Yaya

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Who would you be if you loved your body?

Luckily enough, I do! At least most of the time. But who would we be if we always felt amazing and perfect in our own skin? Not human, that’s for sure! I think it’s super important that we learn to hold each other up and remind ourselves that the work we’re doing to love ourselves is just as important as the moment it all finally clicks. It’s also important to speak kindly to yourself and remember that you are killing it, always. I talk to myself in the mirror like Issa Rae in “Insecure” MULTIPLE times a week. It actually works!






What places on your body do you hope to see differently?

My butt.

What stories do you tell yourself when you see these parts of your body?

I think the way I feel about my butt has a lot to do with society’s expectations for black women along with internalized racism. I grew up around mostly white people, and the girls I grew up with were mostly skinny and short. So there I was, a tall black girl with long extremities and a big butt. I felt awkward and out of place. I did whatever I could to hide my curves because I thought it wasn’t sexy to look like I did. Celebrities in the movies were always thin and proportionate and I put so much pressure on myself to look like them. To fit “the standard”. So now that I’m older and feeling very much in love with my body, I have to remind myself that continuous self love is always going to be a process. I still have moments where I feel like a 10yr old again, where I convince myself that my body is for male consumption and female approval, as opposed to the person it’s really made for: ME.

 

What hopes do you have that would arise when others see these? When you see these images?

I really hope that people see themselves in these images. It’s so easy to beat up on yourself and declare that you’re the only one with a scar on your chin, or a dimple on your butt. Well, wait until you see all these babes from different generations, ethnicities, and backgrounds! This project helped me see how many vulnerable, brave and beautiful women are out there, just waiting to share their stories and have these difficult conversations. We are all in this together, love.