After having the chance to be a part of an amazing series known as The War on Black Women's Bodies courtesy of Twenties Unscripted, I began to truly think about my stance as a woman in this world. I began to think of the many magazine covers that suggest what women should/shouldn't do to catch/keep a man, how to be a sex vixen without being considered too much of a whore (in a sense) and other ideals that seem to try to sum up the existence of women. To top it all off, Kim Kardashian has recently appeared on the cover of Paper Magazine with the words "Break The Internet" circulating around the latest issue. I've watched social media virtually throw up its hands in an uproar and I watched as the negative words began to pile up.

I'm not here to single out Kim Kardashian's cover because she is not the first woman to pose naked on the cover of some form of entertainment nor will she be the last. I purposely avoided commenting on her choice to be featured in such an attention grabbing way because I gave Nicki Minaj a small "yasss" for her Anaconda cover. I gave Rihanna a small "yass" for her recent Esquire cover and the infamous Lui cover. I gave Beyonce a roaring "yasss" for her latest album and the way that she chose to flaunt her sexuality while being someone's wife and mother without shame. How dare I turn my nose up at Kim Kardashian, who is also someone's wife and mother? Is it because she's not a black woman? Does my "support of women living their lives and making their own choices even if I wouldn't personally make the same choices" go out of the window for anyone who is not a black woman? More importantly, does stating that I support the choices of women even if I wouldn't make the same choices just a front to mask feelings of inadequacies within my own womanhood if I only give praise to select women?

Simply put, I've grown to ask myself this question: while I may not agree with another person's choices, who am I to condemn someone? Have I not made choices that others did not agree with? Have I not been somehow exposed during different points in my life and had to deal with my own level of shaming from others? Feeling sexually liberated on MY terms has been something that I've struggled to come to terms with and as of late, I see why. I talked about the importance of self-care in my last post but I did not mention that sometimes it is a struggle trying to be 100% okay with your choices as a woman when you have others ready to force feed you their opinions. It is even more maddening when this force feeding seems to come from other women. I cannot take it and I will not take it. I'm all for voicing your opinions but at what cost? Analyzing someone down to the tee? Picking apart their choices, body type and sexuality to simply exercise your freedom of having an opinion? Why does being free to express your opinion sometimes seemed laced with venom?

Being a woman who has experienced a very tragic thing and is trying to define what womanhood means to her, it gets a little confusing trying to figure out what's right FOR ME. I have watched some women scream about not wanting men to express their negative opinions about women's choices and bodies but turn around and offer the same treatment to other women. I don't believe that I need a woman or a man trying to slap a label on my personal choices if she or he disagrees with what I'm doing. That I can do without. This isn't to say that people won't stop labeling, judging and criticizing but that doesn't mean that I have to feel ashamed anymore due to the uncomfortableness or disgust of others. My rules, my terms, MY womanhood...and my same views are extended to other women.