Unprotected

I am afraid. I’ve always been afraid and left to fend for myself. I hide within my fear. Survival mode sustains me, I rise up and boss up because that’s what black women are expected to do; ALWAYS.

But if something were to happen to me, who would tell my story? And were I to suddenly go, these niggas knocking on my door wouldn’t even show up to my funeral.

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I Hereby Submit My Resignation as Advocate for Plus-Sized Women

Maybe you were feeling ok today, even great— but then some passive aggressive asshole came up to you and hits you with the “Are you ok? You look tired,” or “Oh, what’s wrong with you?” Please do not feed into this foolishness! Backhanded concern and commentary is something subtle and nasty that women do to each other and this is not ok. By the same token, I think this is what society is constantly doing to plus sized women in an oh so subtle way.

You Look Plus-Sized Today

Me: “Cute skirt, I love it”

Stranger: “Thanks, I got it from *insert basic store here*. They probably have it in your size too.”

Holy shade points, batman! I didn’t ask for all of those details and it didn’t even occur to me to worry about whether my size was available for sale or not—I literally just meant “nice skirt”. Somehow, it is perfectly fine for women to speak to each other this way, but I don’t think I’m with it anymore. Going to the gym and wanting weight loss as a personal goal doesn’t mean self-esteem is lacking and certainly does not mean that I need anyone to remind me of or put me in my place about my size. I hate to be a skeptic but I just seriously doubt she would have bothered to provide the same helpful information to someone two sizes smaller than her.

Pushing aside the fact that anyone from a size 12 to a size 30 is considered plus size, is there really a need for women to bother categorizing ourselves in this way? I can’t say that I haven’t been guilty of it myself; emphasizing self-love for plus-sized women on social media and constantly drilling into my boyfriend’s head that he is dating a larger woman (though he could care less about descriptive terminology—he just likes ME). As a tall man with long limbs and big feet he actually identifies with my shopping struggles in the “other size clothing section” but when it comes to women, it seems we are the only ones that make size into such a big fucking deal. Is embracing yourself as a bigger woman really all that positive or is it completely unnecessary?

Urban dictionary

Damn, Urban Dictionary, that’s how you feel?!

Furthermore, these days it’s cute to say you have a thing for BBWs but according to the actual definition you would be talking about Amber Riley from Glee, not the ever so tiny Nickie Minaj and her artificial parts. (i.e. Urban dictionary’s flattering definition: A word that fat chicks use as a euphemism for fat. These girls usually run personal ads calling themselves “pleasingly plump.” Sure, you’re pleasingly plump if the South Pole is refreshingly chilly.)

Precious or Deelishis

Precious or Deelishis? You can decide which is your version of BBW OR stop using the term altogether

It Starts with Self Love—How do YOU define you?
I came across a Facebook article about a woman who cheerfully referred to herself as fat because skinny people refer to themselves as skinny so why can’t she be real about how she labels herself? *Eyeroll* OR how about we find something else that defines who we are besides weight? Ninety percent of the time I’m not thinking of myself as a plus-sized woman until I’m shopping for clothes on the internet and type in “plus sized clothing” or when I’m in casual conversation with someone and they say “We, as bigger women…” Perhaps I’m being petty but I no longer wish to relate to women on that level. Mainly because as I move closer toward self- actualization I believe there is more to who I am than the size of my clothes. Secondly, I am starting to feel it’s a terminology that has picked up momentum outside of the fashion world and evolved into a more negative stigma than it was intended to be in the first place.  It has become one of those undercover malicious descriptions that women use to throw shade at each other or to create a misery loves company-esque solidarity group.  “We are generally unpleasing to society because of our size but we are still cute.”  Bitch, I’m just cute—sometimes you have to pat your ownself on the back! I am a lot of things; I no longer wish for size to be atop the list of adjectives that define me. The women who know they look good and are naked on social media just hashtag #BadBitch, they don’t have to also include #plussizedbeauty  #fattygirl  or #biggirlshavemorefun—let’s all just have fun minus the disclaimers about weight.

