Photo Credit: Charles Krupa/Associated Press
At some point last year, I made a conscious decision to be more aware of practicing self-love, self-care, and body positivity. As a fat, black woman, I felt it was necessary to my life and work to be intentional in the ways in which I treat and think of my body. I can’t lie: I’m not great at upholding these practices. It’s not uncommon for me to go most of a working day without eating food. It’s also not uncommon for me to overextend myself by piling on too many responsibilities. And when I’m trying to be intentional, I still find myself not truly embracing body positivity when it comes to my own body.
One of my biggest issues is that, oftentimes, the way I talk about my body is problematic. Most times, I just talk about my body in a very general sense and, if I do talk about specifics, it’s always about my hair and my stomach. While yes, I’ve experienced very real, oppressive, and harmful ways of thinking about these two parts of my body, they are not the only parts that need love and care. My body is comprised of many parts that are all equally deserving of love, even if society tells me that they are gross.
I live in Atlanta. Summers in the South can be rather warm (read that as “hot as hell”). I spend many hours throughout the summer worried about “boob sweat” – the sweat that accumulates under the breasts. I’m worried that it can be seen through my clothes and, more than that, I’m worried that others will smell it. Because I work in fragrance retail, most times I make sure I smell like a fruit or floral arrangement in order to avoid that nightmare.