It all started with my face. Or okay, maybe it all started on Friday when Kehlani dropped her debut album SweetSexySavage. This album is DOPE. If you get the chance, listen to it, it’s on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon. DO IT.
Matter fact. Here ya go. Here it is on Spotify (keep in mind though that the awesome intros to some of the songs are not included in the Spotify versions, but only on the downloaded versions).
Kehlani has expressed that this album is for the ladies. The title itself is supposed to express the different aspects of women, how diverse we are in emotions, personalities, etc. And I just totally feel a lot of what she’s singing about in these 19 songs. This album is powerful, and the fact that it’s got some 90’s R&B vibes definitely helps it as well.
But as I listened to the album over and over, I began thinking about myself, and who I am as a woman. This album is the essence of what it means to be a woman, I initially thought. But my thoughts throughout the weekend led me to a deeper conclusion…
Okay. Now to My Face…
I was trying to figure out what my next moves would be on Saturday morning before I had to make my actual moves…going to the mall to make a return and exchange, meeting with a friend for coffee to catch up, meeting with someone else to talk about writing, and then going to a rapping event at a coffee shop to support the same friend I was having coffee with.
And I looked at myself in the mirror and stopped. I want to say that I’m a mostly confident person, but of course, I still have those days when I’m down on myself. And this morning, I decided to be a little down on my face.
I am so baby-faced. People are always shocked when I tell them I’m twenty-two and a college graduate; they always expect me to say that I’m sixteen and in high school.
I just want to look my age, man, I thought, I basically look the same as when I was in high school. Or shoot, maybe even when I was in kindergarten…
So I began to write a poem about my face, and accepting the fact that my face is beautiful and unique, and no one else has my face (even though so many people think my sister and I are twins. Look closely, friends. The differences are very much there haha).
Here’s the poem…
I am sometimes
When I look at my face in the mirror,
And barely see
From my 16-year-old face.
I cringe at the
Almost perfect circle
The handles of flesh that appear
With every smile I make,
That are tempting for people to
The wide, adorned nose that
When pressed down.
The fuzzy eyebrows that
No girl would envy to have.
And I am
My heart sometimes sinks when I realize…
That this is it.
I’ve attained my glo-up.
This is what I’ve grown into in the
22 years of life I’ve lived.
There is no one like me.
My cheeks are an asset
To the smile on my face.
My nose is one passed down
From generations in my family.
Eyebrows? Can be fixed but
I like to have mine seen.
And, to be honest, I’m too lazy to put on makeup so
My face is bare and clean
As it should be.
Now, I can’t say that I wanted to end the poem there. I wasn’t sure how to continue it, and by the time I’d reached a stopping point, I had to start getting ready to go out, and run my errands and meet with people. Which meant picking out something to wear…
“I Have Nothing to Wear!”
The title is false, I have plenty to wear, but when you want to go for a certain look, this statement feels like all sorts of truth.
I had an outfit in mind…but then I started to think about the outfit I’d bought at the mall the night before, and I wondered if I should put on something a little more…I don’t know. Something that made me feel like I actually tried to look decent for the outside world. Suddenly, the desire to want to look my age transferred into my outfit thought process.
I wanted to look my age. I wanted to look good. I didn’t want to appear lazy or sloppy or like I didn’t try to be presentable before I walked out of my house.
…but I also wanted to be comfortable. I didn’t want to be out-and-about in something uncomfortable; I’ve done it before to get out of my comfort zone, but I couldn’t tell you if it worked or not, I don’t remember…
The outfit I’d bought at the mall the night before? Now that was something that made me feel…I guess more womanly. I felt prettier, cleaner, admittedly sexier.
But why did I feel like certain clothes were more womanly than other clothes? See, if this was about me caring about what I thought other people thought I looked like, then
- I shouldn’t care what other people think anyways, and…
- They shouldn’t be worried about what I wear.
I confess, a part of it was about what other people thought about me because I wanted to look like my actual age to others. I didn’t want to look like I was stuck in my teenage years; I wanted to look like I was in my twenties.
But a huge part of it too was about me and what clothes I thought made me feel more like a woman. Not saying that if I’m wearing joggers and sneakers I feel like a man; I know I’m very much a woman even when I’m wearing those things. But for some reason, in this specific instance, there was just a little portion of me that felt like certain outfits appeared to express more femininity.
This feeling passed quickly though. I know very well that I as a woman can wear whatever I please, be it sneakers, high heels, jeans, leggings, skirt, graphic tee, hoodie, whatever. I actually recorded my thoughts on my phone because I didn’t want to lose them later. And here are a few of the quotes from my little rant…
“It’s hard to be twenty-two years old and wear what I wear sometimes because I feel like people judge me. And I already look like a baby face…I know I’m baby-faced. And then it doesn’t help that I wear graphic tees, and things like that.”
“I don’t have to fit into this mold of what a woman is. I am still a woman. I’m still twenty-two years old even though I may not look like it. I am who I am. And I think I’m becoming more accepting of that now…”
“It makes me truly question myself…’Am I being an adult?’ or ‘Am I really being a grown woman, and not getting stuck in my teen years?'”
“Half of it is, they shouldn’t worry about me, but then the other half is, I shouldn’t worry about what they think of me.”
So, you could say that I came to the conclusion that, if I’m not pleased with myself, then that is when I should become concerned. But then there’s this quote from that recording…
“I can be who I wanna be, as long as who I am glorifies the Lord…”
If the way I view myself doesn’t align with the Word of God, or how the Lord perceives me, that is also a problem. It goes beyond the outer appearance, and is deeper than the clothes I wear, or the face I have.
A Woman…Who Fears the Lord
True womanhood cannot be grasped unless I understand the concept of fearing the Lord.
It is true – being a woman means being all sorts of things: confident, bold, sensitive, emotional, wild, reserved, sweet, sexy, savage, etc. But all of that means nothing without the perspective of who I am in Christ.
Who Does the Lord Say a Real Woman Is?
Okay, some of y’all know where I’m going with this…
It’s gonna be super cliche, but…Proverbs 31 is the main chapter in the Bible that expresses what a godly woman looks like. Some of it talks about being a wife specifically, but that doesn’t mean a godly woman shouldn’t strive to be these things…
True Womanhood – Proverbs 31:10-31
She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides frood for her household and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. … She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate Kehlani’s take on womanhood any less – as I said, I definitely feel emotionally connected to her latest album. To most of her music, actually.
But it doesn’t stop there. Not for me, at least. As much as I would like to say that it does, I would be denying the biggest part of my womanhood if I did stop there. Womanhood is Kehlani’s album, and SO MUCH MORE.
It is about realizing that I am the Lord’s, fearing Him, and acting upon this knowledge in every day life. It doesn’t mean I need to be perfect at it, but it is a crucial part of being a woman.
Of being me.
💙 Mishy 🦋