In this high-waist, low cut, skinny fit, crop top, maxi and midi dress world sprinkled with side-eyed sarcasm for wearing winter material in the summer time, society has brain washed us into believing that our appearance, and what we wear say and do is only acceptable if it follows the format that media has laid out for us.  Though I am a strong proponent for fashion, I also know that one must embrace his or her own sense of style and personality.

Should one become fixated on their minimal amount of curves or muscle mass in this hyper-sensationalized world?  Of course not, yet it happens to many of us subconsciously every second of each day.  Because of this, it is easy to get lost in the hullabaloo and possibly lose grips on who you are and what you represent.  We immediately squint our eyes when a plus-size woman wears something we deem meant for a smaller frame and gasp when an overweight male dares to approach a beautiful slender woman.

Instead of devaluing people with words that stab like daggers or looks of disapproval, one must consider their own physical and emotional journey in life.  None are exempt from the aforementioned stares and snickering for one reason or another at some point in life.  I can recall a personal dagger…. Me, a middle school 150 pound 12 year old sitting on the bus with her 90 pound friend, both of us minding our own business…Natalie, a 300 pound 14 year old nemesis, decides to sit directly behind me on the school bus, proceeds to point at my head and declare, “she got beady bees, y’all.”  Now beady bee’s is a slang term for nappy hair/naps on the back of one’s neck (a derogatory term used by African Americans against other African Americans.  It was also a popular phrase used by the title character, Martin, on the namesakes hit sitcom from the 1990’s).

As all of my peers eyes turned towards me, I experienced sheer embarrassment in this moment.  However, I came to realize that I was not targeted because of the grade of my hair (actually, I had just gotten a fresh relaxer the day before, but Natalie chose to highlight the one curl resting on the nape of my neck), but because my 300 pound peer was a socially unaccepted child in a setting where thin was in and forging friendships with others relied purely on your physical features.  Natalie’s efforts to shame me were all in the name of acceptance and acknowledgment-a plea for others to see her as valuable because she was able to demean someone else.

Though the incident is so trivial now, the story is perpetuated in the daily lives of others both young and old. I do believe that once we stop spewing shade and hatred and really evaluate our own circumstances, we will see that we all have room to shine.  No matter our color, hair texture, or size, we all have positive energy to give back to the world.  I’m still no pencil, but somebody’s got to be a marker!  I may never fit the social media standard and that is okay.

Will you join me in coloring the world with your boldness?  Color the world with brilliance, and mix with others to make a different hue.  Offer up your magnificence.  Leave your mark just by being YOU not what others expect you to be.  How will you use your marker status?

Find your fashion (the way in which you uniquely convey yourself to the world).  Revive your passion (renew the excellence within and follow your God-given dreams/goals/aspirations).

-Transformation7 by Tiffany A. Washington

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