A friend of mine, Sharon Vidmar McCarthy posted something on her facebook which inspired me to write this blog. Sonya Renee's The Body is Not an Apology. When I heard her speak on youtube, I got goosebumps. Everything I have felt in all my 51 years welled up inside of me and I wanted to shout from the rooftops how powerful I am. How powerful WE are as women. An exerpt from this poem is as follows: The body is not an apology. Do not ask for it to be pardoned as criminal. The body is not a crime. The body is not an apology. The body is not soiled, is not filth to be forgiven. The body is not an apology. The body is not calamity. the body is not a math test, the body is not a wrong answer. The body is not a failed class. You are not failing. It is not a “broken” thing to be mended, to be tossed. The body is not to be prayed for. It is to be prayed to. So, HALLELUJAH. —excerpts from "The Body Is Not An Apology" by Sonya Renee When I listened to Sonya Renee SHOUT this poem...I wanted to stand up and say YES YES YES! I am not a mistake. I don't have to make an excuse for how I look, how I think, how I do things. I am a joyful creation. Everything that I consider a flaw is a gift!! As a boutique owner I have many women come into my shop and after trying on dress after dress or jeans after jeans, I look at the disdain in their faces as they half heartedly look at themselves with scorn. Why does it matter that we are not perfect? We have survived childbirth, cancer, diseases of many kinds, bullying, chastising, criticism, hate and racism. We have carried the weight of the world on our shoulders. We have supported people in our family through sickness and depression without a regard for ourselves. We should not apologize for how we look or who we are. We are to be celebrated that survived this 'thing' called LIFE and we are still here to tell about it. We as women need to support each other, black and white. Two young black women came into my shop yesterday and told me how much they loved the vintage and hats that I have here. They enjoyed our motto which is: RCMoore for the Unique Individual, because NO ONE is quite like YOU! I told them how much I support women. Every piece of jewelry we have at the shop is in support of some women's or children's group. I try to raise up my sisters. I want my shop to be an oasis where women feel confident and powerful. In their acquired confidance and power, they will then make better choices. The women were excited and they told me they just started a black women's group. They told me they didn't know where to have their meetings. i told them to have them here. I am not a black woman, but I am a woman just the same. I am someone's daughter, mother, sister, aunt and cousin. I have had many of the same problems that black women have had. I know most of you say, no no no, you are not black, you haven't had the racism. Well, my husband is an African man from a Carribean country. I am Italian and Roma. The racism is there for both of us. I say "is" because it never goes away. We can only manage the hatred, it never ever goes away. So my message today for women, please click on the link and listen to Sonya Renee's poem. Find yourself empowered. Do not apologize for your mastectomy, for your scars, for your sagging skin, your age, your hair or lack there of.....you are a woman to be celebrated by YOURSELF first and then give yourself to the world to be celebrated. If some people do not join in the party, leave them there and move on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrbUTI95o3U (youtube poem) http://thebodyisnotanapology.tumblr.com/post/74452426784/the-real-impact-of-virtual-harassment (website) After listening to Sonya Renee, embrace your size 20 figure. Embrace your shame and your scars....the things you have gone through have made you a unique and fantastic woman. Do not apologize.......CELEBRATE!