Today while I was hot boxing, Lizzo’s new hit “Juice” came on the radio and I turned that shit the fuck up. I belted every song line, did a little dance, and felt the smile on my face grow bigger and bigger with ever lyric I spat. Now those that know me know I’ve been a Lizzo fan for a minute but there’s just something about her becoming main stream that has me jumping for joy.
I think it has to do with the fact that there aren’t many Lizzos in the world: fat, sexy, Black women just owning the fuck out of their bodies. She is just being herself and making bomb ass music that I can bop to. As a fat, Black and -dare I say- sexy woman, myself, I can dig some Beyoncé, Rihanna, Sza, or whomever else but when a Lizzo song comes on, it just feels like it’s for me. When Lizzo says “no I’m not a snack at all look baby I’m the whole damn meal” I feel that shit!!! When she belts the seductress lines of Lingerie, I’m taken back to those nights when I’m lying in bed in my Adore Me panty set smoking a bowl and snapping dirty pics to my suitors. And of course, you can always find me doing my hair toss, checking my nails, and looking GOOD AS HELL! (When I wear a wig that is).
Lizzo validates me in a way: I’m listening to music by someone who actually represents me and suddenly my entire body feels like it has space in the world.
And something about her becoming main stream amplifies that. It’s similar to the feeling I assume people will get when there are more ugly people on tv: (read the post before freaking out) it’s not just about me being comfortable being me but others are out there listening and dancing to this music too and realizing that people like me can exist and be sexy outside of the late night Lane Bryant commercials. Lizzo is a pioneer. (Tokyo Vanity too!!!)
Yes Adele and Megan Trainer are all about that bass but sometimes it feels like being a fat Black woman puts me at the bottom of the motherfucking barrel, so it’s nice to see a shift in the perceived paradigm. And that’s exactly how I feel.
So it’s motherfucking Spring bitches and as I do every Spring, I celebrated the occasion by pulling a Hotline Bling: wearing less and going out more.
One of these outings included a brunch with some friends over the weekend. While I was sipping on my Shirley Temple, one of my girlfriends told me how her boyfriend decided that he wanted to limit the amount of time they spent together. Of course, we all had the same reaction: dump him, leave him, kick his A-S-S to the C-U-R-B! (I don’t know why I’m acting like my friends are sassy Black women from the ’80s but I’m feeling that vibe right now). Anyway, as we attempted to yelled some sense into my friend, she simply shrank into herself and firmly whispered: “you don’t know what he’s been through.”
It was then that my heart sank. Because I understood what she was going through.
Back When I Watered His Garden
For about three years I was attached to a man who had been through hell and back. His mother died at a young age, his father wasn’t in his life, and he was in and out of jail. This man was the living definition of “a hard ass life.” This hard ass life made him almost emotionally impenetrable. But for some reason, I was able to see past his tough exterior and to his deep core. I saw through his pain and to his fear: I saw his love. He had a kind and beautiful soul.
Over the three years of our tumultuous “relationship” (relationship is in quotation marks because he refused to put a label on it) I helped him grow and take steps to break down the cement that encapsulated his warm heart. He went from calling once a month to once a week, from quick fucks to passionate love making, from telling me his day was “fine” to painting the most elaborate tales of his day. It was beautiful. I was so proud.
I watched him find his smile, thinking that that was enough for me.
So what if he never got me anything for my birthday? So what if he told me he’d never commit to me? So what is he refused to tell me he loved me, no matter how many times I cried those three words to him?
I was so obsessed with his growth and his progress and his gains that I forgot about me. Yes, this man lived a traumatic life that rendered him nearly incapable of loving and trusting another human being the way they deserved, but it was not my place to play the guinea pig. I am not a therapist. I was not getting paid for this. Yet I allowed myself to be sucked dry as I breathed life into this other human being.
Loving him almost cost me my life and I didn’t even realize it until it was almost too late.
But thank God I did. And as I sat at that brunch spot sipping on my Shirley Temple, I stared deep into the eyes of my friend and saw the same pain that lived in my own eyes for so long.
I think that some people in this world are empathizers: we look at someone and completely understand everything that they are going through and then feel like it’s our job to save them. Well I’m here to tell you it’s not your fucking job: unless you are a therapist getting paid mad bank, it is not your fucking job to save anyone.
Stop treating people or relationships like projects.
Stop watering someone else’s garden thinking that one day they will grow to water yours back.
Do you know what happens when you water a garden? They become pretty little flowers that give your sweaty, dirty ass allergies. That’s what happens. You’re left tired, aching, and with no one to support you.
Now this is not to say don’t ever help someone you love through a difficult time, not at all. This is to say don’t forget about YOU. Don’t forget that in any relationship there are two people growing together to become a we. Not two people working towards the growth of one person. That’s not fair and it’s not your job. Does someone with a severely fucked up past deserve love? Hell the fuck yes.
But so do you: and if they are not in a place to provide you with the love you deserve, then stop settling for anything less. Love yourself enough to let that person go.
