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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm

How to Put Down the Superwoman Cape

We are living in a global pandemic, racial injustice, and even a voting year that reminds us of how uncomfortable it is being a Black woman in America. Black women are always at the forefront of change in their communities and the world. However, there’s a lack of concern around how to produce that change for us, and it fosters misunderstanding leaving Black women labeled as angry.

Society pressures Black women to dismiss what they feel. This is usually the source of our emotional harshness. We are not angry, we are exhausted.

Black women have a long history of secretly carrying burdens. Yet, we are always pushed to be superwomen and to survive in silence. Yes, we are survivors, but we shouldn’t have to constantly be at war to prove that we can’t be defeated. This fighter mindset makes it complicated for Black women to be vulnerable.

The “strong Black woman” narrative is both empowering and overwhelming. We are raised to believe that we are superheroes and can handle it all. Black women are taking care of home, raising children, and being overworked to provide, but we are also attempting to defend ourselves in a world that considers us to be less than. I realized that when no one is around to save you, you’ve got to know how to save yourself.

Give Yourself the Love You Give to Others

If you ask a woman what she loves about herself, she will end up talking about the love she has for everyone in her life. Why? Because we are trained to sacrifice it all for others. While there is beauty in doing that, we shouldn’t have to abandon ourselves for others to the point where we are depleted. Make self-love a priority. Reserve the right to give yourself the things you desperately need in order recharge and refocus.

Don’t Justify Unhealthy Relationships

There is a damaging belief that pain and suffering have to be sprawled across our chests. Black women stomach entirely too much. We allow toxic people and experiences to take up residence in our spirits. We must break our need to justify mistreatment. Your life has worth and until that is acknowledged, people will physically and mentally invade your space.

Feel and Be Free

Our strength should not be defined by our ability to withstand an immense amount of pain and suffering without breaking. We set aside our vulnerability and refuse to be emotionally free. Positive self-regard is the ability to open yourself up and experience your feelings.

Seek Growth

Self-love is the process of intentionally directing energy towards your progress. It is not natural, but cultivated by doing the work. When you are defining your ideal life, you should ensure that you are not dismissing your personal goals and dreams for the sake of advancing others. There is a way to meet the expectations and demands of your home life and still give yourself permission to pursue your own endeavors.


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