Body Politics

body politics: normalizing the conversation

August 1, 2019
78 Picks

It seems that culture is finally catching up to reality. Up until recently it was cool to conform even if it wasn’t your reality. Our public figures were pressured to fit into a box of how society demanded they look and this pressure of course made its way to everyday people. Or maybe it was the other way around.

For a long time, only one body was desirable in mainstream media and for much of the population, it was not a healthy one to achieve. Because of brave people who speak up about the body discrimination they have faced or the measures they have taken to avoid it, culture is beginning to shift. More than ever, we celebrate a spectrum of bodies out loud. We even experience more wins more quickly than ever regarding body diversity in the mainstream. But, of course, representation is nowhere near equal.

As mainstream media becomes slowly but increasingly tolerant, public figures are afforded the room to be honest and vulnerable in a more supportive environment than those who came before. We are frequently reminded of the beauty in our individuality, an easy thing to forget.

I often find these messages proclaimed by artists who grace the AFROPUNK stage. I heard these blunt affirmations from Lizzo at the Paris edition of the Festival, where she celebrated the mutual love and respect in the room for Black people — specifically fat, Black people. I heard them from Willow Smith who opened up on Red Table Talk about her body insecurities:

“I, in my own life, struggled. Curvier women and curvier girls have always gotten more attention from the boys that I’ve liked and have ended up dating the boys that I’ve liked. (…) Then you start to wonder, ‘Dang am I just not desirable? Is my body just not what society likes?’ So it does just get really hard for a lot of girls.” This resonated with a lot of people who felt the same way but did not think they could express this.

I received them from Ms. Jill Scott who spoke to the Huffington Post about confidence as the sexiest quality of all:

“I’ve enjoyed the company that I’ve kept, and I think I’ve learned over the years that it’s more important to be comfortable with yourself than whatever anybody else has to say. (…) It can be a challenge when you don’t look like anybody on the magazine cover. It can feel alienating, but every woman in my opinion has their own power. (…) I’ve seen women — where someone else would describe as a ‘stick figure’ – carry more grace and be more sexy in her simple elegance than a full figured, curvy girl. I’ve seen curvy girls that cower in their skin. And it’s really about accepting of one’s self. I believe whole-heartedly, it’s about how you carry yourself.”

Brave people speaking out about formerly uncomfortable topics forces us to grow and rethink the status quo. It is vital and something that does not go unnoticed.

Let’s celebrate some of AFROPUNK’s friends whose vulnerable, confidence makes us feel celebrated.


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Day 12/50 💍 You all know how important it is to me to always be honest w you. If there’s one thing I hope to succeed in among all of this madness, it’s being 100% myself with you 100% of the time. I feel that I have a duty as a young black woman in the music industry to talk about all the things that I know my peers and younger ones feel. I always wanted someone to look up to when I was a kid. Someone who I could see who looked and acted the way I did. & it was hard to find. I always want you to know, to whoever is reading this, that all this shit isn’t real. The Instagram images, the tweets, the Facebook posts. With the right lighting, right camera angle & right filter, anything can look like “goals”. But, what even is that? To me, when I’m looking at somebody that I see as “goals”, it’s somebody with ambition. With fight in their soul and somebody who is never willing to give up. Being a young woman in this industry has been difficult. Like I’ve told you before, I never thought i was physically ‘built’ to be somebody in the public eye. Now I realise it’s bullshit. I absolutely was. My strong mind. My loving heart. My openness. My want to succeed. My ability to compromise and my stubbornness. I had all the tools in my belt and all I had to do was figure out how to use them. I also see how beautiful I am. As a human being. And how important I could be in changing one young girls mind. So, here’s a little #instagramvsreality for y’all tonight. Every tiny struggle counts 🤣 Be yourself. Be kind. Be beautiful. And never compromise unless you feel it’s necessary. Love you. #TheRoadToLoveAndCompromise 🌺🥭

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Mykonos Was Mad Fun And I Could Finally Slam My Back Somewhere 🤣

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dear friends, I am a very private person as u all know and I have gone back and forth in my mind whether to share that this year I have been recovering from laparoscopic surgery to remove 6 fibroid tumours from my uterus. the tumours were pretty huge, the size of 2 cooking apples 🍎 🍎, 3 kiwis 🥝 🥝 🥝 and a couple of 🍓🍓. a fruit bowl of pain everyday. the nurse said that the weight and size was like being 6 months pregnant. I tried to be brave but it was excruciating at times and to be honest I started to doubt if my body would ever feel the same again. I had surgery in December and I was so scared, despite lots of love from friends and family I felt really alone and my confidence as a woman was knocked. but… today whilst dancing with Kelly at the choreography house I felt like my strong self again for the first time in a while and it was magical. thank you precious body for healing, thank you for reminding me to be kind to myself, you are a wonderful thing, now go create and be other once again <3 I know that a lot of women suffer from fibroid tumours and I just wanted to say after my experience that you are amazing warriors and that you are not alone. you can get through this. and with this I let go of the pain… love always twigs 🌱

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Came a mighty long way! #flashbackfriday #fatboyfriday

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FATBELLYBELLA … I loooooove fluffy cuff season bye skinny bitches #soultrainawards2016 Sunday November 27

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