Anyone who knows me knows that I love Beyonce. So when Formation comes on, you better believe I’m gonna bust out into the full choreo on sight. Most of y’all know one of the recurring lines of the song is “cause I slay.” Long before that song, “slay” had become the upmost form of a compliment. Overused? Yes. Used incorrectly? Absolutely. Nonetheless, it is a word that denotes success, empowerment, and desirability.
So while reflecting this week I came to wonder…why does everybody have to slay in the same way? There seems to be this mindset that if someone isn’t conforming to your own preconceived notion of beauty, style, behavior, or “success” then they’re not worth anything. To me, this has bred a culture of unoriginality- one that lacks authenticity and promotes negativity.
So often I hear women denouncing and devaluing women who simply choose to prioritize different things or look a different way. So much so, that I’ve found myself trying to appease the naysayers. However, constantly trying to mold into this unnatural version of myself has left me unfulfilled. I’ve found that all of the little idiosyncrasies that I’ve tried to stifle are actually my redeeming qualities. And it’s liberating. No longer am I aspiring to be a carbon copy of someone else. Women like Tracee Ellis Ross are a reminder that our quirks are what make us appealing. So to the women who feel inadequate in a world that often promotes compliance- guess what?
Whether you want to beat your face or wear minimal makeup, dress up or dress down, be the center of attention or play a role behind the scenes, and be classy or be goofy – all of these things are valuable. Formulate the best version of yourself. Be distinctive. Keep pushing and grinding while maintaining your individuality. What others may call weird…I call innovative.
We can all slay in our own lanes.
Have any of y’all ever felt pressured to meet unrealistic standards? #ShareYourStance
“It was when I realized I needed to stop trying to be somebody else and be myself, I actually started to own, accept, and love what I had.”
-Tracee Ellis Ross