SLIGHT DISCLAIMER: Now, it took me three years to hear that message so I honestly wouldn’t feel right ending this without saying this: YES you have to love yourself enough to let that person go, but also love yourself enough to forgive yourself if you aren’t quite there yet.
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The Role of Television and Visual Media in Our Society
I am a strong believer that television and other visual forms of media are as important as literature. They are a form of art that imitates reality. As with any art, not only does television imitate our reality but it always adds a learning component whether it’s moral, satirical, societal, or what have you. TV is the reason why I know to do “pizza shape, French fry shape” with my skis even though I’ve never been skiing. Television shows and movies are fundamental in our understanding of society and how to be functional members of said society.
This is the exact reason why it’s fucked up that there aren’t many ugly people given representation and when they are the majority of the time they are written to have mean, insignificant, pathetic, or sinister personalities.
Let’s Unravel This.
First off, please try not to be offended by the term “ugly” because it’s a term that our society came up with to define anyone who is not conventionally attractive. Can these people be attractive? Well as a fat person who definitely doesn’t fall into the category of conventionally attractive, I vigorously nod my head and say, yes of course! But there will always be the tiny part deep down inside that still doubts that. There are many factors that come into play to create the mini me full of doubt but visual media plays a big role.
With all of the lessons that TV and movies teach and the things that they normalize, in often cases it is not always media mirroring reality but reality mirroring media, with people becoming more empathetic to others based on what they see in the media. Brian’s Song brought along a new wave of individuals questioning their racism. Ellen opened up the door for homosexuality, pushing people to question their beliefs on the subject. The Fosters gave voice to the hearing impaired, reminding audiences that there needs to be space for these individuals.
Visual media teaches compassion and shows us how to treat people so when the main character isn’t ever visually unappealing it sends the wrong message. It tells us these people don’t matter.
In the Netflix original Stranger Things, everyone was so hellbent on finding that little boy who got lost. You had a whole town of folk searching in the dead of night for this adorable little boy but what about Barb? Barb, played by Shannon Purser, isn’t exactly what our society deems gorgeous. I’m not saying that she’s extremely unattractive (because she is far from that) but she is more likely to win “most likely to succeed” than “best hair.” And look what happened to Barb? She went missing in the same fucking town as that boy and no one said a little bo-peep! Not even her fucking parents looked for her, like huh?! If she were a size two with Estée Lauder skin then maybe people would give a shit!
Even when unconventional individuals play a role in these TV shows and movies they still check off some box. They may be fat but it’s in all the “right places” so they are “good fat.” They may be nerdy but they’re “cute nerdy.” So all of the lessons that surround characters of “all sizes” or looks is still fit with the asterisk of, as long as they are attractive.
The Role In Our Real Lives
The lack of representation does hinder the way we view people in real life. To this day I still see magazines about JonBenet Ramsey, that adorable girl that went missing in 1745 (hyberbole: it was 1996) but every year there’s an update in her mysterious story. Now don’t get me wrong, what happened to her is tragic and it’s good that we do not let her name die but like….why her? What about the countless others who have vanished without a trace? What makes this little girl immortal? And I’m telling you, it’s the media.
We love attractive people. We love them to the point where no one and nothing else matters and it’s harmful to our society. Even Ted Buddy got as far as he did because people found him sexy. In a different post I’ll definitely talk about my theory as to why we are so fixated on making attractive people the stars of everything but regardless of the reason it needs to stop. Art imitates life and life imitates art and people really be out here thinking that ugly people don’t matter. People really be out here only helping and being kind to individuals that they find attractive.
A life shouldn’t add value or decrease in value based off of visual appearance!!
It’s fucked up and it’s selfish and it’s something that was taught which means it’s something that can be untaught. Let’s unteach it.
What Happens To A Dream Deferred?
My grandmother on my father’s side always dreamed of seeing the Eiffel Tower. She always dreamed leaving her Homeland of Haiti-just for a week or so to go straight to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. Raised under the strictest patriarchy rules, she was never allowed to travel without the presence of a man. Her first husband- the womanizer- never acknowledged what she wanted and her second husband-the wife beater-was too cruel to take her. When her second husband passed away and she decided she could go on her own “when the time was right,” she began getting these cloudy spots in her right eye. Merde. She murmured when those cloudy spots turned into blurred and impaired vision. She had developed glaucoma, and would never see anything clearly again, let alone the Eiffel Tower.
My father always dreamed of driving across America. Always the taciturn individual, this was the one subject that would make him quite talkative. His goal was retirement. Once he retired from his job he would go, just him and my mom. I was 15 when his eyes started getting cloudy. “Things are different here,” he’d tell his mother. “A couple of surgeries and I’ll be fine,” he assured her. When I turned 17, he stopped being able to drive at night and by the time I hit my freshman year of college, he could no longer drive at all.
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up from a wonderful slumber and half of my left eye wouldn’t work. It was cloudy.
Barriers Between Us and Our Dreams
This isn’t a story of glaucoma. This is a story of dreams deferred.
Every day of our lives is a chance- an opportunity to work towards our goals and find a way to make our wildest dreams come true. And the only person that actually stands in our way is us.
