My whole life I have had a rebellious spirit. I've always been the one to speak out and say what I think, even when I am not supposed to. As a brown woman, I am constantly stereotyped because of this. I've been called everything under the sun from an evil super-villain to a straight up bitch. And you know what? I am a bitch. I'm a bad bitch. And I love that part of me along with all the other parts of myself that I have been told not to love. I've been told not to love my curly hair and to straighten it. To not stay in the sun too long so I don't get "too dark". To not tell anyone if I voted for a woman or a black man so I could "get ahead" in the workplace. To pinch my nose after I sneeze so that it becomes "nice and thin". To get in the habit of shaving every other day since my hair is dark and thick.
I can literally go on and on about all the things I've been told not to love about myself. Because of this, my love for myself is intentional. Although it is perceived as an act of rebellion, which it is, I am actually simply celebrating! I am celebrating my curly hair, my brown skin, my round nose, what I believe in and who I am. All those things make me, me! And instead of hiding those parts away, I wear them as a badge of honor. There isn't just one way to be beautiful. There isn't just one way to be feminine. This is such a common experience for so many women. We are constantly critiqued and bear the burden of heavy expectations, even by those who we love. Every day we can break the stereotype and break the cycle of expectation by just being who we are and celebrating ourselves. It is a beautiful thing to go from rebelling to celebrating!