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Becoming Badu

I was told recently that my image, my profile and my persona needed a makeover, a do-over and a facelift. My personal brand needed to be more positive, more chill and much more Zen. It was suggested that I emulate more popular writers and try to be a tad more upbeat. It was good advice even though I wasn’t having it. My problem with the instruction was that it didn’t feel authentic. It felt disingenuous to who I was and my life’s philosophy. Too many times in my past I’d sacrificed truth for the sake of being well liked and popular. I couldn’t agree to neglect the truth of myself for the sake of likability and call myself a truth teller. I received the advice though with a open heart. The reason? I understood what I was being told you see. Understood that some people shroud their pessimism and negativity in the guise of being pragmatic and practical. I get it, but I’m not that chick. When people come to me for real talk I often don’t spend the time to make that talk pretty. I don’t decorate my words with flowers or poetry. I don’t bother with euphemisms or go around the bend when the direct route is open to me. This is interpreted sometimes as me being …harsh. I get it and I’m trying to learn to be softer but no less sincere. It’s tough because like all of you, I have role models and women I admire. They have traits and qualities that I wish came naturally to me. I realize, however, that even though these traits aren’t an inherent part of my personality, this isn’t a tragedy. If all I can aspire to be is a better version of myself then that’s okay. I aspire to be authentically Super. Authentically me. You dig?

These days many women want to be someone else. We have this picture in our minds of the best female role models. We want to be earthy, intuitive and spiritual like the lovely Erykah Badu and India Arie. These mothers of the earth are wise and deep and we want to embody their traits. Some of you do, but not me. Yes, I’d rock their t-shirts Erykah taught me and India taught me; I’d admire their shaved heads, natural hair or lengthy locks but that would be it. Although becoming Badu is appealing and has its perks, I much rather be me. The way I see it, before these women we admire became role models and women worthy of emulation, they had to overcome who they were yesterday. Before Badu was Badu, she had to deal with her baby fathers and failed relationships. Before India was India, she had to battle self-hatred and gain self-respect. Before Oprah was O, she had to battle feelings of inadequacy and being unworthy. Before Jill was Jill Scott, she had to banish negative self-talk from her head to the exclusion of all else. They were becoming their better selves, still are and so are we. None of us arrive on the earth fully formed and functioning human beings. I’m the Super Sistah. What does that mean? It means I’m in the act of becoming completely unapologetic, unafraid and unfiltered. I’m guiding myself to greatness in a way that is meaningful to me. So yes, I could be perkier, more meditative and more Zen, but that may not be my destination. Maybe the road I travel will lead me to becoming more truthful, more fearless and more powerful. That’s okay with me. More important than becoming Badu is becoming the best version of the woman I see in the mirror.

So what’s up? Y’all disagree? For complaints call (555)897-6633.

Erykah says to ask for Tyrone, but you can’t use her phone.


About the Author

Stephanie Small, Sistah & Superhero! Author, Educator, Personal Growth Coach & wannabe Superhero! Author of Black Girl's Guide to Winning at Love & Life! (Available on Amazon.com, B&N and Kobo)

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