When it comes to conforming to western beauty ideals, black girls (and boys) are some of the most scrutinized.
From being told that their natural hair doesn't belong in professional settings, to hearing back-handed compliments like "you're pretty for a black girl," it's no wonder that many begin to feel anxious when they finally decide to embrace their natural features.
But for 19-year-old Jacinda, while it may have taken her some time to love herself fully, over time, she's definitely made self-care a priority.
I could not see my 180 pound ass wearing this to the beach lmao. My ass is not comfortable wearing a bathing suit out in public just yet. Also I would like to address something. Please do not make assumptions that I'm this overly confident person and assume I'm cocky because I'm not. I'm just trying to find myself as a person. And embrace what the universe gave me. I do not want to come off as this cocky person nor a person who is confident 24/7. Just know I am a human. I have feelings. Even tho I joke about being made of steel. Theres some shit that gets to me. This journey of loving my thick body and stretch marks and everything else I once or still kinda find as disgusting is a working process so please do not make assumptions about me.
So now, she wants other black girls and women to do the same. And the teen is spreading the message in the form of memes to her over 11,000 Instagram followers.
In early May, the self-proclaimed advocate for body positivity shared a meme of her mouth where she confessed that she once struggled to love her full lips. The post, with over 60K likes, shortly went viral. And for all the right reasons.
"now all i do is glorify my lips like they're a powerful iconic being," she wrote on Instagram. "i love how now im slowly discovering every flaw i once disliked and slowly loving it like my lips, my plus size body, everything... the road to self love is amazing and i find myself enjoying this little journey of refinement an eye opener!!!"
About a month later, she shared another viral meme flaunting her lips, and made no qualms about calling people out for once mocking black women for having big lips.
"this post was about me a black girl loving her natural features and being constantly reminded by my white peers as a child that they weren't beautiful," Jacinda wrote on her page. "do you guys remember when MAC cosmetics featured a black woman with full natural lips ppl in the comments were just disgusting calling her lips monkey lips and the n slur this is about black girls who are constantly reminded that they aren't beautiful."
But aside from just talking about her facial features, the teen is also not afraid to show off her love handles and stretch marks, proving to young women that there's nothing wrong with their natural bodies. And that goes double for those who deem these traits "flaws."
I have love handles and stretch marks on my sides and hips and everywhere else and I'm totally okay with it. Your body should be your safe haven not a body you feel restricted in. You're allowed to love each imperfection and flaw your body presents. Your body is your temple. You're allowed to express it freely. You're allowed to change that temple and tweak it. Do not allow other peoples opinion of it prevent you from loving your body.
"I hope they understand that self-love in general is a journey that takes patience," Jacinda said in an interview with Mic. "Because you start discovering yourself and uncovering these layers of hatred you had for yourself for so long time, and realize the thing you've been hating for a while is the thing that turns out to be your missing puzzle piece to your self-worth."
"The biggest weapon you can use against those who feel obligated to comment something negative about you is your confidence. Because trust me, they find it intimidating finding someone not self-loathing and letting people's judgement not get to them."
You tell 'em, girl!
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