I’ve received many an insult since the time I started going natural. All perpetrators so far have claimed the insult was unintentional, and some came from family and friends, out of “concern.” Until recently I hadn’t yet had a total stranger just waltz up and hand-deliver an insult to my face. Let me tell you how it happened.
I was out at the mall, just looking around, shopping for nothing in particular. When I came across a short skinny Black male and his tall, average built Hispanic friend. The two were walking and talking and laughing as they came towards me. As they passed by, the skinny guy says (loudly) “ Girl, you almost had yourself a man, if you’d just comb that hair!” The two laughed and then kept on their way.
It took me just a few moments to process the insult, and then, once I put it altogether and realized what had happened, I stopped walking for a moment. Several things passed through my mind in an instant, and I paused to make a decision about how I should respond.
The first thing I thought was that I should run after them and proceed to pummel them with my shopping bags!
The second thing I thought was that I should shout an insult back about that guy being little and ugly and that I’m sure all his other “parts” were too.
The third thing I thought of doing was crying.
I didn’t do either of those three. Instead, before I knew it, I had started walking again. I glanced around at the crowd to see if anyone had joined in the fun of their ridiculing me and I saw that no one was paying me any attention. I’m not sure whether they heard or not, but it didn’t disrupt their day either way. So, I just kept walking.
As I walked on, I lifted my head up high and decided that I was proud of myself for not giving them the satisfaction of a reaction. It made me think of how far I’ve come. All those unintentional and “concerned” insults from family, friends and acquaintances served as practice for dealing with real, genuine, rudeness. I’m reminded now more than ever how brave one must be in order to remain true one’s self.
If something similar to this has happened to you, I hope that you just kept walking too. Don’t pay the naysayers and the negative people any mind. Just go on about your way because in the end it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks about you except for God and yourself.
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