So This is me on the left with the red bow in my hair..
I grew up in a typical West Indian family. Dad was the head of the household and mom was a stay at home mom. WE had hot meals everyday evening and supervision around the clock!
I came from a "normal" loving family and I really could not have asked for better parents..
But growing up was socially hard for me..
I felt loved only within the confines of my home, and that was trippy to me..
I couldn't understand why nobody wanted to play with me, why they constantly made fun of my skin tone, my nose, my nappy hair..
It was relentless too.
"Black Gurl" Art by Salkis Re
"Playing Games" Art by Salkis Re
I thought to myself that maybe the problem was that I wasn't nice enough. That maybe if I would give first, they would start to see me as a good girl and like me more..
SO I gave all my toys away when I was 6 years old.
I tried everything to be accepted back then.
My mom would have me making rounds to all my neighbors' houses to get all the toys back that I had given away..
It got o bad that she banned me from from taking anything out the house..
Then when I was 8 and 9 years old, I'd give my candy away and some of my allowance money too..
This went on for years...
Me chasing approval I mean... I went from giving away my toys to candy to allowance...and eventually my body... for love...
One heart break after another.. More confusion on top of confusion...
How do I get men to think I'm beautiful?
How do I get people to respect me?
How do I get friends and the love of my people.
I pondered on this almost daily..
I didn't just ponder though, I went to extremes for attention.
"Room for Two" Art by Salkis Re
When I was in high school, I bleached my skin and I when through a stage were I was relaxing my hair every week.
I didn't was to see ONE NAP on my head and I made sure I didn't too.
I earned a reputation as "The Black Barbie Doll cause my hair was so slick!
I did all of that to fit in, to become more "soft" and feminine looking in hopes of winning the favor of society and my peer group..
And I did for a while. I got a "boyfriend" here and there.. But they all wanted to have sex with me, and I wasn't having that at the time so left QUICKLY.
I got invited to parties all of a sudden, but only to hold coats and drinks for girls who were dancing with guys I wished had paid me some attention..
Me and My prom date,
My first heartbreak
A few more devastating loses and betrayal of all sorts landed me in a perpetual slump.. I had acquired a fixed way of viewing myself based on the experiences I had.
I thought I had somehow deserved the mistreatments and disrespect I had gotten all these years.
I thought I had to settle for being the "Do GIRL" for everybody in order to experience love..
Doing for others became "My Value" whether they reciprocated or not, and they mostly did NOT!
Little did I know that my pain would spark a mission inside me. A mission to heal myself, but not just me, other women too...
I became very sensitive to pain, meaning I could see it in other women. When I heard the stories they told, I wanted to wrap my arms around them to protect them from he pain..
The desire to help grew like a boiling kettle inside my heart.. And so..
My writing and painting began...
I picked up the brush to express what I was feeling emotionally. I wanted to create something that other women could relate too.
When you go through trauma whether physical or emotional, it robs you of your innocence and ability to create.
"Isabella Doesn't Want to Leave" Art by Salkis Re
So fast forward to today and THE UGLY GIRLS CLUB is now real..
I created the club as a safe space for women to come and learn and share and support the philosophy of TRUE SELF WORTH. We don't chase norms here. We are not having round table discussions about why black men don't choose us.
We see life AND PEOPLE for exactly who they are and we are choosing to divest from the game of "opinions" and the power people wish to have over us because we do not look a certain way..
No longer will you be exploited because of how you look!!
No longer will you feel pressure to conform to what you cannot biologically be!
No longer will you care what people think of you!
If you are an ugly woman, there is no SHAME IN IT!!! Because your value is in what you are NOT in what people find pleasing to look upon..
I had to learn this, and it saved my life.. Join the club!