Friday, January 6, 2023

All the Bodies

 There are lessons we gain in life, every moment of it, and sometimes those come from those we have nurtured to life.

I said something about this shifting wiggles of my body and my youngest child, second daughter said, "Mama, stop talking bad about your body."

It stopped me in my tracks.

Was that what I was doing in looking at the expanded middle-age middle and seeing more gray pop up in my twists or the ways my legs feel like weights when I walk up the stairs?

My oldest child and son who is now disabled because of multiple gun shots that left him with nerve damage and limited abilities for longer walks, told me that every day is a blessing and taught me some of the strength-building stretches he does so his aching legs don't atrophy.

The older daughter works out and taught me how to lift sets on the leg machines that would not tear apart the irreversible signs of aging knees. She, like me, has an autoimmune disease that is unpredictable in the ways it decides to flare. Exercise and lifting weights was empowerment.

There were so many lessons in what they were sharing with me, from the doctor who tried to shame my younger daughter who is what we call slim-thick, she will never be white girl pencil thin. 

Loving ourselves as Black women takes all the effort and energy in a country that repeatedly tells us that we are not enough, while white presenting Latinx and even some Asian women, have appropriated our style for their gain. All those TikTok millionaires and influencers, including some white gay men, have studied Black women for our flare for style, the way we walk, the way we talk, the way we wear our hair, all to their benefit and our detriment.

The C.R.O.W.N. act was blocked in the last congress by the older white men whose ancestors benefited from my ancestors cooking their meals and changing their sheets. 

Today is January 6, two years after those same kinds of people tried to declare that only white, wasp, and honestly, male bodies, were the ones that counted, the ones that mattered.

All the bodies that matter are all the bodies that live and breathe.

So when I stood in my mirror this morning and considered the lives I've carried and the lives I've lived, the lives I'm here because of, and the lives that are now my generations in the existence of my grandsons, I realized that she is beautiful, she is unique, she is wonderfully made, and for that, I celebrate. Anyhow.

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