So…there was a lot of talk a week or so ago after the BET Awards. Actor Meagan Goode wore a dress that umm…well…was a bit much for some of us conservative folks. Folks had much to say because she recently married a minister and she was presenting in the Gospel Music category. Now, I expressed my shock, displeasure and perhaps jealousy only because the dress revealed so much. It’s not something I would have chosen to wear, though, my body is nothing like hers, so, therein lies the problem. (maybe). When I expressed my opinion, it had nothing to do with her being a pastor’s wife or presenting the category, I just thought a little too much skin was showing. I remember other folks having the same reaction when Jennifer Lopez wore the infamous green dress years ago at the Grammy’s in 2000. I was younger then and I think I said, “I don’t see what the problem is…”. It’s amazing how the years change you.
Around that same time, I was fresh off of on campus life at Mercer University. Before I left Mercer in 1998, there, in the student union was this lady who was well respected on campus. Ms. Tee was her name. She was an older lady and always had something to say about everything. She gave out unsolicited advice all the time. One day, I entered the student union with friends and I had on a dress that stopped at my knees. She told me, in front of all of my friends, “Honey, now you’re just too big to be wearing a dress that short.” At the time, I remember having hurt feelings and thinking that she had no right to tell me what to wear. In my opinion, the dress was not short as it came to my knees whereas others of my friends wore dresses and shorts much shorter. Well, the next day, I decided I would show her! I wore a dress that stopped mid thigh and was tank style. She was livid! The whole day I took special care to parade in front of her so that she could see that I could care less what she thought. She was NOT the boss of me and that what I wore was none of her business. She did not say a word, but turned up her nose every time I walked by.
While my head was in the right place, my actions were a little childish. True, she did not have the right to tell me what to wear. I wasn’t dressing to please her. I was doing it for myself. But, I knew I’d never be able to say the words to her without coming off as disrespectful, so I let my actions do it. It was still disrespectful though.
Well, now, I’m older, wiser and much more conservative than I was in my early twenties. I am more about being comfortable these days. That’s with clothes, shoes, hair, whatever. I’ll wear sleeveless things and bare legs and not shave. I’ll cut my hair short when I’m tired of it. I realized that sometimes, I was doing those things to please other people, and sometimes it was at the expense of my own comfort. Recently, I’ve had a problem with my feet. Now that I’m diabetic, it is not recommended that I have pedicures. Not that I did have them often before, but now that it’s not an option, I’m kinda miffed! Anyway, one of the medicines I take has caused a reaction that makes the skin on my hands and feet peel! At one point, I thought I must be turning into a snake because I was shedding so much skin!
Anyway, I moisturize my feet, but that does not change the appearance of the peeling skin. Most times, I hide my feet because I’m worried about what other people will say. When I’m going to get The Girl from camp though, I’m usually wearing my favorite Nike flip flops which do not hide my feet. The other day when I went to pick her up, I noticed two of the camp counselors (one in her early 20s…the other in her late teens) staring at my feet. One had told the other to look, though I don’t think I noticed because I ignored them. They were laughing. While I was signing my daughter out, I was a little miffed because they were laughing at me. That dude that lives inside my head that the other folks keep tied up in a corner almost got out because I really wanted to kick them on my way out the door. Then, it dawned on me. They can think what they want. They probably laugh at me because I’m fat too. I’m comfortable, my feet are clean and while they are temporarily not the best looking, they are mine and they work. Number one, I was comfortable. That’s all that matters. So what if it makes someone else uncomfortable. I guess that’s what Meagan thought too. She was comfortable so forget y’all! (lol…)
I said all that to say, if you are happy with what you see when you look in the mirror, then yay for you. When it comes down to it, that’s all that matters. If you can’t be happy with what you see in the mirror, then change it! No, you can’t change your skin, but if that’s the root of your displeasure, then honey you need to pray! Let God teach you about love. Until you love yourself the way God created you, there’s no hope in you loving anyone else.
So, the next time you see someone wearing something you would not, could not, or should not wear, just know that they are probably not wearing it for you and if they are, feel sorry for them. They need to learn how to be comfortable in their own skin for themselves!
Until next time,