Recently on Instagram Comedian Lil Duval shared a clip of our film "Sex Is A God Thing". My phone had died while I was out and when I came back home I had a ton of new folks following me and tagging me in the comments. As I followed all the tags I was met with this comment:
"I would fuck the dog shit out of this agile big bitch...I've never had sex with a big girl before". (light paraphrase)
And my face sorta scrunched up a bit.
I always enjoy having a new influx of folks who are curious about my work and wanting to join class. I am usually extremely grateful for the shares but this go round I just couldn't nod & grin.
Maybe it's bad for business for me to speak against a celebrity but my dignity and my peace of mind mean so much more than any dollar sign.
Lil Duval's comment are just a reflection of how Fat/BBW/Plus Size Bodies are viewed, used and disgarded.
I gave myself 30 minutes to read some of the comments. And as I expected there were some nasty ones along those who are genuine supporters of my work.
People called me disgusting, unattractive, unhealthy blah blah blah. One woman commented that I nearly suffocated myself trying to do a move. Another man commented that I would be sexy if didn't come failing health conditions. Talk about doing. the. absolute .most.
What broke my heart the most in the comments and reshares of the video was seeing other plus size women questioning whether a person who would fuck them in private would actually love them publicly.
Sex Is A God Thing, if you haven't seen it watch it here, explores the intimacy between two Queer Women of Color. Myself (A larger bodied queer femme) dances for another woman (Smaller bodied masculine of center person). I see constantly how the difference in our size in the video brings up this question.
It breaks my heart to see so many women asking this question. It breaks my heart that women have even been dealing with this type of emotional violence against their bodies in their intimate relationships.
I have myself experienced this type of emotional violence in a previous relationship where my partner made degrading comments about my body. A part of me knew those comments weren't true but after hearing it for so long a part of my self-esteem wilted. I remember distinctly after that relationship ended, after spent a lot of consicous effort building myself back up, I posted this quote to my IG page:
" I'll never allow myself to stay in another relationship where my body isn't treated like a sacred temple dripping in gold and honey. If that mf don't see God when they look at you then you need to tell them to move around permanently. And know that it's not you. People who can't see the God in you haven't found it in themselves. Their attempt to steal or diminish your light is a reflection of their own fear of shining not a reflection of your worthiness in this world. Don't try to convince them, beg them or teach them how to love you. As my homegirl says 'we train dogs, not people'. Your soul is not a sacrifice for their healing, sis. Time for your own glow up. "
That time period after this relationship ended was true turning point for me. I made a promise to myself to never again stay in a space where someone intentionally disrespected my temple verbally or physically.
Your worth is not determined by your appearance. Your worth is not determined by your pants size. Your worth is not determined by your lack of stretch marks, your job, your money, whether you waited until you were married to have kids, whether you had your kids instead of having an abortion, whether someone hurt or violated you, whether your marriage failed or not.
You are invaluable and that is forever changeless.
No experience in this world could ever change that.
You are worthy simply because you exist.
When I posted my response back to Lil Duval's comment there were a few folks who attempted to say that "he didn't mean any harm". And I think this is where the cycle of abuse festers on so many levels, trying to analyze someone's heart (or intentions) instead of looking directly at the action that is causing discomfort or harm. We have to realize that we don't have to wait until a situation escalates to a visibily dangerous or painful level before we put our foot down and say FUCK NO, YOU DON'T GET TO ADDRESS ME/TREAT ME THIS WAY.
In order to find that level of clap back in our interpersonal dealings we have to be rooted, grounded and connected to our sense of self worth.
Trauma, heartbreak, betrayal, disappointment and setbacks of any kind can disrupt our connection to our self worth. Meaning that events may happen in our lives and spiritually we absorb the event as a reflection of our worthiness vs. seeing the event as something that stands outside of our being. I think this disconnection is also fueled by the lazy language within the life coaching/new age thought industry around attracting things to you. And while I believe this "law of attraction" to a certain extent, every rule has exceptions. Many coaches attempt to explain away the unkown instead of teaching or guiding folks on how to sit in the discomfort and navigate these challenges from a place of power over defeat. There's more money to be made in just telling people they are doing it wrong vs. really sitting in the shit with them as they pull through the valley.
When we remember that no situation can ever destroy our worth we reclaim our power & confidence. We reclaim our ability to break viscious cycles. We reclaim our voice to speak up for ourselves in situations where we are uncomfortable even if no one else is validating our pain or concern.
A few thoughts to sit with this week....
1. Where do you feel like you've felt disconnected from your self-worth? 2. How do you measure your own sense of worthines? 3.What experiences have made you question your worth?
I challenge you to join us for Day 1 of this experience. Write out the affirmation : MY WORTH CAN NEVER BE DESTROYED. Post a picture on IG, tag me @rashidakhanbey and use the #reclaimingyoursexy hashtag. I am so deeply looking forward to reading your bits of wisdom and shares.