U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi, you’re ugly, absolutely ugly! M-A-M-A, how you think you got that way, your mama, yeah, your mama! C-U-T-E that’s one thing you’ll never be, I’m cute, yeah, I’m cute!
That was a cheer we used to sing across the field to the other cheerleaders. The other girl cheerleaders.
A couple of weeks ago, a dear friend posted a heart-felt letter on her blog. Read it for yourself, it brought tears to my eyes. She endured what she shouldn’t have. She dared to go about her daily routine, and overheard some obviously perfect med students (female) discuss and diss her hairstyle, weight, and stockings. Yes, stockings. How ridiculous and petty, right? What they failed to recognize was that her stockings were medical stockings which have been a source of embarrassment and shame due to what they hide. Oh the backstory, do you think they cared?
How easy do we find ourselves nit-picking other girls? Ripping them apart in our minds. Tearing off their attributes under whispers. Because let’s face it…We’ve all be there, right?
We’ve been body-shamed since we were kids. We have lingering self-esteem issues because of these memories. What’s worse, somewhere along the line we learned that we must, in turn, tear down the next female as well. This is what we do?
Does it make us feel better about ourselves? Does it distract us from our own short-comings? Really, why the heck do we tear down other women?
Look at her, she think she’s cute…she needs to lose weight…why would she wear something like that? Doesn’t she know how ridiculous she looks? Her butt is not real!
And this is what happened…
Mom: Hey, your aunt wants to know what’s the title of your book?
Me: It’s in the write-up.
Mom: She didn’t see it. She also wants to know when it’s coming out and what’s it about.
Me: It’s in the release. Didn’t she read it?
Mom: Well, she asked me if your locs are making your forehead recede because your forehead looks bigger.
Why was it so important that my aunt, another female, feel it necessary to point out what she thought to be a serious flaw? Why was it important to point out what she felt was negative when we should celebrate an announcement such as this?
Because, we women point out the negative. That’s what we do. What we’ve learned to do.
Seriously…we don’t need to do this. It has no purpose in us growing as women and doesn’t make one more powerful than the next.
I remember when Destiny’s Child reunited for the Super Bowl performance. A R&B singer took to Twitter to diss Michelle Williams. This female pointed out how awfully skinny Michelle was. Why? What was her purpose? Thankfully, Michelle didn’t have a battle on social media. She responded that we women, sisters/sistahs should focus on building one another up instead of tearing each other down.
I’m guilty. I’ve talked and even listened. I didn’t stop conversations about others. I probably released some endorphins when I trash-talked female celebrities and sworn that they’ve had lipo and butt implants. I’m ashamed. But Haley’s blog hit home for me. She carries the scars of shame. I carry scars of shame. Trust me, not just the ones from being teased as a kid, but do you realize how long I turned my aunt’s words over in my head. For weeks! I even compared my old pictures to recent ones. Of course I know I have a big forehead! (See how easy complexes can get started???) Erg!
Ladies, our fight is not with each other. If you think it is, then you might need to do some soul-searching, self-healing, and self-love.