We give people the power to stop us from following our dreams. We set limitations on our goals. Even my dick head grandfather did not hold a gun to my grandmother’s head and tell her she could not go to Paris. She allowed her inner voice to tell her not this year, every single year-even after he died. My father worked at the same company for 20 years, they would have given him a couple of weeks off to have his adventure if he asked, if he pushed for it.
Moving Out of Your Own Way
The point is, we don’t know what tomorrow brings, we never do. Yet all we do is push things off until tomorrow and then blame everyone but ourselves when our lives don’t turn out the way we want it to. Shit, I’ve had a book written and ready to edit for years now yet I allowed my insecurities and fear of rejection to keep me from releasing it to the world. Isn’t that such a fucked up concept? That our own fears and insecurities can hold us back from living our lives?! Our best lives, as the kids say.
Stop pointing the blame at other people and other things and ask yourself: how am I standing in the way of my own success? How am I keeping myself from my dreams?
The thing about life is that it can take us anywhere. You can spend your whole life working out and eating right and still die at thirty from cancer or some random act of violence in the streets. Those are the type of things that are out of our control. When we decide to take a trip, publish a novel, see the world, ask someone out-those things are not. Stop waiting for a sign or for your body to look nicer or for your situation to change. Stop creating invisible barriers and live your fucking life. Do it now.
Ok so I have this conspiracy and it may seem pretty wild but bare with me.
So there’s this movie called “The Joneses.” “The Joneses” is a 2009 film about this affluent family living in the Suburbs with all the latest everything. They have the latest designer clothes, the newest cars, the newest gadgets, and they’re so fucking cool. The husband is handsome, the wife is beautiful, and the kids are oh so precious. Only, the Joneses have a dark secret…they aren’t real.
The Joneses are not a real family: they are actors hired by advertisers to wear the latest clothes, have the newest cars, and play with the best gadgets. This “family” was hired to be cool. Why you ask? Well monkey see, monkey do. Because this put together perfect family has all the latest things, the neighbors and the lookey-loos are all “i want it too.” So now everyone is buying all of these cool products so that they can be or feel somewhat like a Jones.
Alright, great film. Now, my theory is that somewhere in the depths of Hollywood, someone decided to do this in real life. Enter here: The Kardashians. Now, I’m not doubting that the Kardashians are a real family: DNA wise I’m certain that Kylie was once headed to Kris’ mouth but God was like uh uh I have bigger plans for you sperm baby! I’m just saying that I think about two or so years before the infamous sex tape (or maybe even after) there was some back alley deal between the Kardashians, Ryan Secrest, and some advertisers where it was agreed that the Kardashians were going to be the real life Joneses. They were going to pander to whatever America wanted to see and live a scripted life that would keep them in the public limelight so that we could all throw our money at anything and everything they even look at.
Think about it, it makes sense. They started their careers on their little reality show that honestly should not have become this big. Paris Hilton, Flavor Flav, the Osbornes, there were so many washed up or seemingly unimportant people with reality shows at the time because it was a fad to sit back a watch the lives of the rich and not so famous. So what made Kim Kardashian a household name and Whitney Port a name that needs a link?
It’s a known fact that reality shows are scripted: Snookie did 5 retakes, The Bachelor is told who he should pick ahead of time, Jeff and Jordan’s marriage is a CBS PR stunt-yes definitely. But those shows always stay in the realm of reality tv. You most likely know who Tokyo Vanity is dating because you watched Love and HipHop or you love Tok. You can go your whole life without being aware of this information.
But you can’t help but keep up with the Kardashians. Whether you watch the show or not you know the Kardashians and you keep up with them. How can you not? Everything from The White House to Sears has some sort of connection to this Krazy family.
They’ve inserted themselves in hip hop, sports, clothing, makeup, pornography, everything. They cater to all audiences and there’s one of them for all of us.
And you know what? It works. It fucking works.
Their influence surpasses many others. According to Forbes, when Snapchat changed their layout at the beginning of the year, Kylie Jenner tweeted that Snapchat isn’t worth opening and with that ONE tweet Snapchat shares dropped to a low of 8 percent. I don’t know stocks but I know 8 percent ain’t shit.
And let’s not forget the waist trainer fad! Ladies: please do not lie! We all know you have a waist trainer deep in your closet that you purchased. And why did you purchase it? Because Kim and her sisters posted a full face make up pic of them with the hashtag at the gym! But have no fear as you are not the only sucker! When the Kardashians began rocking their waist trainers sales on the product skyrocketed. All they do is make money! With the rise of social media and e-commerce this seems like a very natural transition. I mean, why wouldn’t ad companies use this powerful family to build their brand?
But what came first? The powerful family or the brand? Why is this family everywhere? Why is America so obsessed with the Kardashians?
I like all my blog posts to have some sort of lesson or take away and the message of this one is to just beware. This is just a high theory so there may be no merit behind it but at the same time stop letting this family control what you’re into. We do not know them. A lot of work was put in to ensure that we feel like we know this family but we only know what they let us and you can’t actually trust their judgement. And this goes for any popular celebrity. Do your own research and open your mind to the things around you.