#carefreeblackgirl: How to embrace your individuality
For most of us, social media is an integral part of our lives — it’s where we share our daily activities, catch up with friends and silently follow our hopefully soon-to-be baes. In addition to all those things, we also find solace from our everyday worlds where we may not be as accepted as we are on IG or Facebook.
I’ve spotted quite a few posts from my dark-skinned sisters where they lament on how their deep hue is celebrated on the internet, but they still have yet to find that same level of acceptance elsewhere. Or, how people gush over your candy-colored hair do, funky outfits and tattoos online, but you still get taunted or get strange looks when you hang out with your girls.
That kind of living juxtaposition makes it easy to go back into your shell, or only limit yourself to living out loud on social media. But we all know that’s no way to live.
In my own journey to become a #carefreeblackgirl, here are three things I’ve learned along the way:
Don’t live on other’s compliments, and don’t die by their discouragement.
Often times, we falsely build our confidence based on the number of “YASSS QUEEN” comments we receive throughout the day. We only feel good when others compliment us, and what started out as a “slay” day quickly turns sour when no one seems to recognize our greatness. Or, even worse, when someone goes out of their way to say what you shouldn’t wear or do. Learn to base your confidence solely on how you feel about yourself.
Realize that comparison is the thief of joy.
Again, social media makes this so easy to do. As we scroll down our feeds, we see someone who seems to have it all — a bigger house, a newer car, more stylish clothes, better haircuts, a fitter body, etc. We begin to compare ourselves and think about all the things or features we don’t have. Focus on the fact that one woman’s beauty isn’t the denial of your own, and purposefully remind yourself of what’s beautiful about you.
Be patient with yourself and take small steps.
I’ve always been an eclectic person, but for most of my life, I tried to keep it under wraps. There were haircuts I wanted to try, clothes I wanted to wear, etc.
But, I knew that I would be so overwhelmed if I did it all at once.So, I started with shaving my hair at 19, and I’ve been stepping into my individuality more and more ever since.
I slowly quit shying away from things like dramatic eye makeup (I LIVE for a fierce cat eye), stopped worrying about if the clothes or shoes I liked were too loud or out of style, and I recently got the septum ring I’ve wanted since I was 22. Now, I feel more empowered than ever!
So, I hope whoever is reading this finds the encouragement to become a #carefreeblackgirl, and fully embrace who you are! Are you on a self-acceptance journey? Share what you’ve learned in the comments below!