Cycles of Life, Mental Health, Millennial Life, Self-Esteem, Wellness

Black and Beautiful – Guest Blogger Markesha

Meet Markesha Briggs

markesha pic

 

What’s up “Inspirers”!!  I know you’re wondering “who is this girl?” and “why is she here?” Let me start by saying name is Markesha and I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to shed some light on how significant mental health is through different aspects of life. I am the founder and creator of Pretty Black Thoughts, which is an online community that supports mental health in Black women. Our ultimate goal is to raise awareness and bridge the gap between the misconceptions of mental health and the black community as a whole. It’s almost like an unspoken rule in the black community that “therapy isn’t for black people”. But HOW?! Myths like such is the reason that Pretty Black Thoughts was created. After having experienced months of uncontrollable depression where I found it hard to get out of bed some days or didn’t even have the energy to brush my teeth (EWW I know), it pushed me to step outside the box and do something about it.

I am a 26 year old Medical Secretary and I’m currently pursuing my Masters in Social Work. When I’m not busy working or studying, I enjoy shopping, shopping, and more SHOPPING haha! I love traveling, eating, dancing, and spending time with friends. I’m also big on energy so when I do get time to myself I use it to realign spiritually, mentally, and emotionally so I can continue being the best ME!

There is a whole generation of black women, like myself, who have endured traumatic experiences growing up and have not properly healed. I hope my presence on ‘Leave Inspired’ will open the door to a new mental journey for some of you and that we can deepen the conversation about mental health within the black community. LET’S GET STARTED!

Black and “Beautiful”

Hey, everyone! I have something that I’ve been wanting to chat about for a while; especially with my fellow melanated queens. Now I’m sure you read the title and you’re thinking that it’s pretty cliche, right? There’s beauty in our blackness… blah, blah, blah. This is true. But is that what society tells us? Is that how we’re REALLY being presented on social media? Did we grow up with the mindset of loving our features? And what exactly makes one “beautiful”? I’m here to break down all these questions for you and then some in this topic so stay tuned!

 

Since social media has taken the world by storm it seems that we’ve been given an outline of how we as black women should look. Think about it… What types of women are almost ALWAYS being pushed to the forefront? Slim waist, big booty, nice breasts, perfect teeth, long hair, and most times lighter toned women. Am I buggin’? I can surely attest to seeing this first hand considering the many celebs and social media influencers that I follow on Instagram. Look at Lil’ Kim, Blac Chyna, K. Michelle, or Nicki Minaj. These queens have been praised over the years for their wondrous looks and BANGING bodies. Still, what all these women have in common is that they all have made some sort of correction to their bodies and facial features where they felt the most insecure. But what caused these women to feel so insecure within themselves that they had to change their appearance? SOCIETY! Society and the opinion of others has always shaped our perception of black women. Society says that for you to be attractive you must look the part. But I believe the outlook on “beauty” lies deeper than just body type. It’s how we psychologically view ourselves.

 

When you investigate the history of black culture, you’ll see that we’ve always had to defend our looks from society. Black women essentially were mocked and for their looks and teased as caricatures during slavery. Not to turn this into a BORING history lesson, but we fail to realize that some of the views on black women that were taught to us through racism are still unknowingly being passed down to today’s generation. I myself went through a period of hating my looks as a child. I remember being teased for having a big forehead and being called names like “African booty scratcher” just because I was dark skinned. Childish, I know. The thing about it that hurt the most was that it was other black children saying these things! Thankfully I grew to love every bit of this chocolate but unfortunately many don’t. An underlying mental issue that many black women face today is Body Dysmorphia, which is a disorder where one constantly obsesses over a flawed appearance. No matter what’s changed about the appearance, it’ll never be pleasing to the eye. Fast forward to a more recent circumstance, R&B stars Teyana Taylor and Ari Lenox’s facial features were just compared to those of a Rottweiler. The comment itself immediately reminded me of a poem called, “Does My Blackness Offend You?” And from comments like such is where we get the Lil’ Kim’s and the Blac Chyna’s if you catch my drift. Here are some ways the we as women can glow and grow deep in love with our blackness:

-speak affirmations on your features that’ll keep you uplifted throughout the day

-read books that are dedicated to the sensuality of black women

-take breaks from social media get away from the overwhelming pressures that can be put on you

-(this one I learned from my best friend) Stand in the mirror and name each part of your body and what you love about it the most. I heard it works better when naked… HAHA!

 

It is super important for us to LOVE our black children and raise them to know that they are kings and queens exactly how they are. Teach them to embrace their physical features so that they’ll never feel the need to change for anyone. As for you, black queen, stand firm in who you are, just the way you are. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! -MB

 

If you loved this content, be sure to follow Pretty Black Thoughts on Instagram and stay tuned for our official 2020 launch!

 

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