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Melanin Reigns is a spiritual counselor, freelance writer and multifaceted creator.
As a performing artist with the Speak Life Tour, she takes on music, written/spoken word, and hosting as a form of mentorship and a way to give back to the community.
On first and third Tuesdays Mrs.Reigns hosts “The Mentoring Clinic” on WOLB 1010, with intent to shine a light on community businesses and organizations. More than just a writer or entrepreneur she is 360 degrees of versatility.
The motivation of her efforts is powered by her love for the inner child and rewiring of the human heart and psyche.
For more online work visit the "Reading Reignbow" under the @MrsMelaninReigns on MelaninReigns.com
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Tune into Melanin Monday's at 10 pm Est on Facebook Live for insight and updates.
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Indigenous women live their lives under the microscope of the world.
Society belittles us for what we do, then they proceed to imitate it.
From our style of dress, to our speech and even our movements, we are being strategically monitored.
They've ridiculed the physique of original woman, and put our bodies on display for the entertainment of their peers.
Remember Sarah Baartman? A Khoisan house servant from South Africa, who was forced to display her body in private shows. She was instructed to wear skin tight clothing, or little to nothing at all.
As she walked on stage, everyone in the crowd would reach for her private areas in disrespectful amazement. They'd scream out her new nickname "Venus Hottentot" and mock her gestures/strut. As a result, Sarah became a money making scheme for a business she never intended to participate in.
Due to months of major fasting in The Khoisan culture, storing fat in the buttocks was a survival tactic for the body. These women honored their bodies for function NOT fashion, yet mischievous caucasians of the 19th century, made it their business to exploit the natural aesthetic of our sisters. Even after death they removed her genitals for artists to sketch and to put in a glass case as a museum exhibit.
Sarah Baartman is one example of the beginnings of man's oversexualization of the assets, lips, breasts and thighs.
In North America, towards the beginning and mid parts of the trans-atlantic slave trade, doctors worked alongside scientists to deem dark skin and larger facial/body features as 'animalistic'.
They used the genetic differences of original people to classify them as the subservient race, which became a major justification point for the inhuman acts of slavery.
Now what does this have to do with black girls and body image?
Fasten your seatbelt, because you're in for quite a ride.
Let's begin with the imitation, shall we?
The same features doctors once classified as "subservient", they are now influencing their standard of beauty (caucasian women) to inject hormones, silicone etc. into their bodies, in order to increase lip, butt, hips and thigh size.
Our style of dance is also often under ridicule. When a black woman twerks it is "ratchet", "degrading" etc.
When a pale Russian woman twerks, it's "exercise", "a flow of movement", and an "expression of freedom".
So, how should one feel about the belittling of their culture ?
Things aren't sufficient when we do it but it's marketed as an upscale way of life by society when "whites" participate in it.
This makes a young black girl feel invaluable, devious, less than a prize, unwanted, undesirable and ultimately can influence desperation.
If a woman who once had a small behind, suddenly becomes 10X times more attractive in the eyes of the society when she buys bigger assets and gets a spray or tank tan, what messages are you sending to the women who were born that way?
Also, what messages are you sending to sisters who already had this size/shape before it was popular?
And if our hue and physique is so spectacular that people will spend thousands of dollars on it, why have all peoples of the world turned their backs on us?
The constant slander and restraint put on the physical bodies of our women has left critical cycles of distorted self image and low self esteem.
"Smile, you're too beautiful to be frowning" means nothing to a woman who has been disregarded time after time for women who merely imitate what comes naturally to her.
It means nothing when the only time she is called upon, is for her misuse or degradation.
It means nothing when she has been abandoned by her man and left to be the sole provider in the household.
It means nothing when she isn't honored and appreciated apart from birthdays and holidays.
LET'S BE HONEST
There's little to no appreciation of the woman, when her naked body isn't up for use.
Society makes us out to be undesirable when we are on our menstrual cycles, after we've had children or underwent any health procedures.
For centuries, we were told our hair texture was unappealing.
Cover it up, perm it, wear a wig or weave, do anything besides honor what grew from you.
Every representation of who we are is mocked, by even our own men.
They now dress up in wigs, lipstick and imitate their black mothers for the entertainment of online viewers.
Women who have lost the resilience and perseverance required to uphold a level of self-value, are utilizing their bodies for their own profit. Their mentality is, "if society can make money off of exploiting me, why not exploit myself"?
Make no mistake about it, these things have nothing to do with a woman's style of dress because it guarantees nothing. However, it's about the impression these experiences have on the psyche of that individual woman that will determine her long term behavioral response.
Majority of the adjustments or adaptations women have made is to due to their circumstance and the social/political climate in their environment.
It is not who they are, and it is not who they will be in 50 years because the cycles are being broken now.
I am both a lover and discourager of the nudist movement. I trust that everything pure is done in moderation. Not in protest for the respect of others but in protest to the psyche that we are freeing ourselves.
Body positivity begins with accepting oneself thoroughly.
It has nothing to do with how naked you can be, but moreso how comfortable you are naked.
Do you accept yourself?
Whether you are a size 1 or a size 24, you deserve to show yourself respect and accept nothing less from others.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the perceptions of others is NOT a confirmed truth.
How you feel inside, is the only confirmed truth that the universe will respond to AKA the centerpoint of your karma.
Personally, growing up as a skinny, tall black girl with no breasts or behind was challenging for me until I learned why I manifested this way. I am a GEM, and you ought to know that you are to. The information stored within my DNA is far to valuable, so God hid it in the perfect vessel. The one they would ridicule and imitate but never successfully duplicate. Find your reason, live in your purpose and be proactive so you aren't just reacting or responding to their poison.
The mainstream feminist movement of today, is a weapon of patriarchy itself. They want to convince our women that sterilizing themselves via birth control pills and patches is empowering. They want to convince our women that removing life from their body is a feminine victory.
Your body is your own, but why are the mainstream areas of focus taking away vitality instead of adding to it?
It's just food for thought my dear sisters,
I have no desire to shame women that have had abortions or that take birth control pills. However, the inner workings of this system will lead you to believe that rebelliousness is righteousness.
The beginning of this article took us through a few different points, but the most important thing we must do as sisters is set the tone for a new era of divine self esteem.
As the nurturers and expanders of our communities, we must abolish fear and any limitations that will stop us from ascending collectively.
Regardless of what the rest of the world has done to us, we must take into account that the security of our daughters is at risk. Rather than wait for the protection and provisions of men, government and other groups of women. We must strategically weed out the negative images that we ourselves hold as truth.
Accept Yourself (You are perfect, just as you are in this moment)
Challenge yourself to grow (changing your perspective, changes your reality)
If you do not like your body, work on it! (Not because they said so, but because you want to)
If you are not valued in a relationship, remove yourself! ( double check to see where the lack of value resides within)
Find at least two trustworthy sisters to share your moments with ( do not overburden yourself)
Eat healthy (even if it's only one meal a day)
Stretch ( maintain a healthy blood flow)
Retrace your childhood to adulthood (disregard all negative self talk and outside talk)
Affirm your beauty ( Speak to your higher self)
Give love (energy is a cycle, what you put out you will receive)
Be receptive (The universe will only allow you to see what are willing to accept)
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