I am a subscriber to the Essence e-mails, so I get daily updates about what is going on in Black America. There is anything from weddings, to bachelorette trips, to beauty tips, to the latest music. There are even stories about celebrities and their accomplishments and unfortunately, downfall.
Earlier this year, I came across an article about Cardi B showing off her post-pregnancy body. Like so many others, I, too, was intrigued by her SnapBack (how quickly she returned to her pre-baby body) and wanted to know what she looked like and how she did it. But, what I found was more disturbing. Instead of her being celebrated or positively affirmed, she was ridiculed and shamed.
As I continued to read the article, I learned that she clapped back (gave a sassy response) to all those who negatively spoke against her. She talked about her efforts to “clean up” her image, and how she became more mindful of her behaviors. She wanted to be a better version of herself for her daughter and more palatable to mainstream America. The problem? The world would not let her be great.
Cardi B went from a stripper turned Love & Hip Hop Star turned YouTube sensation to a beautiful Hip Hop artist, topping charts with a brand new family to care for. But, in her best efforts to improve herself, people still found things to talk about. It was and is always something. Her career choices, her teeth, her language, etc. People were never happy. And, now that she is a better version of herself, that is not enough either.
They take a nude picture and automatically go back to stripper Cardi. They don’t see new MOMMY Cardi who is proud of her body’s SnapBack. They don’t see WIFE Cardi who is teasing her HUSBAND with a “six weeks is up” photo. 😏 They don’t see a woman who GRACEFULLY just carried and brought life into this world. All they see is a stripper, reality tv, social media star, but she is SO MUCH MORE!
She is a young woman, a mother, and a wife who is navigating life the best way she knows how. Will she make mistakes along the way? Of course! But, who doesn’t? Will she cross every t and dot every i? No. But, she doesn’t have to. She is allowed to live and mistakes. Mistakes are a part of growth. She is allowed to decide what job she wants to do and how she wants to raise her child and be a wife. She is allowed to her emotions. If she’s hurt, she’s allowed to be angry. If someone talks about her daughter, she’s allowed to protect her. What that looks like is no one’s business. She is young, learning, and growing, and I applaud her for having the courage to do so.
So, Sister Cardi, (and all those like her), I say to you KEEP FLOURISHING! Don’t let ANYONE take you back to a place that you chose to leave from! Keep moving forward! And, DON’T STOP GROWING! Walk over the stumbling blocks of people’s judgments, high and unrealistic expectations, and executions. Take those blocks and use them as stepping stones. Don’t get caught up and lose hope in your journey, or worse, stop your process because the only person’s opinion you have to concern yourself with is your Beautiful Baby Kulture! Be the BEST mommy, wife, woman that you know how to be, so she can walk with her head HIGH with pride! And, if no one has said this to you “I’m PROUD of you Young Black Woman!”