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You are Always Beautiful.

I was really beautiful growing up. I know that because that picture you see there is proof. I was a very beautiful child, but I never really thought about how beautiful I was because everyone I knew used to tell me how ugly I was…except for my mom and we all know that never counts.

I saw this video for a girl named Ariyonna, a day or so ago, and it hit me how early on little Brown girls learn to believe that they aren’t supposed to feel beautiful. And there is nothing pretty about being part of a society that forgets to remind little Black and Brown girls that they are beautiful. 

This is the first of two separate times I will reference this video, because it hit me that hard. I think I am ugly.

A few days ago as I told you before I ran into one of the men who raped me, what I didn’t tell you was about the second man who took one look at me and said “well that shit never should have happened,” pointing to me…insinuating that I am hideous.

I shouldn’t care what my rapist thinks about me, but therein lies his power to eradicate everything I know about myself to be absolutely true.

I know that I am not ugly, I know that I can be a very beautiful girl inside and out when I want to be, the problem is that I don’t fucking want to be.

I’ve written before about letting the costume become the reality? It hit me when I posted about this video over Twitter that this is exactly what I have been doing. I have been letting the costume become the reality by smoking too much, eating too much and absolutely refusing to get off my ass and take care of myself.

I’m fucking tired. I don’t want to take care of myself. I survived gang rape like four times, that should be enough. I shouldn’t have to do anymore. I fucking survived men who tried to kill me, who did rape me, beat me and torture me. I am fucking tired of trying to be pretty.

I tried that, I followed the rules, I got my hair and nails done, I wore appropriate outfits that didn’t show too much I behaved myself around the men that belonged to my female friends. I said nothing when one after another my friends got scared off or ended up pregnant again, by men who couldn’t afford to buy groceries let alone pay rent if it weren’t for the drugs they were selling.

I did everything right, I went home alone night after night, I told no one my business, I asked about no ones and I still got gang raped because of the colour of my skin.

FOUR FUCKING TIMES.

Little Brown and Black girls need more protection. They need men like Matthew Cherry putting a call out for artwork so that girls like Ariyonna can feel beautiful without feeling like they need permission. 

We need men to stand up and tell us that we’re beautiful and to stomp back against those who try to tear us down.

We need women to support each other, we need women to stand up and teach little white girls how to appreciate their beauty, without trying to diminish ours.

Today is Women’s Day. And I don’t feel very proud to be a woman these days. I unfollowed someone on Twitter because I asked her to do me a drawing of my face for my new brand logo. It was really important that a woman of colour design my new logo. She said no. I said okay.

Two days later she made a beautiful logo for a white presenting woman of colour, and it fucking hit me. Women of colour do not support each other.

They don’t support me at least….not in large batches and maybe that’s because I am new, but maybe that’s because I am fucking outspoken.

I will never forget telling a woman being racist to a group of different shades of Coloured women, they looked at me like I was nuts. I was defending them, but they didn’t see it as a problem, because they’re used to dealing with racists.

This is new for me. I got used to being accepted for who I was wherever I want, I forgot what happens in the real world when you don’t have gangsters pretending to have your back as long as it’s convenient for them.

I forgot that women judge each other by what they wear, because I spent so long away from those terrible toxic people, that I just let myself go and decided this was happiness.

In a way it very much is. I am no longer living the life anyone else thinks I should be living, I’m not a fucking hero I’m a blogger. I’m not perfect I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but my mistakes didn’t take a life. They didn’t make people think they deserved to die.

My mistakes didn’t get innocent women raped and innocent children threatens. My mistakes didn’t put lives in danger.

No matter what I have always tried to do the right thing whenever absolutely possible. I’ve kept secrets and will keep more until the day I die, but I don’t deserve to feel ugly because the man who raped me decided I am unworthy of his respect after what he put me through.

I don’t need his respect, I need his sorry scrawny go nowhere do nothing great with his life ass to go to fucking Prison.

But until Women of Colour stand up and support Women of Colour on a huge massive basis that is never going to happen.

I’m not just talking about myself. I am talking about all the women of colour on social media who feel like their voices don’t matter because their tweets aren’t going viral and no one is checking on them in the middle of the night. I see you. I am you. I love you. You’re not alone. You’re fucking beautiful.

I want to see a world where a range of beautiful shades of coloured women are respected for their brains, for their heart, for their ability to show kindness and love.

We can be kinder, gentler more honest versions of ourselves without stepping on each other to get to the top. One by one we’ll get there when we are supposed to, which is why worrying about our looks is so silly.

If you want to feel confident, go look in the mirror and think seriously about every woman in your family line who came before you. Think about everything they struggled so that you can exist, so you can breath the air you are breathing. See their strength in your heart, their courage in your eyes, see the mistakes in the wrinkles in your face.

See the laughter by the corners of your eyes, see who they were, believe they are still with you, and if you’re high enough you might be able to feel their energy as they hug you and whisper “Krisya Sister”, welcoming you to the sisterhood of Ancients.

Pay respect to those who came before you when you see yourself in the mirror, smile and say “damn you’re beautiful.” Even and especially on days when you don’t feel like it because those are the days you need to hear it the most.

Face the world knowing your sisterhood of Ancients stand with you, wherever you go, and no one will ever be able to make you feel ugly again, because you are the result of ten plus generations of beautiful genetic change and existence. You are one of many, but you are the only one….of the many.

Reach out to the women you know on Twitter and tell them that you think they are beautiful. Give them a compliment today. Tell them they deserve to be loved and share the love today on Women’s day. Unite the sisterhood from Istanbul to Jamaica, from Ireland to Washington women everywhere are in the communal vessel of Earth today.

So celebrate with your best girlfriends with a glass of wine or toast yourself, because wherever you are, whatever vessel your soul came in, if you are a woman, today is your day and it’s fucking beautiful.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

PS. Mom…thanks for not sharing your perfect size ten feet, and your eyebrows…it just means I get the pretty s hoes. I love you.