Today I’m switching it up.
After recently retweeting a thread that really struck a chord with me, I’ve been dwelling on whether to write more posts on subjects that affect me
I was so scared of sharing this thread (pictured above) on my twitter timeline. In fact, I toyed back and forth about whether I should retweet for my followers to see. I didn’t want any of my followers who I actively interact with to feel uncomfortable, but at the same time I just couldn’t stay silent. Twitter is my platform to share whatever I like, and although, I didn’t like this post, I could relate with subject matter.
Most of my posts are about what I do on the weekend, the places I travel and what-not which is great because I genuinely enjoy sharing those aspects of my life, but most of the time my head is swirling with a gazillion things that affect me on a daily basis, and one of those ‘things’ is how I choose wear my confidence as a black woman.
And I use the word ‘choose’ because every way in which I am confident is not always accepted in the society I live in.
Being a black woman living in London is something that I treasure and love about myself. In my home, in front of my friends and family I am Rianne without any limitations, however, in society being black acts as anchor that doesn’t allow me to fully be myself without stereotypes and tags being attached to me and everything I do.
Angry, loud, passive aggressive, ratchet instead of their positive alternatives like passionate, confident, intelligent and honest are labels that get thrown around at black women on a daily basis. A few of these words have even been hurled at me and used to put me down which of course, over the years have had a detrimental affect on my confidence and means I have to always be socially and consciously aware in situations I’m in.
So, here’s a few ways I choose to wear my confidence, when the world tells me I can’t…
It’s proven that posture has a direct reflection of how you feel and are perceived. Standing with a straight back and head held high makes all the difference to how I feel. For me it’s totally natural for me to recoil into my posture if I’m not feeling great, or if there’s something society deems as not being something I should be proud or confident about. Whenever I catch myself doing this, I remember to readjust my position to show – I have a purpose and I am meant to be here.
If you didn’t know I have dreadlocks, take a look at my posts about it here & here. Although this hair journey is becoming a lot more mainstream as a natural, protective hairstyle for black women, it’s not always understood and still very much not an ‘approved’ hairstyle in many workplaces, but I love how I wear my hair as a way to display my heritage and culture. My hair is very versatile, sometimes, I have it in styles, sometimes I have it out, but I love that it can be a conversation starter, where I can educate anyone who wants to know more.
Stereotypically black women can be seen as intimidating and unapproachable. Confidence isn’t just about the exterior and how you appear to seem, but it starts from within. At first glance people may have a pre conceived idea about me I’ve been told I have RBF (resting bitch face), but I actively agree in quote: If you have good thoughts (and a positive attitude) they will shine out of your face…
Occasionally, I recite quotes in my head that reaffirm and boost positivity.
When I refer to this point I don’t necessarily mean in front of a big crowd. Speaking up in certain situations takes courage and therefore confidence, and the older I get I find myself doing this more and more. There are many examples where I feel I have to do this to set the record straight or give the black perspective and to even break stereotypes by someone who is reinforcing them. (the thing about stereotypes is that they’re not necessarily untrue, but they don’t tell the full story).
One instance where I had to speak out was when someone voiced that they think Blue Ivy is an ugly baby, that she looks nothing like Beyonce and that North West is much prettier. This may seem like a minor issue but to say a child is ugly is quite pathetic tbh, but then again everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, I had to question why they thought this.
When quizzed they simply said her hair wasn’t nice because it was too ‘frizzy’ and because her features resembled Jay Z. This is true but I had to highlight the fact those qualities are qualities of her blackness and for that to be used against her is not cool.
Ultimately, it shows that from a young age, confidence is something that can be snatched away, but it is our job to reclaim it and make the ways in which we are confident a force to be reckoned with.
The subject of confidence is so much bigger than this one blog post, and there are many other ways in which confidence can be radiated. Although I am talking about my experience as a black woman, I want to know how you wear your confidence, no matter where you’re from or your background?