Reminder to myself: Brown skin girl…You Are Bea(YOU)tiful!

I received a free copy of The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It’s Monday and I am Tiffany…nothing new here, right? WRONG! With the unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was completely turned upside down what seems like overnight. With that shift, came a lot of changes to how we view our jobs, relationships and even ourselves.

For me personally my work hasn’t changed except I am working from home and with that an increased work load. But my body has absolutely changed! I have gain significant weight, mostly in my stomach, thighs and derrière…and with that weight gain I began to question everything about myself including my worth.

I really believe that God work’s in mysterious (not so mysterious) ways sometimes. I was selected back in February as on of the bloggers to get an advance copy of The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color by Virgie Tovar. She’s a superwoman (who is a WOC (woman of color), who pushes back against what society deems fit, has a knack for telling it straight with no shooter in the most eloquent way possible, all while empowering women to feel well, empowered.

Initially when I received the copy of the book, I was hooked right from Tovar’s dedication page which reads, “For every girl who has felt ugly, wrong , bad, weak – you are beautiful, you are right, you are good and you are powerful beyond imagination.” I though to myself wow, she could’ve dedicated this to anyone! Someone who made her feel alive or someone who gave her that very first break she needed…instead she dedicated it to YOU and I…See why I call her a super woman. And notice I say “a super woman” and not “Superwoman”. After reading this book, I’ve realized, unlike the Comic, there is more than one – we all are a super woman in our own right.

But back to my previous point about the man upstairs…when this book came, I thought I am a WOC, raising a WOC who is going to be 10 years old in July… this is a MUST read. Never did I think it would impact me as much as it has. I don’t want to give away the book and all of it’s contents so I will focus on the 1 of the Chapters that impacted me the most.

Part 1: Chapter 2, Question the Culture

The title alone grabs you! You guys know I am very outspoken and one questioning the culture, especially since becoming pregnant, with my now 10 year old Bella, out of wedlock at 19 and not getting married until I was 29. In my culture, an African American, raised by a southern belle and bible toting mama, I did everything WRONG. I was suppose to have been married by 25, jumped the broom at my wedding (which is a right of passage for African American’s) and THEN have a child. Instead I got pregnant at 19, gave birth at 20, got married at 29 and eloped! But for a woman of color, this behavior is unacceptable, because it is expected of us and we therefore feed into a stereotype.

The guilt and shame I still feel about having my daughter at such a young age is still there…hidden but there. However I try to allow my love for her to eclipse that. So imagine the gentle prod I felt when reading this Chapter of Tovar’s book, The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color. She asked specially, “How does this cultural idea make me feel?” For me that question was about more than my skin color or my extra padding I was developing…for me that one question broke down a barrier I had long tried to keep greatly guarded.

The more I read and the more I digested, I came to the realization that these insecurities, fears and questions that long plagued me were not new. I also came to the realization that they were about more than my cultural beliefs, it was about the inability to see my importance and value through my own eyes. I praise WOC and am raising a fiercely independent WOC myself, yet I sometimes will stifle who I am for fear of shining to bright, not being perfectly manicured or rubbing someone the wrong way.

WE are super humans, women who are made to carry children, run household and Fortune 500 companies…why do we base our importance or worth off of something as trivial as the color of our skin or the size of our waist. I say all of this as I now struggle to accept the new me, the Tiffany who has more weight on her stomach at 30, then she did at 20 after having a 6lb baby.

I struggle everyday to accept this new body of mine, these ideas that do not perfectly align with what society says, my blemished brown skin…but with all of that said, each day is getting a little easier. Each day I feel a little more comfortable showing my stomach. Each day I tell myself, I am “powerful beyond imagination.”…I just have to stop limiting myself to my own imagination.

The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color by Virgie Tovar, gives us unscripted blueprint to help push you to question popular culture, all while cultivating radical body positivity. And for that gift, I will be forever thankful. This book gave me the little push I needed to sit up a little straighter and love on myself a lot more. Tovar, has given women of all shapes and sizes a voice, she is crying to the mountain top…and we, super women are her resounding echo!

Until next time!

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