Love Your Curves

Don’t talk about it, be about it!

I follow beautiful women on Instagram who market themselves as “curvy”. I’m pretty sure they’re models because they are so gorgeous and there are plenty of posts of them in high fashion clothing. However, every #ThrowbackThursday a few start posting old  pictures and lamenting about when they were thinner. Is you proud of who you is or nah? Why is “plus-sized” marketed as an in spite of attribute?  You can be a model in spite of your weight. She’s pretty in spite of her size. It has become the most gratuitous battle cry “I AM OVER A SIZE 12 AND I LOVE MYSELF!” as if the two are mutually exclusive. (Just today, Facebook presented me with a “memory” selfie from 4 years ago when I was about 40 pounds lighter. I wanted to badly to repost but then again– I was super unhappy 4 years ago. I don’t care if I was smaller, I don’t own the unhappiness that went along with that memory…)

Weight becomes an issue when we allow people to make it an issue. Recently, I’ve not only done that but have allowed myself to become completely consumed by it. I also follow a larger woman on IG that posts pictures of herself scantily clad to fight the stigma and to end body shaming.  That makes sense to me, but if you really and truly just want to be naked and free…do it, post it and don’t hide it under the guise of something else. I did a whole blog post about my Plus Sized Fun vacation and it gave me the security blanket of finally posting pictures of myself in two piece swimsuits and summer clothing. The blog post had its place but if I were to rewrite it today I would probably just title it “Vacation” and not make a big deal out of my body type being so different from the women around me—especially since no one seemed to really notice or care. I don’t have to define myself as a larger woman as a preemptive strike to combat others visual impressions of me.

Bitch Where?

For the women who continue to fight for the cause; more power to you. Personally, I see continuing to go out of my way to always reference myself as plus-sized is nothing more than a defense mechanism and a term that I no longer wish to use as a crutch. Plus what? I’m not an extra person I am THE person living in this body.

We are prone to live our lives out loud these days. I am a proud transgender, I am a devout Muslim, I am a devoted single father, I am a beautiful big girl—at this point I am most interested in simplifying. I am just a person trying to make it through this life happy with who I am inside and out. I no longer have a desire to shout it through the rooftops to prove to everyone else that I am ok with me. Hmm, plus-sized? Bitch where?

Inspiration

CAN Collector

OK, so one thing about little miss crazy that wrote me a nasty note and left it on my car. I’ve since calmed down and realized that while I want violence to be the answer, I can’t justify stooping to such ratchet levels– but that’s not what I’m going to talk about today. In the infamous note, homegirl referred to my dude as a “corny ass nigga” (in a half-assed attempt to limit cursing and the N-word on the blog I will reference the word as CAN). My question of the day is: OK, so what’s wrong with a CAN??

SBMThroughout my strange dating life I have definitely showed a history of CAN collecting. Sure, I’ve dated all types of men, but the ones I really hit it off with and wanted to retain for relationship building were absolutely CANs. Case and point: the baby daddies. My 8 year old’s father still likes the Power Rangers and thinks World’s Funniest Home Videos is hilarious television programming. My youngest child’s father owns the DVD box set of the Golden Girls and knows all the characters on My Little Pony–these two are not exactly winning any Thug of the Year awards and I’m fine with that. What’s wrong with us women–black women especially– that corny guys are a bad thing? And should we even call them corny or just “dudes least likely to pistol whip you when an argument breaks out”?

Hmm, let’s reflect back on guys I’ve dated that were not corny. Let’s see… there was street pharmacist dude: owned two cell phones and was unresponsive, unavailable and unmoved by most things. Pulling emotions out of him was like trying to pull his strong white teeth out of his beautiful mouth! Great to look at, had a sense of humor but time spent together had a dark atmosphere and it was clear to me we weren’t going to be anything long term.

