Mental Health

Falling Back In Love With Me: Body Issues Black Women Don’t Talk About

Black women throughout history have been seen as exotic objects, scapegoats for ridicule, and pons for other people’s agendas. Many pieces of writing such as the Psychology Today’s article: “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” by Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics,  try to steal our self-esteem by deeming us unattractive, unwanted and definitely not marriage material. But, as they fight to find concrete evidence, denying our glorious beauty, many other ethnicities now manipulate their physical appearance to get the same features that throughout history got gawked at as disturbing on black women.

It is hard enough to be a woman in today’s society, constantly being fed messages of how you’re not enough and how whatever bullshit products they’re selling can fix you, but to be a dark skin black woman who also has to see disrespectful cartoons and ridiculous mocking of legendary queens such as Michelle Obama and Serena Williams really deflates your spirit.

I’ve spoken openly about my own dark path with body issues: working out five times a week, taking laxatives to keep my weight down and constantly obsessing over the women in the hip hop videos with their long gorgeous Remi bundles. We must acknowledge that black women also suffer from eating disorders, it just oftentimes looks different from the mainstream idea of suffering. It may not look like your typical anorexia or bulimia, but it exists, and not talking about it in the community or recognizing the warning signs by doctors could be detrimental to us.

As I fall back deeply in love with myself, I reminisce about the hard journey it took to get to this point in my life. This is not to say that I don’t have my moments where I focus on parts of my body and self diagnose them as flaws. The natural beauty I hold is an energy convincing of my magic, but it took a long time to realize. It is a muscle that must be exercised, a practice that you must commit to, a vow to yourself.

Too often we allow others to dictate how we should live our lives, how we should be treated by others, and how we should feel about our own existence. As we progress into another wave of feminism        — fighting for gender equality — we must simultaneously fight for our self-acceptance. We are being tested in this world like never before, but black women are coming into their own, unapologetic and accepting of their skin, hair, curves, and unquestionable intelligence. 

We are experiencing a movement across the world that enhances the appreciation of black women’s authenticity. I meditate and pray for more women to receive this gift. This gift of self-assurance and confidence in their perfect imperfections. We are elevated beings, but if we must look at our reflection, it should just be a reminder of the magnitude of our essence. 

If you like this article, check out: https://www.harnessmagazine.com/black-women-dont-get-anxiety/

by Majella.Mark

Majella is a researcher, writer, artist and co-creator of "Met God, She's Black". She has conducted numerous workshops including "The Wakanda Workshop" to address racial inequalities using Marvel's "Black Panther's" film as a reference point and the Judy Chicago's inspired art piece for the workshop, "Pussy Plate Painting Party" to address gender inequalities and the objectification of the female body. She is also a writer and artist, involved with many organizations including Support Creativity, the United Nations Association, The Assemblage, Black Women's BluePrint among others.


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