely smile I feel like my soul is brighter.
2. What makes you feel powerful?
3. What would you tell your past self about beauty and bodies?
You are harsher on yourself than others are on you. Your body is more sexy than you think.
4. How does your skin color make you feel?
Being fair skinned for the community and ethnicity that I belong to is difficult. I feel guilty for my colorist privilege at times but then my loved ones remind me that I can use it to empower my people and advance our initiatives in a white mans world. I’m constantly aware of my privilege of having a fairer skin color sometimes to the point that it’s self deprecating
5. How have you struggled with your body?
My weight in the past year has increased and I realized I should have been fine with the weight I was at. Why was I so harsh to myself? My weight now is a bit of loss of control in my busy life me in grad school, it’s upsetting at times but I also think “fuck it, I’m still health focused and if a man doesn’t like my body so what I can buy a penis ”
6. Complete this sentence… “In my body is a safe place to be because….”
….no man will ever abuse it again without putting up a hell of a fight.
From Mercedes, with love.