A "Big" Beautiful Fucking Mess

I believe all this beauty shit started back in undergrad. You see, once upon a time I attended a medium sized HBCU in Virginia. After getting a healthy dose of freshman college basketball politics, I found myself, perhaps for the first time, unenthused by the game that I loved so deeply. I was ten-plus hours away from home and with splinters in my ass from riding the bench, I was looking for an outlet. So in search of a release, I did what any straight man with a 7 to 1 women to men ratio would do-- I studied. That's right I began studying. Applying myself in the most rigorous and intentional of ways. The subject at-hand you ask? I was studying none other, than the gorgeous, intelligent, low-cut-nike-Air Force-one-wearing, coco-butter-smelling, lip-gloss- popping, brown women of the campus. 

I was a late bloomer with the slick talk, so I had to sit back and calculate my moves when it came to the women. Peep their energy, see them in different settings, and ultimately see where their mind was before I made any moves. However, there was one girl in my keyboarding class that just stuck out to me. She was perfect. Her smile, her laugh, her walk-- I was open. So naturally I did what anybody who was really interested in someone would do-- I didn't say shit to her and acted like she didn't exist. 

This foolishness went on for about two weeks, until a chance encounter in the cafeteria had us sitting right next to one another. I figured this was a sign, so I ceased it. The meaningless convo I struck with her turned into two hours of this-and-that and ultimately a study-date. I was boosted. the study-date the next day went great, and we proceeded to see each other everyday for the next week. I had our wedding song picked out and everything. I was open-open.

One night we were on a late night stroll through the campus and a few teammates of mine noticed us walking together, they shouted me out, but were talking and laughing to themselves in a "they-talking-shit-about-me" kind of way. I shrugged it off and kept jaunting with my queen.

Later that evening when I returned to my dorm I was met with "I saw you and your BIG joint strolling around campus" from one of my teammates. "That's not your girl is it?" There I stood, the freshmen, in a room filled with some older guys, who had already began chuckling. The "BIG"  they were referring to was her size. She was not big by any stretch of the imagination, but even if she was it shouldn't have mattered. I was head over heels emotionally for this person. I laughed off their comments, however, my failure to respond with my truth would prove to have a lasting impact on the way I viewed her, and ultimately us.

I went back to my dorm with so much to say but no one to tell. I thought of storming back into that room filled with my teammates and rattling off, one-by-one the things that I adored about this woman. The beauty in her smile, eyes, hips, mind. Her quick wit, and charisma. The curl of her lips and and the way her toes wiggled. Never had I so much infatuation around one person. What they questioned, I appreciated. In fact, I more than appreciated, I loved. She was perfect to me.

However, I didn't storm back into the room. Rather, I sat there and allowed what I knew, to be judged, questioned, and mispercieved. In that moment I failed. I failed myself. I failed her. I failed us. 

The relationship between her and I never worked out for reasons outside of my silence in that moment, however my accountability or lack there of, always stuck out to me.  Years later, I realized the source of my regret was not found in the things I should've said to my teammates. Rather, my truest regret was in the things I should've said to her. Her smile, her thoughts, her voice, her walk, her mistakes, were all, beautiful.

 

The is one of many stories that serve as inspiration for the upcoming Intellectucool event entitled Standard of Beauty. This event is designed to both challenge and bring to life beauty standards. This interactive narrated event will take place Saturday, November 18th from 7:00-10:00 PM at Nubian Hueman in the Historic Anacostia neighborhood of Southeast DC. For tickets go to Intellectucool.com