Forty is knocking on my door and I have always been intrigued and somewhat suspicious by people who claim that entering into a new decade brings forth some sort of deep reflection or ground breaking awareness. Once again, 2019 has yielded another incident where I have been forced to eat my words. In a couple of months when I cross the threshold into my fit ,fly
,and fabulous 40’s, I will have transitioned with a new understanding of the definition of beauty. Beauty is not starving oneself to maintain a size two or saving up a year’s salary for liposuction. Beauty is not bathing in fade cream to erase one’s sun kissed melanin skin or going bankrupt and becoming a victim of alopecia to cover the natural crown of coils that grows directly from our heads. Beauty is not becoming a slave to designer brands that make mockery of our culture but will gladly claim our dollars. Beauty is not denying our self worth in hopes of proving our worth to others. Above all else, beauty is not dimming your light to make others shine.
I have always been teased for my angular chin from my childhood to my adulthood. I would never let it bother me because it is the same chin I inherited from my Bahamian great grandmother aka “Big Mamma” who was a bomb ass chic. When I look in the mirror, I see history and a direct line to a woman who was strong, resilient, kind, and full of life and laughter. I see beauty…..
While recently visiting the Smithsonian African Art Museum, I came across this 20th century Angolan mask of a woman who is supposed to be the epitome of beauty. The craftsmanship was breathtaking but even more beautiful was the fact that she possessed my angular chin! Coming across her during my museum visit momentarily led me into a moment of self reflection where I came to the resolution that I need to celebrate every inch of my body and I can no longer allow anyone in the flesh, on social media, or in Hollywood set my standard of beauty.