I have never really been one for pictures. I rarely smile in the ones I took when I was younger (baby/toddler/elementary school pictures excluded). In fact, for my senior pictures, I did smile in some, and everyone requested my serious pose. That’s how they knew me, my friends said, and that’s how they wanted to remember me.
As I got older, and less secure in who I was (and am), I hated pictures more. They’re for beautiful people. They’re for skinny people. They’re for folks with perfect skin. All I got going for me is smarts, but I can never be pretty. I can never be attractive. I can never be wanted.
I belong in the background. Not center stage.
Even now, despite having selfies all over my Instagram feed, I don’t always feel 100% comfortable posting them. When no one likes them, I still feel a touch of sadness, even though I only have a handful of followers that have their own busy lives to contend with. Irrational as it is, I still sometimes feel like pictures are for people not me.
The beautiful ones.
And yet, Sunday, for whatever reason, I decided to join in the #sundayselfie craze that goes on every week. Can’t explain why. Devil made me do it, perhaps.
And there I am. No makeup, no filter (I was tempted), hair tied up in a green and blue head wrap, favorite off the shoulder tee.
And I love it.
May not mean anything to anyone else in the webisphere, but damn, that is something serious for me. I look good, and I’m not ashamed to say that.
And that scares me a little.
As a fat, black woman, daring to love who I am is a radical act. It shouldn’t be, but it is. I’ve had people tell me about I’m almost perfect except I am fat. Almost perfect except my teeth aren’t completely straight (and now you know why I rarely smile.) Almost, but not there yet.
It has taken me years to realize I am not something that needs to be fixed. I’m not broken. Society is. And I am not gonna feed the machine not one more day.
I still have my moments of “ugh, bad everything day,” but more and more I am able to push that to the side, puff my chest out, and strut anyway.
Revelations from one picture.
And more to come.