My body (testimony of Marie Lebel)

  1. How would you describe your current relationship with your body as a black woman?

I love myself, I have a large mirror in front of my bed and every morning I tell myself that I think I am beautiful. In a day, we change so much, it's important to trust this vessel that guides us through our lives.  


  1. For you, what is femininity? 

For me femininity is not a genre, it is rather a feeling, it is mannerism, the way of expressing oneself and moving. Femininity is a breath, a laugh, sparks in the eyes, grace, I have lots of different models around me who emanate femininity. 


  1. How do you think your identity as a black woman influences your perception of your body?

In today's society, the black female body is not at its best. It's pejorative, we talk about it as if it were a possession, something exotic, in short there is really a fetishization around the black woman. As if our body were an experience, an object, it's not normal to objectify a body so much. Body objectification is even worse for women of color. I see it, I hear it, but I don't let myself be fooled by this game, it's unfair, but I don't live my life like that. I am human, alive, I deserve to be treated like all other women. I am lucky to feel beautiful in my body today. It's not easy every day, of course, but I feel good.


  1. What are some of the specific challenges you've faced as a black woman regarding your body image? 

A big challenge is the “dating game”. It's weird, especially with today's society, you have to accept that in the eyes of the other, you sometimes don't necessarily correspond to the model they have learned to love, to find attractive. We are bombarded with unattainable images of the female body. No one or very few people fit into this mould. It is as degrading for the standard person as it is for others. Some people don't have that perspective... But being younger it was hard, if I had a crush on a guy, I wondered if he was attracted to a more "conforming" standard of beauty. I put myself in their shoes and it's still terrifying: imagine, you wake up at 25, and you realize that you've been running all your life after an "ideal of beauty" that simply doesn't suit you and that doesn't aren't really to your liking. My kind of person evolves, the older I get, the more I get to know myself.


  1. What changes would you like to see in society to promote positive body image for black women?

Talking about it more, taking young people on a journey to different cultures, discovering how the world is vast and beautiful. Educate yourself, go see films with leading roles of black women. Learn, learn about history, we have all the resources to put the sights on works with black roles!

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