Overcoming A-stigma-tism: (An Affirmation) For Blackgirls Who Have Considered Suicide When Closed Eyes Are Enuf

An Affirmation Via the Genius Of  
(This was not written by Antoinette or Shanti)
 Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.”
I see you.
You are beautiful and you don’t even know it.
I mean it.
You are!
If no one has told you yet today, consider me the first.
Sometimes just hearing the words can make all the difference in the world.  I know what it feels like when no one tells you that you are beautiful.  I know how powerful those words can become when someone uses them against you… wielding them like a sweet weapon used to keep you in line, threatening to destroy you with the silence that you feel so deep when the words stop being spoken.  “…with your fine self,” …”with your pretty self,” “with your ___________…”
The world stops telling blackgirls they are beautiful after while,
if it ever tells us at all
Mama doesn’t say it
either because she thinks you already know it
or because she is preoccupied with getting by
Daddy might not say it
because he is too busy calling out somebody else’s pretty
After elementary school, when you need to hear it the most
friends won’t say it
out of fear that your pretty might be prettier than theirs
 In high school the words are hidden beneath innuendos that imply your pretty is conditional
But it’s not
By the time you are in your twenties you are so used to being presumed ugly that it is internalized
Looking back at myself, I had no idea I was a pretty blackgirl
I was too busy trying to be invisible
apologizing to myself &
overcompensating for what I thought was wrong (with me)
Don’t make that mistake, don’t accept the hype, don’t believe the bullish
Don’t let the absence of words cloud your vision or keep you from seeing (yourself) straight.
Don’t wait for a man, or a friend, or a father, or a stranger, or a woman you like to tell you
Tell yourself
And mean it
Pay attention to who you are, what you have overcome, what you have survived.
You are a remarkable, beautiful, precious genius!  Everything about you is wonderful.
You are just the way you are supposed to be
You are not a distortion or a mistake
You are loved.
And worthy of love.
And forgiveness.
Sometimes the stigma of so much pain and disappointment and worry and sickness and stereotypes and struggles and self-hate and sacrifice and lack and discrimination and blackness and femaleness and being different pass down
legacies of loss or shame
that weigh you down
but I have a remedy
for astigmatism (not seeing yourself clearly)
for the stigma (of past choices or limitations)
of feeling misunderstood
for the –ism that feels attached to everything you do
and everything you are
It’s a perception problem
You need a new lens
so you can see yourself
Stop in front of a mirror today
Open your eyes all the way
Don’t stop looking until you see it
Your capacity and possibility
Your mahogany-skinned beauty
Your charcoal eyes
Your frizzy/wavy/kinky/curly/straight hair
Your wide nose
Your luscious lips
The pot in your belly, the junk in your trunk
The marks that stretch from here to there
And the moles and marks that are uniquely your own
 You are beautiful
And being beautiful-black doesn’t mean you have to be strong
But be awake
Be present
Be open
And be forgiving
Open your eyes
See yourself
& love yourself
in all your magnificence and fury
And when you do, and tears rush into an open smile
Show another blackgirl
How badass beautiful she is
Tell her ‘til she rolls her eyes at the ridiculousness of it all
When she doesn’t hear you, because she’s not used to the words,
Tell her again
Tell her ‘til she throws up her hands, shakes her head, and smiles in sweet surrender
to the fact that being all of who she is
is (and always has been) enuf

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12 thoughts on “Overcoming A-stigma-tism: (An Affirmation) For Blackgirls Who Have Considered Suicide When Closed Eyes Are Enuf

  1. I have never EVER left a comment of any kind on any blog or website (hell, I don’t even have a Twitter or Facebook account) but I had to let the two of u know that what I just read is BEAUTIFUL. It could not have been posted at a better time. I really needed that. Thank u.


    • Wow. well thank you very much for the comment. That’s a great compliment. And I know what you mean because I never write on blogs either : ) -ant

  2. Thank you for the encouragement. I thought about committing suicide when I was younger, even tried 3 times. just needed a little reminder that I’m worthy and good enough. Noelle

    • Wow. Your honestly is appreciated. I’d be lying if I said that thought never came across my mind but I have never attempted anything… more so reflected on if I would be missed, who would come to the funeral and so on and so forth.

      How did you work through those feelings? (If you don’t mind my asking). You’re obviously a strong person for being able to come through and move forward. Big ups to you for that. Never question or doubt your place on this earth. You are not finished yet. You’re obviously meant for great things because dear heart, three times was NOT a charm.

      Whenever you get down know you’ve got two girls here who love you.

    • Thank you girls. I think of my two little cousins who are girls and I want them to see as a role model and to know that they are beautiful. I also think of my brother who passed when I was 6, knowing that he wouldn’t want me to give up. and instead of thinking of suicide, I think of the dreams I want to accomplish before I leave this earth.when I do leave, I want to say that I have lived the life I wanted. and once again thank you ant and shanti, love you :). Noelle

  3. Preach!
    a must share to everyone i know.
    it is ashame that we live in a world where ppl are more comfortable telling others they are ugly instead of saying they are beautiful.

  4. for moments like today where I cannot handle the world and i have too much stress laid upon me, it is phenomenal that i could stumble upon this and feel encouraged to keep moving on.
    powerful words from powerful women. thank you.

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