I listen to The Breakfast Club on Power 105.1 nearly every morning.
It’s probably the closest I will come to listening to the news. They have interesting guests, some more insightful than others, but always entertaining. A few days so, they had someone named Bernice Burgos on and she stirred up a lot of feelings when it came to the validity of having her on the show. They have had a number of different kinds of people on their show- Janet Mock, Kodak Black, Jay Z, Angela Rye to name a few, but when they had Bernice on, many of the listeners felt like they went too far.
I listened to her interview and she spent most of it defending herself. She was said to have broken up a marriage, slept her way to the top, BUILT her way to the top via body altering surgery and that she is not a woman of substance with anything to offer. So WHAT makes her interview worthy? Is it because she has millions of followers on Instagram or is it because the controversy that surrounds her is buzz worthy? Being a woman who loves to read and learn, I look at her and wonder if this is the route many of us will have to take in the society in which we live to be successful. And I try not to judge, because I believe that people have the right to be who they are authentically without being held up to anyone else’s expectations. The concern that I have is when all women are being judged against the actions of a few. My concern is when a teacher makes $40,000 a year while an “Instagram Model” can make 6 figures. The concern isn’t that this is happening, the concern is that women think they have to change who they are to be successful. The concern is that society judges women based on what is promoted.
Bernice Burgos spent the whole interview defending herself and trying to prove that she is a good person. While she was talking to Charlamagne, Envy & Angela Yee, she attempted to label herself as an entrepreneur since she is making money, but no one was taking her seriously. So thus the question “Can you use what you have to get what you want?”
So what is it about people like Bernice Burgos and Lira Galore that can collect 3+ million followers but educational, entrepreneurial woman are considered winning at 10k?! Not saying that Instagram is the end all and be all of entrepreneurship, but it’s a small representation of what the world thinks. Love & Hip Hop ratings go through the roof while the enlightening shows only hold a spot on YouTube! Our hearts soar when people like Issa Rae turns YouTube shows (Insecure) into HBO hits because as much as we thrive on drama, QUALITY still tugs at our heart strings. And THIS is where the dilemma comes in…. When we want quality, but enjoy drama.
I saw this great video by Shelah Marie (below) who said that she doesn’t want to be anyone’s role model. Not because she wasn’t worthy of the title (in my opinion) but because she is human and when we put people on the pedestal of “role model”, as soon as that person makes an error, everything positive they have done becomes discredited- null and void. I’m watching this video like, noooo Shelah so is a role model, but when I really think about it, she is human, bleeding the same as you and me. And how she describes it is probably the best way I have heard it explained. She’s bad ass, does yoga and is conscious but also, as she mentions, “listens to trap music, uses curse words and posts ‘thirst traps'”
In my opinion, a woman has the right to embrace and “enhance” whatever part of her body she wants to because it is her body. I’m not against or for surgery or “enhancements” in so many words because I do not feel that as another person, created by the same God, I have the right to judge anyone or tell anyone what to do. My only desire is to educate women (and men) to know that they have other options. And the other options may include enhancing their bodies, but falling in love with themselves simultaneously.
I enjoy educating others, but I feel like making an entrepreneurial living on education is nearly impossible.
With the overwhelming interest in shows such Love & Hip Hop, it’s hard to think that people want anything but drama. What are we suppose to tell our daughters who want to excel in society without showing off their bodies, but don’t feel like they will get love and attention without doing so? How do we get our society to respect and embrace women and their bodies while appreciating it at the same time? I’ve seen people such as Aisha Thalia on Instagram who is very free with her body, but shows it in a different way than someone considered an “IG model”. She shows it in a way that makes a woman love what she has inside and out and feel closer to God and nature while doing so. What is the difference!? How do we know the difference between a woman who abuses the use of her body and someone who loves their body and believes it should be respected as a work of art?
How do you teach people to love themselves while also teaching them to BE themselves and do what makes them happy? What does it all mean? Does it mean that we can do and say what we want simply because we have free will or does it mean that we should mind our own business? I’m not really sure what it means, but I think that once we reach a certain mature age we should be able to do what makes us happy and comfortable in the world. If you feel beautiful with makeup, wear makeup. If you feel beautiful with a weave, wear a weave. If you have enough money to safely enhance your body, then do that. But I think the best take away would be to encourage more self love, regardless of any alterations. The only time it is sad for a person to alter their bodies is when they hate who they are and what they look like. That negativity is impacting how young people are growing up without giving them the opportunity to have a chance to love themselves. If someone loves the person you are when you transform and not the person who you are when you wake up, that is the concern. If you feel that because of today’s standard of beauty that you cannot be out in the world authentically, that is where I become concerned. The time of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is a hidden thing, with real love behind closed doors and trophy love on “the Gram”. The visual of you and your partner has to be “Barbie & Ken”, even if you barely know Ken’s last name. And when “Barbie” gets ready for bed, she becomes a whole other person. What could that be doing to our minds and our self esteem? How can you feel good if the person that you see in the mirror isn’t who you actually are? Becoming used to that person makes it very hard to even look in the mirror. I know personally, whenever I wear mascara and eye shadow consistently, if I do not have it on, I feel like I look tired and rundown. But now, since I haven’t wore it in about a month, I no longer see that tired rundown person, I see myself. How can I (societally speaking) see “myself” when I don’t know who MYSELF is?
Sometimes, we try so hard to love and hate everything around us to delay the process of loving ourselves.
I try to fix everything around me so strongly that when I try to love myself, that feeling is equivalent to what I would imagine it feels like to get electrocuted. Sometimes I write these blogs as therapy, hoping what I say with become concrete in my own head. It is always easier to help other people than to help ourselves, getting so wrapped up in others, that the easiest way out is to CHANGE who we are. Real fears are failure because I am not judging but also not willing to use what I have physically to get what I want. It is my hope that who each and every one of us are authentically will allow us to be successful, regardless of what happens within the society and the world. It is my hope personally that I am able to continue to fully embrace everything I am and share that with the world.
Till next time 🙂