I’m in the tube. Adjusting my camisole again. It has been riding up my thighs since I put on this skirt. The fabric and the shape, it seems, were simply not meant to sit on my thunderous thighs. These thick dimply thighs.
And then I sigh. Oh well. They are just thighs. Juicier than people are used to here, but normal right? And so what if I am doing a presentation in front of the class. They are just thighs.
But they’re not really. They’re mine. I had been burying them under clothes for so long, I sometimes did not know what they “normally looked like”. Two years ago, these thighs would never make it out into the public. Now here they are, be-dimpled, strewn with black and silver stretch marks, the folds creasing over my knees. And I am wearing these behemoths. Out. Loud. Proud.
I do not care that the camisole has slithered all the way up my thighs and is now resting just above my ass. In fact, I tuck it away there neatly, hoping it will look like a part of my stomach. I pull my thigh-high boots further up and continue to strut to campus. I feel like the baddest of bitches. Even when, at the beginning of my presentation, I catch one of my class mates scrunch their face at my now see-through mini skirt, I am a bit suprised, that my first feeling is not of shame, but rather nonchalance. I open my tablet and continue with the presentation.
See this year, has been a year of overcoming the normalisation of exclusionary beauty standards. So in 2017, my cellulite and stretch mark riddled thighs and legs have been showing in my new short shorts, my new pleated mini-skirt, the suede mini, the leather mini, the short jumpsuits, everywhere. And its okay. But not because they are normal. But because they too, are beautiful- unique, thick and beautiful. Thin womxn’s legs have been so normalised, I never noticed, that my belief that I could not wear short clothes, was part of the internalisation of the subtle and not so subtle body-shaming I consumed in the media, ill-fitting clothes (damn you camisole!) and from toxic friends and family.
The camisole did not fit, because it was not intended for womxn with my thighs. But the skirt still looked damn good! I strutted to school. Into that presentation. On to the tube. Everywhere. Feeling affirmed. There is nothing wrong with my thighs. There is nothing wrong with my dimply legs, ass and stomach. They are just not your version of normal.
But I don’t want to be normal. Your understanding of “normal”, tastes like exclusion, shame and self-hatred.
So this weekend, as I strolled into Black Girl Fest, with my thigh highs on. My red leather mini-skirt which bunched above my thighs under the sheer pressure of hugging my thighs and ass. And the crop top, that kept rolling up under the bulge of my belly. I felt good. Euphoric even. I love this belly. This ass. These thighs
So what if you stare.
This body- is mine,
it is thick,
it is beautiful
and I will cover it and bare it as I see fit.
a thick, carefree black girl