I’ll be honest, I haven’t always loved being a black woman. And there were more than I few days when I thought it’d have been much easier to be anything else in the world. But despite these fleeting thoughts, I truly and deeply love my black womanhood. It takes a special kind of person to live in a racist, colorist and sexist society and still love themselves wholeheartedly.
But it doesn’t happen overnight. It has to be practiced with daily acts of self-love and self-affirmations. If you’re still struggling to love yourself, read through this list of reasons why you should love yourself a little more. Remember this list of the amazing parts of black womanhood whenever you’re feeling hopeless about the discrimination you face.
1. Loving Myself Fully Is An Act of Rebellion
Maybe it’s just the rebellious spirit in me, but I love to do the exact opposite of what society tells me to do. If society had it their way, every dark-skinned black woman would be walking around feeling worthless and ugly. Well, just to spite society, I’ll believe that I’m worthy, beautiful and incomparable. Janelle Monae brilliantly said, “Even if it makes others uncomfortable, I will love who I am.”
Society gets a kick out of bullying black women and placing other women on an superficial pedestal to boost their self-esteem and self-worth. Knowing this only makes me more proud and feel more inclined to love myself. Life is a game and as a player, I’m playing to win. Just because I know that others don’t have my best interest at heart isn’t reason enough to give up and accept defeat. I am a badass woman and I know it, even if others don’t.
2. No One Can Have Your Back Like Another Black Woman
Yes, it’s true. Despite the media’s insistence on portraying black women as catty, jealous, angry and spiteful, fighting, the truth is that we (black women) “get” each other like no one else. Though my black female friends are not perfect, I know that no one else will have my back like they do. I can vent to them about my 4c natural hair, discrimination in the workplace, or the struggles of dating as a black woman and they—having lived the experience of a black woman in North America—will understand without me having to explain every nuance.
Black professor Brittney Cooper wrote in her book Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, “What I love most about being a black girl is when folks come for one of us, we will send up the black girl bat signal and show up for each other. There is something spectacularly black girl about the way we have one another’s backs.” Cooper is absolutely right. No one else understands the intersection of blackness and womanhood like another black woman. No one else can do our hair like us or encourage us in the way we need to be encouraged. Our sisterhood is that strong and I’m so grateful for it.
3. The Beauty of Our Hair
I’ll be the first to admit that I have quite a love-hate relationship with my hair, thanks to a very tender scalp and low-porosity hair. Even so, I love the natural hair look on myself and black women in general. Our natural hair commands attention wherever we go; it forces you to just stop for a minute and simply admire. And as far as I’m concerned, the kinker and coiler, the better. There’s so much to love about type 4 kinky hair, from its soft, cottony texture, to the way grows up and out, to the way it holds braids and crochet. It’s just unbeatable.
4. Black Women Are Gorgeous (Incomparably)
Although society would have us think otherwise, I truly believe black women are the most beautiful people on Earth. From our cocoa skin to our curves, to the coils and kinks of our hair—you just can’t get any better than a black woman. Also, thanks to the melanin in our skin, black doesn’t crack. And we age extremely gracefully. Our skin produces eumelanin (the darkest and thickest type of melanin) which provides better protection for UV rays and allows us to age slower than other races of people. From Naomi Campbell to Sira Kante, we are truly a breathtakingly stunning group of women.
All in all, there are plenty of reasons why it’s difficult to be a black woman in today’s world. Sometimes it seems like nobody has our backs but us. Still, there comes a point where you have to choose to love yourself regardless of other’s opinions of you. You are worthy and valuable and you deserve to look into the mirror and see beauty. You deserve to treasure yourself and to spend time with people who encourage you and make you want to be the best possible version of yourself. Remember, you are enough.
"Grace is a freelance writer and blogger from Canada. Her work has been featured on HerCampus, 21Ninety, Read Unwritten. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law."