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Last night, my friend, Jerica, dropped off a book I’d purchased from her and a cute T-shirt that says, “I Am A Woman.” I took one look at that shirt and thought, “I see a selfie in your future.”
Selfies. I love them because I get to control what the camera sees. From one angle I look skinny. From another angle I look sexy while a different angle might make me look sweet. I have selfie photo-shoots where I’ll take no less than 47 pictures and only two of those will make the cut.
Someone on the outside looking in might think I’m conceited or self-absorbed. I’m not. I know what I’ve been through. I know there was a time when I completely avoided mirrors because I didn’t like what I saw.
Growing up, I was bullied and made fun of because of my looks. It was hard being the skinny little smart girl with thick glasses, big lips, buck teeth, and a Jheri curl that wasn’t always moisturized.
I spent a lot of time praying I’d somehow wake up with straight teeth, thin lips, and long hair. Contact lenses weren’t a thing back then, but I just knew that my glasses wouldn’t matter if the rest of me was pretty.
There is low-self-esteem and then there is NO self-esteem. I had negative self-esteem. Whenever I felt like I might be kind of cute…there was always someone there to make sure I knew that I wasn’t.
As a young adult it made it easier for me to accept emotional abuse because I felt like…if I could just be a better version of myself…whoever I loved unconditionally would love me the same.
I don’t know how or when it happened, but one day, as a woman in my forties, I decided I was beautiful. I started working out. I started losing the stress weight I’d gained over the years, and I started trying to eat better. I even started praising myself, standing in the mirror, motivating myself to be better for ME…not for anyone else.
So, when I put on my makeup and then put on my “I Am A Woman” T-shirt, my first thought was, “YES, QUEEN! You better WEAR that!”
Things were fine until I stopped focusing on my face and started focusing on the shirt. No matter how much weight I lose, my abs refuse to cooperate. I would blame it on my babies but those babies are 20 and 22. I can partially blame them for nursing my boobs flat, but this gut is all on me.
Abs are made in the kitchen and I love the kind of food that likes to congregate where my abs are supposed to be. When I positioned that camera differently my gut would not be denied.
Even in Spanx it screamed “Give us free!”
After giving myself a mini pity party, I realized I was slipping into my old habit of focusing on my flaws without seeing my gifts. With that being said…
I am not perfect. I am a poet. I am an author. I am a wife. I am a mother. I AM A WOMAN. and I’m beautiful. Dammit.
Ebony Farashuu is a poet, blogger and award-winning author. Her first book of poetry, Butterfly Kisses: Poetry for the Many Faces of Love, was a critical success and garnered an honorable mention in the SBBC Self Published Author Awards for Poetry Book of the Year.
Her debut novel, Slow Burn, won the 2008 Shades of Romance Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards in the following categories: Best Multi-Cultural Fiction Book, Best Multi-Cultural Fiction Author, and Best New Multi-Cultural Fiction Author.
Ebony’s blog, SymplyEbony focuses on her thoughts and feelings as she navigates the ups and downs of life while trying to re-connect with her creativity.
Slow Burn is available at all major booksellers. Ebony’s blog can be found at www.symplyebony.com