Words to an Evolving Artist

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“There are so many unhappy people in our society because they rob their self of being fully human; that is, people do not allow their self (and are threatened when others are) to be multidimensional and dynamic beings. By doing such, they forfeit some of their own agency because they allow others to control and restrict them from being all that they are. This lack of autonomy breeds hostility which takes shape in many different forms…Those who judge you harshly and unnecessarily [for “changing”], have not come to a place of true self-acceptance; their misplaced anger directed at u derives from their lack of understanding and envy; they envy your audacity to be and DISPLAY a COMPLETE you… Do what you do, how you do it. People respect your craft and if they respect you as an artist–as a person–, then they will respect your growth and evolution…”

Message originally sent to a friend who has inspired me in more ways then he’ll ever know..

V

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4 Comments

  1. dam it feels good to be a gangsta!
    i love who i am and what i do bcuz
    it makes otha people happy

  2. i love it ! very insightful and true . keep up the good work victoria . 🙂

  3. My future best friend LOL told me “Dude! do you! don’t listen to no one”…”Do whatever you think is right, as long as your able to sleep at night”…she was right!

    But when i sit down and think about it…Aren’t we already a product of what society expect from us.

    When we go on a job interview don’t we have to be a certain way in order to get that job, When we first go out on a date with someone don’t we portray all the good side of us to give out a good impression…aren’t we already compromising?

    • Man those words sound mightily familiar 😉 …

      We are, to a certain extent, what society expects of us; however, we do have a significant amount of agency which can help us rise above the prescribed and limited roles that society tries to inflict upon us. If this was not the case, I would probably be at a community college, working at target, with a 2 year old right now. Society does not expect a Black girl from very humble origins who was raised by a single mother to be doing half of what I do; society does not expect a Black girl with huge tattoos to walk on stage to receive awards for superior academic performance and “Junior of the Year” from Stanford University. This is not to say that everyone who doesn’t do “big things” or “make it” was lazy or what have you; there are real societal barriers that keep the hegemonic stratification in tact.

      As far as having to be a certain way at a job interview or on a date and having to display a certain image, I believe that WE box OURSELVES in more than others do. WE allow our social conditioning of what we think is good or bad prevent us from being ourselves; in other words, we have internalized the notion that our ways of comportment and/or appearance are wrong. Don’t get me wrong, some things are inappropriate; I won’t tell you to roll to the interview or date without doing a single thing to your hair. But I will say, consider walking into either situation confidently, shoulders back, knowledgeable, good attitude, etc and with a neat natural hairstyle. That’s not a real compromise.. A real compromise that might not sit well with me is if I straightened or put a weave in to get the job or the man.. I may only be able to say that because I’m 21 and haven’t quite hit the really world just yet..

      V


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