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Radical Self Love for the Black Girl

Posted in Inspiration by dendoo on May 4, 2010

There’s a movement going on in this universe called RADICAL SELF LOVE.

Before anyone thinks I am hating on the movement or the creator please understand: I totally believe in Radical Self Love.  If I weren’t addicted to squares (I have a tattoo of a square) I’d probably tattoo it on my wrist.  So don’t start thinking “My word!  She’s against the movement.”  It’s nothing like that.  And I know that RSL is about being in love with yourself but I’m approaching this from a different angle which I hope will be apparent as you continue reading.

So what is it like?

It’s like this:  Radical Self Love already was, already had been, and will always be so snap out of your stupid bubbles and just accept the realness that is you, your awesomness and the life that will change dramatically once you do. I’m mad that more women are not accepting this movement but I’m even more upset that it has to be a movement to begin with because YOU are radical, YOU are yourself and YOU deserve your love.

Where is this anger coming from?

It’s coming from this: I was out last week running some errands and I had on a typical “me” outfit plus my afro.  The afro is what I think started this entire conversation.  This young woman about my age start laughing when I went into the store.  So I look at her like “and what” and keep browsing.  So she comes up to me and asks “You ain’t scared aye?” (don’t forget we’re island people so we have our own talks) and I’m asking her scared of what “scared of what everyone thinks of you”.  I tell her plainly and bluntly no.  I ask her why should I be scared.  She lists some stupid reasons and then I laugh.  I tell her if anything I’m scared to become like her.

She looks shocked and I smile a secret smile.  So she asks “What’s so wrong about me?”

Nothing is wrong about her but what fun is it to be just like everyone else?  What is so fun about fitting in because it’s what’s expected?  This opens up a discussion.  In the end she admits there are things she wants to do, wants to be but she feels she can’t be.  Okay, you know me.  Even if the dream will never come true I still need to have the dream.  So I share this with her and she tells me “But that’s what white folks do.  You white aye?” (yep white people I’m sorry but us black people do say that sometimes.)

So I shake my head vigorously.  NO.  LIFE IS NOT JUST FOR WHITE PEOPLE.

Then I realized I’m getting mad…and I am getting mad because this woman does not have her own foundation of radical self love.  True, it didn’t come to me like that but I knew at that moment there wasn’t enough trust in herself, knowledge about herself and about her worth in her and that’s why she was making such crazazy statements.

Look, I don’t have anything against people but I know about the black way of life so it’s something I can talk about in-depth.  I know we (black people) constantly say “That’s for white folks to do”.  Well at least in my country that’s what a lot of black people say.

Saving money for retirement, buying a condo, traveling the world, eating caviar, hiking, holding a dinner party…LIVING is for white people.  When I realized what this woman is telling me along with what I’ve heard countless times I suddenly got it: we’re clouding our horizons.  We can’t ever expect to get on with the movement.  Then I realized we can NEVER accept radical self love because we put ourselves in a bubble of “blackness” and we can’t get out.

me accepting my crazazy hair…

So I am saying today that anything she can do we can do too.  I’m not even going to say we can do better because first we have to believe that we can even do it.  To me, RSL (I’m tired of writing it all out) is about accepting who you are and then taking that person and pushing it past your boundaries.  But if you can’t even accept who you are and where you belong in this world then how can you push past anything? The most you can do is push your trolley past the little old lady in the Supermarket!

The movement was created to be in love with yourself and not have to be dependent on a man for the love you are so worthy of as Valentine’s day moved closer but to me it was more about saying “I don’t need a man to make me happy”.  It was about discovering every inner truth, every desire, every fear, and every worry that was you.  So maybe you think this girl does have her own RSL thing going on…cause she comfortable being a part of the pack, right?


I think the fact that she asked if I’m not scared, the fact that she admitted some dreams that she wants to have but doesn’t even have the courage to hold onto, and the fact that she hasn’t discovered who she is outside of the pack (IMO) all point to her not being down with Radical Self Love.

And I told her.  I TOLD HER!  Well I didn’t say she needs to learn about RSL but I did say

You can’t be afraid to be who you want to be even if it means you’re never popular and people make fun of you.  You can’t be afraid to have your wants and desires.  That my dear is radical.

You can’t be afraid to be in tune with your energies, your harmonies, your you.  That my dear is self.

You can’t be afraid to have an open heart and open mind for everything that comes along.  You don’t have to accept everything but you do have to accept that there is more than you out there.  You have to accept the you that you’re in tune with.  Isn’t that love?

let’s melt away our fears and start loving

So I’m on a mission to bring Radical Self Love to the Black Girl in my country because I’m starting to see ain’t enough of that stuff floating around.  If I offended you I’m sorry but I live in a place where I witnessed grown as hell 30, 40 and 50-year-old women pay $100 to have some stupid broad answer questions like “How to win my man back from a prostitute?” and “Is it okay to date a white man?” (I’m not joking).  I have to do my part to nip it in the bud.  I can’t wait till I’m 50 and then try to go out and help a sister.  NO!

Radical Self Love means a lot of things to a lot of people but if you can’t even start with the simplest thing…what’s the point?


6 Responses

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  1. ♥venus voulu said, on May 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    heh. the poor thing was clearly a bit jealous because she couldn’t be you. i get a little angry and then i pitty poor, bubble-minded people like her. i wouldn’t trade me for anything: from the curls at my roots to my weird by anyone’s standards fashion and taste in music.

    • dendoo said, on May 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm

      Honey I used to think people must be jealous of me and my beautiful fro and indie spirit but now…I just get sad. I don’t want people to just stop at the obvious about themselves. Just like you have embraced your curls, your fashion and your music I want people to admit they have their quirks and then looooooove them. love them till their quirks say “Enough! You’re choking me with all that love!” We have to embrace ourselves. It’s a must.

  2. FemmeFox said, on July 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Hi Charrish!

    I came to your site from BGLH. Love your blog and congrats on your Bday and going to Japan! I totally agree with you. Why is loving your self have to be so radical? I am 30 (already!) and am just now learning to listen to what I really and follow my heart. It’s hard because society (no matter how many ‘self-help’ books are published) wants to you to conform to its wants and tries to demonize you if you don’t. I think in particular that Black women, esp. YOUNG Black women, look to the media as a guide to what they need to be, how to look, how they should express themselves sexually, etc. All the majority of the media does is tell us that we’re not enough and then pushes products on us that will make us feel adequate. F adequate! What I’m going for is somewhere along the lines of Sparkling, Luminous, and Vibratory.

    Enuff of my rant. I just want to say that I get where you’re coming from and I wish you all the best.


    • dendoo said, on July 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm

      Thank you so much!! Your rant is appreciated and looooved. It’s hard to be yourself when the world is telling you to be something else, especially for women of colour. I’m not saying I’m perfect but I am waaaaaaay more comfortable with myself than I used to be and part of that was just saying this is who I am and this is what you’re going to get. Thanks for checking the blog!

  3. john bradley said, on January 2, 2011 at 2:41 am

    Im 45 & dont want my people mad @ me but its weird i think i really dig her. & i wanna tell my friends go —- themselves..cant wait to see her again im nervous about this can u help me? i seem 2 b more concernd about my freinds instead of me w/ good advise.

  4. livingopals said, on October 14, 2011 at 4:06 am

    This is one of the most radical articles I’ve read all year. Please cherish this idea and run with it. Thank you for reminding me that so many people still need that step, and that it isn’t enough to be separate as a movement. I’m sure you shook something in her that might now be ready yet, but her mind is a little more ready for new and healthy ideas now and it will grow, i hope.

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