I’m allowed to love my lips.

This year, I began to focus my blog on body positivity.

I realized that for nearly my entire life, I’d been obsessing about my body in the worst way. In elementary school, I asked my mom why I was fat because the boys at recess put the idea into my head. In middle school, I internalized why I was so different almost daily. In high school, I compared myself to my friends and hid behind hoodies and baggy band t-shirts because I hated my body. In college, I spent all of the time I had between my classes over-exercising. After college, I started taking care of myself in a good way, but then I met the love of my life, got happy, and now I find myself trying really hard to get the body that I want because love CAN make you fat (I promise it’s okay!).

I started focusing on body positivity because I saw how awful other people made women feel about their bodies. I wanted to feel good about mine, and I wanted other women to feel good about theirs. There are things about my body that I want to change, but there are things about my body that others envy. There are so many things other women may wish they could change, but they are things that I find beautiful.

Screenshot courtesy of DIGIDAY

I was distraught when I saw people spewing racist comments at a lovely pair of lips on MAC Cosmetics’ Instagram. How could people find such a beautiful part of our bodies disgusting, or offensive? Why do people spend the time being cruel, when they could embrace a beauty that is different than their own?

There are so many answers to that.

Black women have been taught to hate themselves and their bodies. We are supposed to find ourselves freakish and are oftentimes oversexualized. Our style is deemed too unprofessional and we have to hide it in the back of our closets, only to see it arise as the next new trend. We’re often absent from mainstream representations of beauty. Lips too big? Booty too big? Thighs too big? Skin too dark? Hair too kinky? I’m not allowed to have them naturally, but you can have lip injections, A Brazilian butt lift, thigh brows, tanning, oh and afros. You can have afros.

I may not feel the most beautiful every day. I may be working hard to love my body, but the point is that I’m allowed to love it. Not because I have to, but because I want to. I’m allowed to love my lips and even if you hate them, I still do.

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