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Ever wonder why everyone is so infatuated with Megan Thee Stallion or Lizzo? It’s because these women have done what some are too ashamed or scared to do – be authentic and confident. These women have been all over our IG and Twitter feeds. We’ve been inundated with their music, pictures, and no-nonsense mantras. 

It’s no secret that black women are trend setters. In fact, Nielsen has proved what all of us have known all along – https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/report/2017/african-american-women-our-science-her-magic/. We just want our respect and to be allowed to showcase the same emotions as other nationalities without being judged. The media is normally how we are introduced to other cultures, which is how stereotypes are formed. Before even meeting us, people already have preconceived notions of who we are as individuals and people.  

This is why I admire women like Megan Thee Stallion and Lizzo, because they showcase all the emotions that most black women go through. Stallion is a twenty-something college graduate who is figuring things out. She’s living her best life – as she should be – chasing her dreams. She’s making money with her friends, casually dating…why should she be tied down to a man? As a woman who’s at the end of her twenties, if this was my little sister, I would be elated. Stallion is unapologetic about who she is and is enjoying her golden years. Who wants to look back at their younger years with regret?

Lizzo is a woman who just entered her dirty thirties. There’s a misconception that once you hit this decade life becomes easier, because you’ve figured things out and are now grown AF! If this isn’t the biggest lie ever told! Holla at me in my forties. Maybe I’ll have it all together then. But Lizzo speaks out about a lot of stigmas that most are too afraid to express publicly. 

After she suffered a traumatic loss, Lizzo spoke about hitting rock bottom. This is something I can relate with personally as well, as I have recently lost someone very close to me as well. Losing a parent is never easy. That’s a type of pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, but it’s part of life. Lizzo sharing how she triumphed inspired me, because it’s so easy to become consumed in grief and depression after losing a loved one. Black people rarely vocalize these types of emotions, which really needs to change, because it has a multitude of destructive effects.  

Lizzo being brave enough to speak up about mental health is commendable because, to be frank, our race is late to this wave of mental health. Too many times we tell ourselves, “Screw it. I got it, or I don’t need help.” We are taught at an early age that we must show no signs of weakness – that no matter what happens to us, we must put on a brave face, pick ourselves back up, and keep going – because, well, that’s what our parents, and their parents, and their parents have done for so long. Black women (and black people, in general) have been through so much that certain things are considered miniscule when actually they’re not – the classic, “It could be worse,” or, “I’ve been through worse…this is nothing compared to what I’ve been through.”

Another topic Lizzo touches on is self-esteem. I am so proud of her for being open about her struggles, because there are a lot of people who do destructive things to cover up what really hurts. People will drink, smoke, do hard drugs, or mentally, physically, and emotionally abuse others to mask the hurt deep down inside of them. My father always told me, “Those pretty ones that you’re jealous of are just as insecure.” Think back to that pretty popular chick in high school, doing things you couldn’t even fathom. Fast-forward now and most are burnouts, have a bunch of kids with different fathers, some may even be in jail. Trust me, everyone deals with their insecurities differently. 

Luckily, Lizzo chose a more constructive way…but what about those who don’t know how? She also speaks about the plus-size plight, reeling in some of the misconceptions of what it means to be a plus-size woman, and what causes it. Some of us weren’t born with a fast metabolism. Some of us are going to be part of the chubby squad for rest our lives, which is ok. The point is being comfortable in our own skin, loving your skin…loving yourself. How can we expect someone else to love us, if we don’t love our selves? That’s why there is so much toxicity online and on TV, because most of the people aren’t being authentic about their struggles. In the words of J.Cole, “It’s beauty in the struggle, long as you love yours.” And we are fortunate that both Lizzo and Megan Thee Stallion refuse to be anything but authentic and know the beauty of struggle. They are blowing up, because they are real and honest and hopefully others will begin to follow their lead. 

 

 

This feature was submitted by KD Williams