Then there was Young Thug who crammed a lot of life into his 22 years on the Earth. He appalled me with stories of robberies, drug use and near death experiences and had a strict unspoken rule that he was only allowed to laugh at his own jokes. Whenever I decided to be in a silly mood he seemed more annoyed by it than anything else; and when I did actually say something funny he would smile as if it brought him physical pain and say, “That’s not funny.” One warm day it rained outside and I dared him to go for a run outside in it with me. It was all sorts of cornball fun and games splashing through puddles and getting soaking wet until he abruptly decided that the activity was just too corny and our frolicking came to a complete and abrupt halt. He complained for days about his tawny dread locs being ruined by the rain, but I think he was more mad at himself for daring to have the type of fun that didn’t involve smoking and chilling over “so and so’s” house.

And, lastly I’ll mention the guy who had just finished a stint in prison for 8 years for *mumble mumble* “drug stuff”. We got along decently. He didn’t like to kiss on the mouth, asked me for money (which I never gave him) and didn’t appreciate my sarcasm. Months into our odd acquaintance, I sat at a bar with him watching him be rude to our waiter, and on a whim it occurred to me to get more detail about his 8 years in jail. Well, apparently “drug stuff” is code for, I STAB BED MY EX GIRLFRIEND AND LEFT HER IN THE TRUNK OF MY CAR! Umm, check please.

JW TextJust yesterday, I danced around JW’s apartment in just an undershirt with glass of whiskey in hand, watching him attempt to moonwalk while singing Michael Jackson high notes. I was comfortable and I was happy– and that’s really my only bottom line. Yes, I could see how he could be seen as a CAN. He has goals and ambition, respects and takes care of me, works long hours and pays all his bills in full and on time—who wouldn’t want a corny ass nigga? I’ve been with those guys that don’t return phone calls and can barely go out into public without picking an aggressive fight with a stranger and I just don’t need that kind of excitement in my life. She can be that ride or die chick stashing cocaine in her snatch and being an alibi for her man’s whereabouts between 9pm and 3am last night. As for me and my CAN, we’ll be over here watching Investigation Discovery and sending each other silly text messages. 😛

Diary of A Boring Black Woman

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For the first time in centuries (maybe a slight exaggeration) I am sitting on metro commuting to work with absolutely nothing to overthink about…what the hell?

I have a lot to do at work. I can’t complain that I am underworked and over paid anymore because recently I’ve taken on more assignments and lately my co-workers have adapted the habit of recognizing my hard work by writing up nice notes for my personnel file and treating me with food and gift cards. My biggest problem with work life right now is how to complete my deadlines on time and still have time to socialize with my friends at work. First.World.Problems.

I went to the gym last night and am back on a consistent schedule. My mother keeps the kids during the entire week (last night she dropped them off to “visit” me for a few hours–gtfoh!) so I definitely have time to fit working out in my schedule. Gone are the days of lying in bed eating Oreos and wishing I could just have two seconds to myself to do the shit I want to do! Apparently, I’m doing it. Bills aren’t paid but nothing is about to get cut off and I even had a romantic date with a cute guy that 1. Took time out of his busy schedule and 2. Didn’t try to grab at any of my body parts during our time together and 3. MADE DINNER FOR ME! I don’t know whose life I’m living right now but I’m not sure I’m ready for this bullshit. This is my confession: contentment is a snoozefest!

Friend: Hey, girl what’s new with you?

Me: Oh nothing. Just achieving balance in my life and getting the things that I want

Friend: Okay……….

Unimpressive and hardly amusing. I spoke to my bff the other day telling her the uneventful details of my awesome and romantic date with a sweet guy that clearly likes me and her response was, “do you think you can handle a nice guy?” Hmm, the fact that I’m freaking out that things are going well tells me….nope! Can I handle a nice guy? Can I handle a nice world—a nice life?! For once, I’m not getting shitted on by crappy circumstances left and right and things are…well—right side up. Is this how people live? Happily and free of drama? Such monotony…

Identity Series: Everything to Everyone

The original idea behind this entry was to write just one to sort of shed light on my general difficulties and annoyances as a black woman… I quickly realized I have a lot of feelings about the subject and it’s just going to have to be a series on several topics that continues every couple of blog entries or so. I am calling it the Identity Series. Contrary to the belief of many of my friends, I actually am a black woman (rock music listening and love of hummus aside). I write about these race-specific topics not in an effort to isolate but to provide more understanding of my particular point of view. I know I am not regarded as a “typical” black woman but at the end of the day there are nappy hairs in my bathroom sink and plenty of brown on my skin to qualify for sharing this point of view.

