When you were just a youngin’ your looks were so precious. Now you’re grown up; so fly it’s like a blessing. But you can’t have a man look at you for 5 seconds without you being insecure. You never credit yourself, so when you got older, seems like you came back 10x colder. Now you’re sitting here, in this damned corner. Looking through [Ella’s Thoughts] and looking over your shoulder.

“How to Love” – Lil Wayne. 
     It’s a bit hard to believe that you’re the dream of a billion men when the one you’ve chosen doesn’t want you. Or when your phone call isn’t returned. When there aren’t and x’s and o’s after the goodnights and love before you’s. It’s difficult to accurately identify what makes you –of all people — beautiful. I fare better in a group setting but work best one-on-one. Meaning, in a group, I can easily be the best pick. It stems, not from conceit, rather from the simply fact that 99% of you females hoe behavior is far to visible. Even in the simple way you present yourselves. Cleavage is the number one cause of hoe behavior. They’re too visible. To prevalent. It’s far too easy to unbutton just one more button. So as you sit there, with the girls risen and ready… already you’re at a loss. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a little bloop-bloop. I enjoy the sight of breasts myself, but I’m actually happy I don’t have any. I’m freely assigned innocence even at my most perverted. When I sit up, nothing happens. When I lay back, nothing happens. When I lean forward… nothing happens. Most women (and girls, even) have more breasts than I do… and sometimes it’s a bit tough. The hardest part is taking in the comments and sly jokes. Ignoring ignorance. Harder still is proving that I like myself the way I am. It’s tough to explain how I enjoy running and not holding myself. How I can play defense without worrying about cheap rubs (who wants to touch this? lol). How I can wear any shirt I want without looking like a whore. How my bras cost about 1/3 as much. How men have no choice  to look at my face. It’s not a bad trade off, I promise. 
        In turn, I put a lot of pressure on my ass. It’s nice, might I say. & it kind of makes up for anything else I’m not quite a 10 in, so I revel in it’s awesomeness. It’s my… thing. It’s what I like the best about myself and wish that I could do so freely. I’ve realized that I’m shier about my body than I might lead on to believe. It’s supposed to be holy. It’s supposed to be divine. It’s supposed to be everything except visible and mine. Why does everyone get to control my body except for me? Everyone is allowed to put limitations of how much I can/should show. Who I can/can’t be with. What I can/can’t do. I’m taking my body back. “You should be happy that people are admiring your body,” he spoke. Somehow, his low voice found its own wavelength to ride through the commotion and he doesn’t know it but it made tears leave these dry eyes. I sat back to wonder why I was so ashamed to show. What is it that makes me so uptight? Why can’t I be as sexually free as other girls seem to be? But the question beyond all of that is do I even want to be? 
       Women have a particular set of fears that we all share: Being alone, not being cut-out for motherhood and being a whore –I strongly believe that each of these influences the other. For some women not to be whores, they need to be locked down. The minute they’re single, whoredom takes over. It’s tough to be alone and so many women take it how they can get it because when your M.O. is to get men to treat you right… your numbers slim and a true whore can’t deal with limited love.  Similarly, many whores aim to have children because they think it purifies them. It makes them “grown” so they can be as whore as they want as long as they’re a “good mom” without thinking about how those pictures of their kids look side-by-side with mommy’s “Girls Night Out” photos. It’s as if having a child redeems you and proves to the world that you are a woman because you don’t feel like one any way else except for the fact the men use your body –that’s what it’s made for right? Some women stay away from the idea of having children because their whore nature take precedence. They’re more concerned about partying than they are taking care of children and wouldn’t dare let a grubby, sticky, crying, puke-moster deform the bodies they’ve taken care of so carefully. Motherhood would be a test too easy to fail with the failure to easy to notice. Other women whore-out on occasion because they need some sort of release. You spend your days and nights fighting Eve’s temptations and denying yourself the pleasures whores feed off of: the confidence, the attention, the flashing lights –so the minute you get to pretend you don’t care, you take it. You grab onto the freedom and abuse it for the little bit of time you can, because it’ll run out eventually –it doesn’t have to, but it should
       “Beautiful face, beautiful eyes, beautiful smile. Why are you so shy? You’re not used to hearing that?”
       “Hearing what?” I asked, even though I knew exactly what he was asking. I simply didn’t have an answer for him. 
    “That you’re beautiful?” he asked… the key word built-in to his inquiry. 
       I supposed I’ve heard it, I just don’t listen anymore. Every time I hear it my eyes turn down to the ground but I can’t escape it; even my toes look pretty in these heels. How was i supposed to explain to him that I know that I’m beautiful, I’m just not quite sure other people see it. Specific people, actually. How do I let him know that I have heard it before but when they get tired of chasing my panties, they never say the word again.  How can I explain how I still miss the “good morning beautiful” texts that stopped abruptly that fated July and no matter how hard I fought for them, I never heard it again. At least not from him. And how the next time I was told, it came from the wrong mouth, in the wrong tone, with the wrong intentions but I still accepted it anyway because all a girl really needs is to feel beautiful? How do I tell him, if at all? I don’t want to beg for love anymore, I want it to be given to me. I want to present myself to a room full of strangers and have them love me on a basis of my being myself. Not what I have in comparison to other women… simply what I have for myself. As an individual. I believe that this is where people go wrong without noticing: hiding the love. Your significant other wants it as badly as you do. Even if they say they don’t. Even if they act like they don’t. This is all based on the premise that everyone wants and deserves love. It’s the way you can be a God within yourself: love everyone. 
