Quantcast

Rihanna Embracing Her Thickness Is Not Up For Discussion

Rihanna

I don't think I ever permitted anyone to keep track of my body.

Rihanna didn't either.

The 60th Grammy Awards brought out the crew - some old homies (Beyonce and Jay-Z, Nas, Diddy, DJ Khaled, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar) and some new (SZA, Bryson Tiller, Khalid, Brent Faiyaz and Goldlink). Rihanna showed up and showed out as usual. Besides gaining recognition for her South African dance moves in her "Wild Thoughts" performance, Twitter is talking about her weight gain as if she had won an award for it.

Considering that there are other things to discuss besides her body - oh, I don't know, her whole bomb performance - it makes me cringe that people take the time out of their day to body shame a woman. Rihanna has opened up about her recent weight gain but spoke about it with honey on her tongue. To her, she has "had the pleasure of a fluctuating body type" and has even given insight on how to dress such a body type.

With someone who deals with (because the word "struggle" is so 2017) weight fluctuation, witnessing the comments on Rihanna's body made me think about the state of consciousness that we seem to be in when it comes to policing women's bodies.

However, the optimistic realist also sees that there is room for improvement.

I've always been on the thicker side and it rendered me the topic of bullying during my elementary years. Being bigger than all of the other kids, developed with a B cup and size 7 in juniors as a 9 year old, and Black - well, it was tough. Throughout junior high, I struggled with my weight in silence but was embraced by others at my new "diverse" school as thick.

It was a crown they exalted me with; though, I secretly wished I was a size two. When I changed high schools for the zillionth time, in a city outside of Los Angeles, I really began to develop a long distance relationship with my body. People around me complimented me on my shape and my body, but I always felt like the 9-year-old who never fit in belly shirts. In college, I got extremely "healthy" and restricted myself to certain foods because I wanted to make a change. I really just wanted to start to love my body and not feel so self-conscious under the gaze of others.

My weight fluctuation is connected to my depression. During my time in New York, I was the skinniest I have ever been - I was also the unhappiest. Spending my time in a toxic relationship, stressed about money, and constantly working 2-3 jobs at a time had me (and my weight) at my lowest. Instagram photos still couldn't capture the dimly lit light of my soul.

Since then, I've been in a happier space (mentally and physically), I've gained a few pounds. I'll admit it.

And I don't care.

Getting to know myself more helped me to establish a better relationship with my body. And it's helping me to realize that I am under no obligation to be at the center of anyone's policing, anyone's gaze, or anyone's understanding.

Looking back during some years I was praised for certain assets (pun intended), but it never fed my spirit or made me feel more connected to my body. It actually disenchanted me and made me feel like I was a soul living in a rented home, out of a spiritual and emotional suitcase. I was a person in a shell and not an embodiment of an existing form. I wanted to be more in tune with myself as a full entity - mind, body, and spirit. It wasn't until I realized that my journey to this destination was not fulfilled under the work of outside strangers that I felt comfortable in the skin and the body I was in.

Rihanna's embracing of her weight fluctuation mirrors the space I'm in now.

When you look at her, she seems to be glowing. Besides her enlightening of dressing for a fluctuating body-type, there is no explanation. And there doesn't need to be any.

It's up to the woman to grow her relationship with her body on her own terms.

How she wants to curate herself from the inside out is her decision. Those that believe a woman should curate herself from the outside in have it misconstrued. We live in a peak of body positivity but there is still a lot of work to be done.

Slender, thick, plus size, or in-between: there is beauty in the art of never explaining ourselves. Because our bodies are not objects to be policed, tracked, or shamed, but a wonderful work of art to be celebrated through the scenic route to utopia of complete mind-spirit-body connection.

Featured image via Giphy

From Love & Basketball to The Woman King, The Evolution of Gina Prince-Bythewood

Of all the joys that came from my recent viewing of The Woman King in theaters, my favorite was simply watching another one of Gina Prince Bythewood’s visions brought to life. Since 2000 when she came on to the scene with her sports romantic drama Love and Basketball, Bythewood has built a diverse filmography that centers Black women.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
Bags Secured: How Tia Mowry Continues To Make Money Moves Outside Of Acting

After 25 + years in the entertainment industry, Tia Mowry has remained a mainstay in many of our lives. Tia and her twin sister Tamera garnered fame after starring in their own TV series Sister, Sister, which premiered in 1994 and since then we have seen them venture into solo endeavors. Tia, specifically, went on to act in the film Baggage Claim, Netflix’s series Family Reunion, and who can forget her role as Melanie Barnett in The Game?

Keep reading...Show less
5 Ways To Keep It Together On A Stressful Work Day

Stress is a common part of living, especially when it comes to work. For women, the impact can be felt even more due to workplace issues including unequal pay, gender discrimination, and race-related aggressions. In fact, research shows that professional women experience more stress than men, with a 46% prevalence for those employed full-time (versus 42% for men).

Keep reading...Show less
What 14 People Say 'Great Sex' Means To Them

What is the difference between bad, average, and great sex? If I ask thirty people this question, I would get thirty different answers. As someone who's had their fair share of both good and not-so-good sex, I understand that there is no one size fits all answer to this question. "Great sex" can mean different things to different people. Case in point, I once had an amazing sexual experience with a guy that a mutual “friend” had a horrible experience with. Great sex is subjective AF! According to the mutual friend his sex was subpar at best. One person’s trash is another one’s treasure. Great sex boils down to what is good for you and your partner at the moment. No two people are the same so no two sexual experiences will be the same either.

Keep reading...Show less
Halle Bailey On The Revolutionary Act Of Wearing Her Locs As Ariel

When the trailer for The Little Mermaid dropped, everyone finally got to see Halle Bailey as Ariel. Black women and girls raved over the singer/ actress’s beauty as the beloved character while she belted out the Disney classic song “Part of Your World.” And one of the most noticeable things that many fans pointed out was that the character’s red hair was made of locs.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts