Thick Thighs and The Color Purple

There is something about Broadway plays that resonate within my soul. I never leave the same way again — it’s impossible. I recall being a little girl when my family took me to see the musical, Cats. I sat forward in my chair and peered up with bright eyes taking all of it in while my soul lit on fire. I was captivated and memorized by the movements of the dancers while their voices radiated around the theater.

I’ve been addicted ever since to that feeling and yesterday, I felt like I died and resurrected watching, The Color Purple. My transformation began as I stood in line with hundreds of beautiful black women waiting to be seated. Those women stood tall with their hair natural, oiled, braided, and twisted. I finally stood proud with my naturally Puerto Rican curly hair that typically makes me feel different from the rest. Sometimes, I find it difficult to see where my hair and I exactly belong, but as I stood with those ladies, I puffed up my curls a little more.

Then the play began and BOOM. I was surrounded by dignified and powerful black women who made me feel empowered. The women on stage were tall, thick, and full. They took SPACE and they were visible. As women, we are told to be tiny, small, skinny, and barely there. I find myself trying to emulate that ideal every day. I sometimes wish I was thinner and didn’t have such a full behind and thighs. But here were these women singing so damn loud and stomping those legs demanding you see them.

When I thought I couldn’t get any higher off their energy, Jennifer Hudson, stepped on stage. She took off her jacket and in her teddy night grown, sat down in the chair and stomped her legs wide apart. Her thick thighs jiggled and my whole interpretation of beauty got smacked right out of my head. I was in awe of those beautiful thick thighs.

Photo from google images.

See, at any size, we find faults in our body. We can critique our body from head to toe without even taking a breathe between sentences. But at that moment — when she sat in that chair, I loved my body. I loved my fickle curly hair that sometimes looks amazing and sometimes looks damn near scary. I love my stomach that, regardless of losing the weight, still has stretchmarks from giving birth to my son. I look down at my butt and thighs — and I abso-freaking-lutely love them too. I love the power in my body and the things my body has endured.

My body has survived cancer, my body gave me my son, my body fought, and my body healed. Our bodies, as beautiful women, have endured the impossible at times. People may have taken advantage of your body. Disrespected your body or tried to own your body. Others may have tried to shame your body.

Your body, is absolutely perfect in all its glory. If this play has taught me anything, it is to be myself. I will take up space in this world and OWN that space.

“I may be black, I may be poor, I may be ugly, BUT  I  AM  HERE.” – Celie Johnson from The Color Purple.


Love, peace and healing, xo!

IG: monicaymateo_thememoirist

Twitter: @monicaymateo

Facebook: thememoirist.monicamateo


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