     Beautiful people fight the hardest. They ignore and throw love to the side, writing it all off is ill-willed and based in base emotions. This is partially so, but as is the world. If you truly want to be loved off your personality alone, blind people need love, too –and they probably love the purest. I’ve realized that its okay to love your body and have someone love it along with you –as long as it’s all respect. If you work hard on your body, why not show it. Why not take a quick pic? Make a fly flick? Bless the world with a brief (or extended) 360 of what you were born with? I’m just saying… what’s so bad about it? I have a complete understanding of why Muslim and Jewish women cover their bodies and save them for their husbands, but the life of a model is one all women envy. To be able to stand in front of a camera, wearing nothing at all but demanding respects as if donned in a pant-suit. Imagine having that sort of confidence? To have people see exactly what you’re made of and still look you in the eye? for people to see you for your beauty and then passed it? It must be exhilarating, especially when you’re imperfect. 
       I’m not perfect, I’m a 9. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point, but I fully believe I am a 9. Since no one is perfect,  I leave my flaw to be determined by the eye of the hater. Maybe I am too skinny. Maybe my chest is too flat. Maybe I can’t cook collard greens to your taste (just yet) or I don’t make platanoes often enough. Maybe I am too shy. Maybe I am too out spoken. Maybe my skin is too dark –or too light. Maybe my hair isn’t long enough or straight enough or curly enough. Maybe I should get implants asap. Maybe that nose job would really help me, too. Teeth-whiteneing? Liposuction? Nip here? Tuck there? Big belt for the bulge. Foundation for the flaws. Lipgloss for  plump. Lengthening, darkening $30 mascara. Heels for the missing inches. Shorten the dress, it makes your legs look longer. If the waist comes in a little higher, you’ll seem a little curvier. No ankle straps on the pumps if you’re under 5’5 –it cuts off your legs. Black is slimming. Vertical stripes are a girl’s best friend. Invest in good underwear. Straighten your hair to elongate your face. Aviators to hide it, because they work on all face shapes. Cut out the carbs. The sugars, too. If your brave enough, cut out food entirely. Maybe some pineapple here and there. The binge and starve diet.  Atkins. Red peppers. Tomato and a slice of pickle.  Blended everything in a cup. This is only the beginning of a long list of shit we do to be perfect. Pretty is pretty hard work.
      We just hope someone will notice. Someone will say something about how thin you look. How they love your hair. How your smile radiates. At the very least, how you pop that ass, right? You’ve got to get a compliment where it fits in. Where ever it is, you’ll take it, but it’s never quite enough is it? When they notice my curves I want them to read my words. When their focused on my body, my mind feels neglected. When they read my blog and my scribe screams “good girl” I need them to know that this isn’t the only side of me. Compliments on my “good school” make me elaborate on how I came form the hood and conversations about the hood beg for me to argue you can still go to a good school. 
When is it enough? What has to happen for a woman to be satisfied? You want the man you want to say the things you want to hear about the body your proud to have with the respect that you surely deserve. Your body on a platter and your mind on a pedestal. Eat it and observe.  It’s all love. It’s the reason we do it all. And while it might not really be all love, some versions are simply substitutes until the real thing rears its head. It’s all practice. So until the day we find it… we behave as if we’ve never had love.  
       I am beautiful. No matter what I say. Because I am my toughest critic. I don’t want to be a whore or a prude. I can’t talk too little, nor too much. I want to come off as a woman but not old. I want to give  my body but maintain ownership over it. I want to dance in my panties for the whole world to see because it really is a good fuckin show. We’ll see where my confidence takes me. And maybe, one day, I’ll learn to believe myself and stop waiting for others to solidify my beauty. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I’m carrying a mirror where ever I go so that I can go to battle with my only opponent. Sometimes, all it takes is seeing yourself clearly to remind you. There are days when I’m out and so concerned about how my hair looks. What my outfit is like. What my makeup is doing. But with all the time I took to get ready in the morning, I better be fine. With how much change I dropped on the foundation, concealer and pressed powder (which, on the weekend, is hidden beneath the blush, eyeliner, brow liner and mascara), my face better stay in place. Sometimes, all you need to do is trust that you did a good job. Look at yourself when you can: bathroom, compact, car window. See yourself as much as you can and become familiar with yourself. Smile at yourself… you’re beautiful. And while this all sound corny and idealistic or whatever… fuck it. Why not? What’s so naive about loving yourself? What’s so idealistic about appreciating yourself? If you ask me, this is an issue that needs to be addressed in greater society but in particular to women who look like me and join the fight to put some colored girls in the MoMA
    We’re fuckin beautiful, ladies. If you don’t believe it… don’t worry.. you’re not alone. But trust me, I’ll be coming back to read this post as often as you do. Sometimes I need a reminder, myself. Love is something learned. To love someone else takes time… to love yourself takes longer. Shoutouts to those of you on the advanced path of pursuing love of self. It is no easy task, but on the days you feel like you’re almost there… the rewards are glorious. Don’t give up, ladies. You already know I won’t.