During high school, I had many insecurities about my skin tone. I wasn’t getting a lot of male attention, and I started to think it was because I was too dark. As I grew older, I began to love the features that God gave me and decided to embrace every piece of me, from my culture to my skin tone to my hair and full lips. There isn’t anything about me that I do not find beautiful, and I am choosing this blog post and slowly growing platform to celebrate it.

Being a black woman is strenuous in today’s world. We are stereotyped as being “too loud” or “ghetto.” The darker your skin tone, the harsher the comments become. Being a black woman means people looking over your resume because your name is too unique. It is not easy and isn’t for the faint of heart. We have to be on the defense continually, and if we are too defensive, we are dubbed the abhorrent term “angry black woman.” Just a little update; we are not angry; we have a lot to prove and a lot harder time doing it. Our journeys are harder than most. At every level in life, we have to fight to be considered, and if we are considered, then we have to fight to keep it. We are fighters but not in the way you see on reality TV. We aren’t always the center of the drama, the women I hang around don’t even like to fight (unless you mess with their kids). It is easy for people to label us as the “angry black woman” when they do not know our story or how hard we had to fight to get recognition. We’re not fighting for a seat at the table anymore though, we want our own tables.

Society even chastises us for the features that we are so very blessed with. But you know the story, people pay for the things we were blessed with. I was bullied in elementary school because of the size of my lips. They are obviously very full, and kids were vulgar and said mean comments. As I got older, my lips got me a different kind of attention, most of it unwanted and unsolicited. My features are mine, and I had to learn to be proud of them. They make me who I am, along with the nonphysical aspects.

So I say all this to say, as I become more of an adult, I learned to celebrate more of the things that make me different and beautiful. I am a beautiful, brown skin, Jamaican queen. I am very proud of where I am from and celebrate every aspect of my culture. We are a proud people; I am no different. Being Jamaican is just is added flavor to my already fantastic persona. I am intelligent, educated, and well-spoken. My hair is natural, and I wear it in natural styles very often. I have full lips and am not afraid to wear lipsticks of any color. I am a short, plus-sized woman who is falling in love with her curves (including but not limited to my tummy). I am a daughter, a niece, a cousin, sister, a best friend, a confidante, a future mother, a future wife, a future director/VP of Human Resources, and so much more. But one thing will never change, I’ll always be black, and every day I am prouder of it. Being black is superb. Being human is even better. I celebrate the differences in all people; no one should have to feel like they are different because of their skin tone. We should treat everyone as human beings, that’s the only way to live.


We Can Be Professional Too

As you guys know, I am currently in grad school, obtaining my master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology. Update on grad school, it’s tougher than I thought it would be but rewarding when I take meaningful classes. This winter, I decided to take an accelerated course, 3 weeks, 3 times a week, for almost 4 hours a day. Yeah, it was pretty brutal. But, the class or frequency of the course was not the issue. The professor was an opinionated, filterless older gentleman that definitely said a lot of questionable things for the duration of the class. One of his comments resonated with me and inspired this blog post. “I don’t hire bigger people for a certain position because they don’t look as professional when they are speaking to the public.” This sparked a comment from one of my more vocal classmates, “so, because someone is bigger, they can’t look professional?” He made no comment but sort of shook his head. 

Let me say this, I get that being “healthy” is a requirement for certain positions. In this case, the professor was referring to fire station chiefs. But I have seen bigger people who are incredibly healthy, their bodies are just bigger. I see heavier police officers who can still run and chase down criminals, it may be rare, but it happens. What does size have to do with looking professional? Do they not make professional clothing in plus sizes for men and women? Do we all look sloppy and unkempt? Is it impossible for a bigger person to deliver a message to the public about a traumatic situation and for them to be taken seriously? If someone is watching the news and the fire station chief is talking about a traumatic event, and the first thing that comes to mind is “why is this big person delivering this message?” then we have a bigger problem with society than I thought. 

As a bigger person, I need to showcase things like this. I took a very negative comment in my opinion and turned into a positive by giving you guys some professional looks. I did not go back and forth with this man because it wasn’t worth it. He would’ve caused me to come out of character, and I’m not doing that either. I also want to say, don’t let people like this professor ruin your confidence. It took me a long time to be confident with my body, and I stopped allowing comments to affect me in a more profound form. We are always going to get these comments, and it’s okay. Hold your heads high and walk forward like you own the whole building. As a young, black, plus-sized woman, I am always fighting for acceptance from all avenues. If I let every comment get to me, I probably wouldn’t have gotten anywhere, I would be in an unhealthy place mentally. Society will attempt to push their “norms” onto you and speak negatively about something, ANYTHING that they deem a deviation from that. Being too tall as a woman, too short as a man, too chubby, too skinny, too dark, too pale, too vocal, too independent, too young, too old, too intelligent, etc., people will find something to talk about. I’m fighting for my personal rights as a plus-sized woman for my body to be considered “beautiful” by society. It’s always going to be something, weed out the negative, and focus on the positive. Every form of beauty is essential in this world, how boring would it be if we were all the same.

Regarding professionalism, don’t even worry about this professor and his comments. Everyone can be professional if need be. I had a little fun with this though. I hope you guys enjoy my looks as much as I enjoyed taking these pictures. Oh, and HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH! 

Floral paper bag pants, white high neck top, burgundy heels. Let me mention that most of these clothes are from Target. It doesn’t even cost that much to look professional! 

Mint colored suit (YASS favorite color), cream top, nude heels. I saw this suit and almost passed out, they had it in my size for one, but the color honey! 

Printed skirt, cropped sweater, nude heels. You guys are probably like, “We just saw this skirt!” You’re right! But I wanted to show you the versatility in clothing. I don’t always buy new things for blog posts, and to be honest, I don’t always have the funds to do so, I got professional bills! But you can take certain items from your wardrobe and dress them differently! 

Black pants with a white stripe, white hi-lo shirt, snakeskin heels, black headband with pearls. More like what I actually wear to work! An effortless look can be dressed up with patterned shoes.