Three Ways All-Natural Products Helped Me Express My Femininity
Courtesy of WordsWithRandie.com
1. I developed a ritual of self-care and love.
When I was younger my dad caught me on the side of the house scraping my skin with a brick. I thought it would make my skin light but instead it made me ashy, haha. I wanted to be light-skinned like the women around me instead of dark like the men. To me, lightness was a gender-expression and the only way to prove I was a girl. When he told my mom she sat with me, kissed me on my cheeks, and up and down my arms. She didn’t yell or shame me for thinking the color of my skin made me a boy. She did, however, convince me that I was acceptable how I was. Discovering and using all-natural products when I was far away from affirmations and the familiarity of my family gave me the same feelings my mom did when I was a child. Attending college in Wooster, Ohio in the dead of winter was harsh on my skin. Eczema broke out on the back of my palms, dark spots covered my face as I adjusted to the new city, and no matter how much lotion I put on, the skin on my arms and legs continued to crack. It was hard to advocate for myself as a Black woman attending a predominately white institution when my skin wasn’t cooperating with me and I didn’t feel good about myself. Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Africa’s Best, and natural soaps brought me out of my emotional rut. I developed a habit of carrying small jars of Shea Butter around campus with me. I also took the time to saturate my skin with my Shea mixes and oils. This practice of nursing my skin back to health taught me a lot about self-care and love. The lesson: self love and self-care is a process. I inadvertently prioritized myself in a space and on a campus where I was considered a nuisance. As a result, I didn’t have to worry about how my skin looked while simultaneously working to overcome the racism and sexism I experienced everyday. I found a shine and resilience in myself when I took the time to take care of myself.
2. I became associated with all things that smell good.
Nine times out of ten you will find someone buried in my neck or sniffing my wrist. They exclaim, “Oh my god, what is that smell?”
Now everybody knows the smell is a Shea Shea Bakery wonder but in college, I was far away from civilization making my own Shea Butter. I picked up essential oils from vitamin shops and local grocery stores and blended away. I expressed my femininity with my scent. Smelling good—especially with a unique scent makes me feel extra girly. My mom says she can always tell when I’m home and that I leave a trail of feel-good feelings in the air with my orange citrus, grapefruit, strawberry, vanilla, and peppermint smells. Everyone else agrees as well.
3. I found my niche.
Every woman has that one thing they’re known for. A lot of my girl friends are gurus in dealings of nails, hair, clothes, and shoes, but I’m the guru of products. Want a smooth face, a nice clay-mask, or a review of a scrub? Or do you want to know where to buy essential oils for your Shea Butter and soap concoctions? I’m your girl. Products are my thing and I feel good when I contribute and help a fellow woman find a soap, butter, or oil that makes her feel like her best self. How do you express your femininity? What does that look like to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Courtesy of WordsWithRandie.com