It's summa timeeeee (technically it's summer all year long for me in The Bahamas) and one of my favorite things to do is hit the beach, or hitch a boat ride with a friend or even a friend's friend, cause I mean, who am I to turn down a FWEE boat trip with a few brews? Another one of my favorite things is INSTAGRAM I mean, I'm a a millennial, blah blah blah. And when those two things combine, what do you get: a melaninated, glorious, thirst trap swim suit pic of epic proportions!!!
Well, not according to me, anyways. So YES, I post a̶ ̶l̶o̶t̶a shit ton of pics on Instagram and usually my pics are of things that actually go on in my life. And because I go to the beach a lot, there's gonna be a crap ton of beach pics a̶s̶ ̶o̶p̶p̶o̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶p̶i̶c̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶m̶o̶n̶e̶y̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶c̶k̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶e̶a̶r̶, what can I say? A gyal lives in her truth. But a couple of my guy associates have asserted that my photos are mega thirst traps - set up to end up in creepy secret guy whatsapp group chats (true story) or destined to join some guy's late night loneliness alongside an unassuming bottle of Jergens and his mother's Kleenex that she uses when she ushers at the Church of the Most Holy Living Abundant Assembly of Gracious Ascension Angels. And my response to that is:
1. I know it's kinda hard for a lot of #men to realize that NOT everything women do is because of them of directed to them 🤣 I get it...blame it on patriarchy, but you penis carrying members of society have been large and in charge since, well...forever. So it may be difficult dealing with us "new age" gyals and our shocking ability to focus on things other than getting the attention of men, looking for marriage etc. Crazy right? next thing you know, we're gonna start wearing pants and wanting reproductive rights! Wait....
2. I also know I can't speak for all women, only myself and maybe some of my friends WHEN I SAY: There is not one cell in my body that thinks "OMG imma post a #thirsttrappin#beach pic and get the man of my dreams or feel validated" 🙄 My momma ain raise no fool! I know that many men that I have met and will continue to meet over the course of my life, will ONLY see a BODY when they see me. They won't see an intelligent, funny, empathetic, forgiving, empathetic, ambitious woman. And before the "dress how u wanna be addressed" mafia comes rolling in on their rape culture TRYcycles, what about all the times women (including myself) are dressed "modestly" and are still ONLY seen as bodies...or worse....harassed and attacked. At the risk of sounding too deep or taking it too seriously, in my research at the University of Google re: rape stats, I was NOT SO SURPRISED to find out that the majority of rape cases involved women who were not dressed "sexily" (is that a word?). But yeah, I ain't expecting or lookin' for love in my DMs via a dope beach pic.
3. I post out of self love and pride, tbh. I look at myself and go "Damn girl, you're glowing up" 😹🍫👏🏾 Let me tell you, sis. My confidence is at an all time high right now and I aint apologizing for it. Man, I remember when I wanted to go to the beach with jeans pants etc on. I remember when I thought my body wasn't THE BEST. I'm a point where I'm super comfy with my body (although them abs come and go lol SMT) and I honestly FEEL SO aware and happy and FREE.
4. I also post because I want other women to know it's okay to be proud of urself and ur body (especially black bodies that are usually only ever looked at as sexual or taboo). I see other black women posting and I be screen shooting the caca out them pics. Am I creepy? lol. But I just think it's so beautiful that we're at a time in history where women are coming forward- unafraid and unashamed. I'm HERE FOR IT. As I said, black bodies, especially. Now, vanilla sisters, I'm here for u too, but from what I see, it seems that a.when vanilla queens r posting pics in swimmies etc, the reception always has a less sexual tone, but us brown queens...it seems to always be perceived as some sort of sexual moment. b) living in a big tourist destination I've noticed that most beach/swim/travel campaigns for my country and other tourist destinations often feature vanilla bodies. I DO take issue with this. Black people don't vacation, bih?! So it's of personal importance to me, to show BLACKNESS in the "tourist"/vacation/travel sphere. Also to remind people that organic bodies still matter too (no shade to my queens that choose to do some tweaks lol)
5. I'm not stupid, I know men and boys may feel a type of way- men like to look at what that they look at, I get it and I can't stop that, BUT let's be clear: my every moment and mood can't be effected by the male gaze.
6. Lastly, It's NOT ALWAYS that deep- sometimes it's just a bomb azz pic, I mean look at the color and depth of field or whatever lol.