For most of my life I have considered myself an acquired taste; meaning that someone would have to learn to love me or be taught to be attracted to me. There are a multitude of influences that could be credited for the inception of this absurd idea, but somewhere down the road of my life a seed was planted in the soil of my unconscious and began to germinate; and that little seedling grew as I grew. With each new year of life its roots went deeper and deeper into the core of my being until one day it stood tall within me as a tree of belief. The belief that I could never be beautiful, that someone would have to be crazy to be attracted to my brown skin, curves, height, and kinky hair.
Growing up I would pray each night that I would wake up as a petite, light-skinned, long-haired, Latina beauty. As you can imagine, that never happened and every morning I woke up realizing I was stuck with myself. I’ve been waking up like that for years, wishing I could peel the adipose off my body and let the “fat just walk away.” But sadly, my life isn’t an episode of Dr. Who or a Disney movie, so I found ways to deal with myself. I started a daily routine of reminding myself of my place; I would look at my reflection and go down the list of every part of my body I hated and every single thing my filth would keep me from accomplishing. It worked pretty well besides the fact that I felt like crap day in and day out, a minor side effect.
Then one day, an idea came crashing through me with the acuity of a double-edged sword, why do I have to deal with myself? Why do I have to live in a cloud of self-deprecation? I don’t. At some point I realized the flaw in the belief of my being an acquired taste; it allowed my beauty and worth to be hinged upon the words and attractions of others. I had unknowingly put the value of my entire being in the fallible hands of people. With this new revelation my struggle became fighting tooth and nail to uproot this false truth from my thoughts.
On good days I look at my reflection and list every part of my body and being that I love. Of course there are bad days in which I find myself slinking back to the shade of that hideous tree of belief, but those days are slowly but surely becoming less frequent. So in the meantime I will declare to myself that my chocolate skin is gorgeous, my curves are sensual, my height is powerful, and my hair is kill’n it. I will proclaim to myself that I am beautiful and with each proclamation that stubborn tree will give way a little more. One day it will fall with a glorious crash and I will stand free from its shadows, and I will know what it is to wholly and unapologetically love myself.
I’d like to thank Rachell and Ashley for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful project. Ya’ll are great!
January Guest Blogger: Mikah is an actor and aspiring writer currently pursuing a BFA in acting for the stage and screen. She loves books, food, and caffeine, and those who give such things.