Okay after reading ASHLEY1977T's blog entry "what exactly is beautiful" - I felt inspired to post (a revised version of) my response here as a blog entry.
Reading her blog reinforced the reason I unapologetically chose "PRETTYBLKGYRL" as my username. Sooooooooo here goes...........
Growing up I always felt awkward.
I was either too tall, too dark, too heavy, my nose was too wide, etc..... Basically I grew up HATING myself. (I grew up in an all white community, in the late 70's/early 80's - so needless to say there weren't many beautiful, black women for me to look up to... aside from my family)
*side note* I had the honor of being nicknamed DARK VADER shortly after Star Wars came out. You gotta love the origin of some of the issues that haunt us during our childhood. Especially when they follow us into adulthood & result in a destructive, self-loathing mentality
Anyway - it wasn't until I was in my mid-20's that I decided that I couldn't continue to hate myself because I wasn't "Hollywood" beautiful or thin. I had to establish my OWN expectations/standards of beauty. I had to make it okay for me to look like ME!!! I couldn't wait for someone else to validate me. *sigh* Hence the name "PRETTYBLKGYRL" was born.
& I think you'd be surprised by the number of times my fellow SP'ers have asked me WHY I chose PRETTYBLKGYRL as my username. These inquiries weren't in a harmless, inquisitive "hey interesting name, what's the story behind it" way. It was in a "don't you think your name is arrogant?? maybe you should consider changing it" way.
& I even got a message w/ the subject "hey NOT SO PRETTYBLKGYRL"...
I can either take ownership of other people's ignorance or I can laugh it off, b/c @ the end of the day I know:
1.) who I am
2.) where I came from
3.) & how long it took me to get to the point where I'm okay w/ being me!!!
Because when I wake up in the morning & I see my reflection in the mirror - I'm FINALLY okay with who's looking back at me - FLAWS & ALL!!!