Monday, 16 January 2017

Girl can't be herself. . .

When you just want to be yourself. . . a girl who knows who she is. . . 

When a girl can't be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world
When a girl can't be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world

Society always judges women harshly.  If you're a woman of colour, then even more so.  I've just watched Hidden Figures and I was deeply inspired by the stories of Katherine G. Johnson, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan.  There is something deeply motivating about knowing that you have the goods to be able to do things that people think you can't.  When you have the resourcefulness to be able to achieve and succeed at anything you set your mind to - that is more than empowerment, that's self enlightenment.  When you are judged by your gender, that people assume that as a woman you are not capable of doing what are seemingly more difficult or intellectual tasks because we're over-emotional beings.  Not at all.  Whatever type of woman you want to be, just be that woman.

In the morning from the minute that I wake up
What if I don't want to put on all that makeup
Who says I must conceal what I'm made of?
Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem
Whose job is it to straighten out my curves?
I'm so tired of that image, that's my word
What if today I don't feel like putting heels on?
Who are you to criticize when beauty's only in the eyes
Of the beholder, so behold her
Sing, sing, sing, why, oh, oh, oh, why, oh?


What is the purpose of makeup?  To hide flaws that society says you need to hide because beauty standards have been dictated to women through publications that tell us what to wear, look like and smell like and do.  What does it mean to be a woman these days?  What does it mean to be feminine?  Everything that a man is not supposed to be,  But we all know, people who are actively engaged in the world and its reality - there is no such thing as dichotomy anymore, no such thing as black and white anymore; in fact, we are in a constant state of change, constant state of grey that every individual woman gets to call the shots on, about her own life, her own labels and her own beauty.



When a girl can't be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world
When a girl can't be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world

What do I want to cry about these days?
I think if you don't have enough sleep you would be prone to cry more easily because you haven't had enough rest, and everybody knows that in order to recharge your batteries, you must have optimum rest (I probably get minimal rest, adequate at best, but don't worry I'm working on that).  Do you think the world appreciates when you cry?  I guess it even depends on what you contribute to the wider world as well, and that if you are crying because there is some significant pain that you're going through then I'm sure that the world will have empathy for your struggles too.  I know that everyone has problems. but I've realised as an adult, that there's no competition for who has the worst problems.  Of course Maslow's hierarchy of needs are a good way to see the difference quite starkly between first and third world problems, but to me, I'm starting to understand that it's all about scale.  What may seem dire to one individual may seem quite trivial to another.  When our lives are threatened and quality of life compromised because of the chaos of war takes away structure and order in one's life, we are talking about a completely different type of reality now.  Nothing is where it is meant to be and people trapped in warzones are forced to conform to a new horrible realiy, whether they want to or not.  We do this in order to survive.

Uh, uh, I'm so secure with my insecurities
Why is being unique such an impurity
Why are the numbers on the scale like a God to me?
All of these indifferences are based on our appearances
We please to be appeased
The truest pleasure is the fact that we can breathe
Think it into existence, do it, then achieve
A fairy tale reality, beauty was with a beast
Ah, ah, ah, I'm the image of your reflection
Uh, uh, uh, you're the image of my reflection
Sing, sing, sing, why, oh, oh, oh, why, oh?

As a child I silently observed what it meant to conform and what it meant to be part of something, even if you didn't want to.  If we don't look like the majority of those around us, then we are singled out for our difference.  If we don't look like the majority we find ways to make ourselves conform in other ways, especially when our physical characteristics like skin colour or physiology make it hard for us to fit in.  We are the same in our differences and I don't think we should stop celebrating that.  We don't single out differences so that we compare who is better. No. We should ask questions to understand why things are the way they are, and if we can improve everybody's quality of life and just turn on the love switch every now and then to make everyone feel valued and celebrated - what's wrong with that?  I would like to think that you would be able to go through life making people feel comfortable and be easygoing.  I have been in many situations where I have been made to feel small or to be intimidated because of being Polynesian.  I know that I can draw strength from my cultural roots and never have to apologise for being where I'm from and what I know - because I don't.  We are all the images of our reflections - so what image of yourself do you want to be reflected in the world?

When a girl can't be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world
When a girl can't be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world

To all the women reading this blog post, I hope that you stand firm in your worlds.
We should never have to apologise for being who we are, the divine goddesses that we are.
There is a reason why children gravitate naturally to their mothers when they seek out love and want to be cared; women give life and nurture children.  When a woman becomes a mother, they make decisions that are solely centred on their children, to rear them cloaked in values and beliefs and most importantly love, that they are in turn able to pass on to their own children when it is time.

To all the women out there like me who have lost husbands, I hope that you stand firm in your worlds.  If you are keen to meet someone new, don't stop your happiness that is building within you, spill out.  I have spoken to other widows and you really need to give yourself permission to live life.  I'm sure your partner would not have wanted you to stop living because they have.  The greatest gift my husband gave me was unconditional love but also this huge sense of belief in me that made me feel like I could conquer anything.  I miss having my biggest cheerleader around.  The first person I would share anything and all good news, bad news, any news.

To all the women out there reading this blog post, when you can't be yourself no more, surround yourself with other women and cry for the world.  I try to do that as often as possible and the best times have always been spent with all my sisters from different misters.  And if you don't have anything to say or do, it's just ok to be together, to be there for each other, just to cry.  Sometimes all I wanna do is cry for the world. . .