I’ve especially had a bit of an identity crisis when it comes to dating. I think for black women especially there is kind of a lot of pressure for us to be everything to everyone. So, wait…I’m supposed to be highly intelligent, have small waist big booty, be approachable without being easy, AND just ratchet enough to drop it low on the dance floor everytime Juicy J comes on? My thighs hurt just thinking about it! I would much rather find my one selling point and stick to that thing. My mantra since high school has pretty much been: I’m a little weird so just deal with it. It’s easy to say now but it’s been a long time coming to finally own that mentality.

The hardest part of it all has to be finding the balance between what I want versus what I actually attract. And just to be absolutely candid—I love black men. As in, BLACK men. I like brown skin having, Hennessy drinking, Jay-Z listening, slang talking, weed smoking, gun toting, fresh outfit wearing black men. (But I’m almost 30 now so I’ve amended that to just having interest in kind of edgy dudes that still handle their responsibilities and have jobs and no court dates and whatnot). The good news is that I seem to attract this type of guy but once the initial approach is over they just don’t know what to do with me. I can count on 8 hands how many dudes have approached me and as soon as I opened my mouth kind of laughed at me and asked “Where you from? You talk proper.” (-_-)  I am hardly a dating guru, but if you have interest in a girl you should probably try not to make fun of her upon your first encounter. I let you call me “shorty” 6 times in a row, show me some fucking respect!

Anyway, needless to say, things usually spiral downhill from there. Soon I’m left feeling exposed because I don’t listen to the same music, I don’t smoke, I’m corny and we have absolutely nothing to talk about. It may sound snobby but I eventually got to the point where if any guy like this approached me I would just open with: “We have nothing in common, I’m sure,” and that would be the end of it. I am absolutely positive I came off bitchy but it’s way better than seeing that stupid puzzled look on a guy’s face when he just doesn’t fucking get you. It’s a tragedy to not be able to find your niche within your own race. Fortunately, there IS a section of black guys that listen to the same music I do, speak the way I do and want to sit on the couch and laugh at Arrested Development with me… the problem is that most of them prefer to deal with women of other races.

Sighhh, other races. Contrary to popular belief, I think a lot of black women do think about or are open to dating outside the race. However, it is a startling transition. We are used to the men who chase us down, loudly calling after us describing our outfits and calling us sexy in our local grocery store. These are the same guys who know the rules about not touching our hair and will happily accept big booty with a side of stomach. (I once had a guy accidentally bump my thigh and I watched his face light up with glee just to see it jiggle…never wonder why black women have so much confidence!) However, as far as I know and/or perceive, most other races want their women right, tight with no cellulite. I encounter single men of all races everyday–I’m just so sure that they’re not looking at me “that way” because of all the negative stereotypes about black women, because I may have an attitude, because of my big hips, because of my inexplicable hair. It’s hard to break the ice sometimes!

I have yet to figure it out. I wrote things out on this blog hoping I would come to some awesome conclusion or SOMEthing, but I got nothin’. I suppose I have learned that I can’t allow myself to follow a downward spiral of inadequacy as a result of others perception of who I am. It is nearly impossible to figure out how to be everything to everyone. (Open up your eyes society–Beyonce and Michelle Obama are NOT the same person!!) I fight against the isolation I feel in the dating world for not being black enough in some cases, and too black in others. Maybe the overall key is to stop searching for my niche within a race or culture and just to find it within a person who will accept all the crazy I bring to the table. There is no way to be everything to everyone BUT, I am completely willing to work on that dropping it low thing 😉