My Story: Intro

My "Cousin" Joaquima

When I started this blog I had intended for it to be transparent.  As in I had thought I would share my thoughts you the real ones that seem to make you vulnerable and uncomfortable?  Yeah that was what I‘d intended to do.  Somehow I just never got around to it.  There was opportunity with that first post, about my painting, but I left out the hard parts that would be a little uncomfortable to share with just anybody.  My desire is to just be honest and real, so here it is.
The reason the first painting is significant is because it marks the beginning of my use of art to explore and heal myself.  In 2006 I decided to go natural, for a black woman this a big deal because wearing our natural hair is not a typically accepted look.  Most of us have extensions in our hair such as braids and weaves or our hair is straightened chemically. The natural texture of our hair is just not considered beautiful to a lot of us.  I have a play cousin, whom I hadn’t seen in a really long time and when I saw her the summer of 2006, she had this gorgeous, luscious afro. I was affected, in that moment I thought, “this is what I want to look like.”  I started doing research and found that there was an entire community of brown skin ladies with unruly hair who were embracing their unique beauty.  So after a couple of days of looking at websites and reading personal stories I thought I was set to go and so I told my mother that I was going natural.  Her face  told me clearly she thought this was a horrible idea.    She was against the idea and it was clear that I would have no support from her. I didn’t care I was going to do it I figured it was my head and I could do whatever the heck I  liked with it.
I would never have guessed that, that one decision would lead to the realization that I didn’t love my-self. The first painting I posted (Red Lilly) is significant because it marks the beginning of my use of art to explore and heal myself.  During my second quarter in advanced painting I decided to paint myself. First so that I could actually see myself, see what I looked like focus on my body and learn to love what was there, however it was.  So that is what I did for the next two years. I had this idea that I would have lilies in every painting and that when I felt that I was just as beautiful as the flowers then maybe the series would be finished.  I soon left the flowers out and focused on creating a love language to myself in beautiful color on canvas.  I wasn’t worried about any rules of the art world or what anyone would think, not my family, not my peers or my professor.  I just wanted to love my-self.
What’s even more interesting is that this journey led to me questioning my eating habits, my exercise habits, my spiritual beliefs and my relationships.  I will of course get into all of those things in later posts.

My "Cousin" Joaquima

My "Cousin" Joaquima

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~ by alillia on July 17, 2010.

3 Responses to “My Story: Intro”

  1. I’m so glad you decided to write this. It is important and great for others to read. It’s very empowering. It’s a call to action and a challenge to everyone to love themselves more. I don’t think there are any people who couldn’t stand to truly (in the best sense of the word) love themselves even a little bit more. This makes me want to create, as usual. I am going to go try making sprouts out of seeds, a friend taught me how. Then I’m going to exercise or make art or both. You inspire me so greatly. Oh, and your cousin, like yourself, is VERY beautiful! I believe her hair has a lot to so with her beautiful appearance. Your openness helps me to feel like I can be more natural, more free. . . more. . . me. : )

  2. A very cool blog. It’s not uncommon (unfortunately) for many people in this culture to not love themselves. We are so focused on what we are NOT instead of what we are. It sounds like your hair became a doorway towards Uncovery–the removal of all the superficiality and lies that are covering up the real, true, and beautiful you.

    • Jim I am honored that you visited my blog and that you think it’s cool! you’ve made my day! yes my hair was major doorway in my life 🙂

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