African Buttaflie


There was a time when I didn’t think I was beautiful. It wasn’t so long ago. Since I lost my contact last night, my long awaited eye doctor appt hath been sped up, warp speed bitches!
But back to beauty…I used to hate the way I looked. The gap between my front two teeth was too wide; fix it! My lips were too thick; use lip liner tricks and thin them out. My hair was too long, everyone else’s hair was short…I just want to blend in, I don’t want to attract attention, for goddssakes! My legs are Wayyy too muscular, too long! Why can’t I be longer waisted with short legs? My belly is too round-why aren’t I long waisted with a flat belly!? My boobs are wayyy to flat, why can’t I have big boobies like that girl in P.E. Class? (we all know how that turned out-reduction, puhleeze?!). My skin’s too dark…why can’t I have the “good” kind of long hair vs. The nappy kind that has to be pressed once a month? Better yet, why can’t I wash my hair more often? Oh yah! Those unsightly natural kinks, can’t be seen with those!
PEOPLE, Shut the F**K UP!
Why do we behave this why? Why is normal better? Why is homogenized the way to be? Why do we have to start fixing things from birth to death, why can’t we embrace what is ours by birth?
I took a long look in the mirro today, after wearing my glasses most of the day and picking myself to pieces. I looked at my red-brown, earth colored skin. Colored red and brown like the earth of Mississippi where some of my people come from. I saw the almond shaped “snake eyes” that I gained from my father, and his mother before him, and her Native American father before her. I ran my finger thru my ‘au naturale’ kinky hair, that was once nearly down to my waist at it’s longest…I recalled hair the same texture, from my Granny Fern, whom every now and again would let my touch hers when she took it down from it’s bun, and brushed it 100 times each hand, both sides of her head individually. I weep at the thought of that hair, and how beautiful it was, and how I’d ask her when I stayed nights with her…”Granny, will I ever have hair as beautiful as yours?”— and she would smirk slowly, but look at me lovingly and nod, and tell me as long as I took care of it, so would it be. How I miss her so, it’s excruciatingly painful at the most inconvenient times!
I look at my long legs, the legacy of my father-my round belly due to an overly curved spine, also his legacy. I think of all the lessons this life has taught me thru him, and the lessons I had to learn that I know he’d rather I did not. I think of his loneliness now, but the pure joy that my child brings him-that gives him a reason to smile daily when his own begotten do not. I think of that perfect mouth, bestowed on me by my mother…her dimples, *her* smile, her lips-a smile she doesn’t smile anymore, so I do for her. Lastly, I think of my searing HOT temper, which shows itself in my jaw locked tighter than a pit bull’s in the middle of attack…my superstitions and beliefs that make most laugh at me, but I know are true…my lazy right eye, and my love of rock and roll, all which come from my Grandpa Will-Will, from his father, Charley Patton. My dreams of playing guitar are lifelong; my ghosts and demons ever surrounding me just as his must have-my love to write about the darkness I have seen, a true testament to the talent that was great-grandpere Charley Patton…
*sighs* I came out of the trance and focused back on my face in the mirror, and smiled. No, I’m beautiful. I wear my battle scars from life Wayyy out in the open for all to see. I AM Beautiful. This is what I know. This is what black history month means to me. Remembering my honored dead. Remembering *why* I’m so very beautiful…because I carry them all, inside and out.