Beyonce SLAYED Me With #Formation

Formation Beyonce Excellence No Aplogies | My Fabulous Boobies

Formation is the visual representation of DOPENESS!

Please tell me that you've seen Beyonce's video "Formation" by now! PLEASE tell me that.

That video just put a visual on everything I've been feeling about 2016 and my life. This is the Year of Epic Transformation. I claimed it back in December and I say it to myself every day. Every day.

*If you haven't seen it, the video is below. You can scroll down to watch and then scroll back up to read*

Although I am a breast cancer blogger and advocate, there are reasons beyond the disease that keep me writing about it, and staying engaged with the community. The #1 reason why I continue to maintain this blog and have centered my entrepreneurial dreams on this foundation is because you just don't see a lot of sisters like me blogging about breast cancer.

A lot of black women do get the disease and a lot of my sisters die from metastatic breast cancer. The numbers of black women being diagnosed with breast cancer are staggering. In a world where being black can be dismissed or ignored... it is always a powerful feeling to see another black person who has been where you're going. Because they get "it"... and the "it" stands for so many things. So many things. Cultural things that can be difficult to explain adequately.

So I continue to stand in the space where my sisters can find me and see that not only are they not alone, but they can have real hope for a great life after their treatment ends.

Formation Beyonce Victorian Ladies | My Fabulous Boobies

Enter Beyonce. And Formation. This IS Black Excellence!

One phrase that I love is Black Excellence. For me, Black Excellence means that despite our history and our past, despite the mindsets of some who devalue who we are currently and what some of us choose as self-expressions... we are a great people who strive for excellence and achieve it in so many ways. That the world doesn't always value what we value in the same way that we do... does not diminish the value of these things.

Beyonce gave black women and girls and the black community at large... an example of "I'm gonna do me" that we all should embrace. She didn't shrink from any thing that has been levied against her. Instead, she claimed it all and told the world that she LOVES those things that they choose to diminish. Including her daughter's hair, her husband's nose, her love for her southern and country roots... her hot sauce and her ancestry. She loves all of it and she SLAYS! Not in spite of these things... but because of them.

And then... she told all her sisters to get in line... because WE slay too!

What??!!  Yes!

Formation Beyonce Excellence No Aplogies I Slay | My Fabulous Boobies

What bubbled up in my spirit while watching Formation

  1. Be honest about what is going on in the world around you. Look, I'm going to be honest, everything in the breast cancer community isn't peachy. Or should I say "pinky"? We are not (in my opinion) on the same page about the importance of awareness, finding a cure, raising money, etc. I will stop being so squeamish about calling out what I see as inequities or confusion within the community. I see and hear a lot of things that make me uncomfortable. I have to be honest about that. 
  2. Respect the hard work and don't think this is accidental. In Formation, Beyonce referred to her haters' fascination with the Illuminati as corny. (laughs) It is. Believing that she could not have achieved her success without some mystical magical group pulling the strings... diminishes her hard work, and her focus. That's unfair. She works hard. People need to respect that. Likewise, within the breast cancer community, people are working hard to ensure that this disease is both eradicated and that the number of people diagnosed are fewer. Progress is being made. Just because it isn't on my schedule or someone else's schedule does not diminish that work is occurring. Respect the work. Do your part to make things better, if you can and how you can. But respect the work that has been done and is being done. 
  3. Tribes are necessary. Throughout Formation, Beyonce has a number of dance sequences and scenes with other black women. The visual impact of the groupings of black women moving in unison and dancing (or sipping tea) is powerful. The world constantly shows images of black women as catty and rude and angry with each other. But we're not that. I always advocate for black women and friendships with black women because I think black women rock! I do. #BlackGirlMagic might be a hashtag on twitter and a t-shirt line, but it is also a state of mind. When black women gather together to walk through life together, we accomplish amazing things. We do. I like seeing (and showing) the world that we are not limited to the caricatures of black womanhood that you may see on reality tv shows. Those depictions are only one aspect of our womanhood. We are sisters. And we #Slay!
  4. Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper. *drops mic* That line at the end of the song is so damned VALUABLE! The world today rewards the instant gratification of fighting back in the moment. But there is a lot of value in taking time to breathe and being gracious even in the moment of being treated poorly. People will underestimate you all the time. Their assessment of you is not your eulogy though. You can do and be far more than what people think or expect. As a survivor who struggled to accept that there was a whole life out there after my treatment ended... this is powerful. YOU (and I) can have and be whatever we want. The best revenge is a life well-lived. Everyone doesn't get the opportunity to make it this far. And life just isn't fair. But while you are here, living graciously and following your dreams (for as long as you can) is so worthwhile. 
  5. History and culture matter. Formation is filled with so many black cultural references, I lost count. That visual aesthetic is EPIC! It often feels that the world wants to whitewash or minimize black culture and black history. But when that happens, we also lose some of our internal spark. Your history matters. Your culture matters. I'm not just a breast cancer survivor. I was a young woman with breast cancer. I am a black woman with breast cancer. I am all of these things and many, many more. And ALL of them matter. The history and the culture matter. Don't let it be erased or minimized because it makes others uncomfortable. Own your past - just don't be strangled by it. 
  6. All treatment isn't equal - calling attention to it is necessary and heroic. Beyonce called attention to the police brutality issues, Hurricane Katrina issues, and black lives matter movement in her video. Very clear imagery to remind the world that things aren't right with the treatment of black people in America. She didn't shy away from making the statement visually that black lives do matter. In the breast cancer community, money and access to high-level insurance can make a huge difference in treatment options. So many of the things I hear (and have experienced) are frustrating and frightening. Fighting breast cancer is scary enough. Imagine that your health insurance won't cover the medication you need because they only cover a generic version. Which is okay except that for you the generic version isn't a good fit and you've already had a bad reaction to it. What do you do then? The cost of the medication is far more than you can afford. And you need this to continue to fight for your life. Yes, this is a real situation. And it isn't unusual. It is too easy for big companies to only think of patients as numbers on a spreadsheet or a means to the bottom line. But we are PEOPLE and we're people who are dying. Something better has to be done. 
  7. Who I am is enough and my work is reflective of my enough-ness. Beyonce didn't cringe from any part of who she was. She completely embraced it. And she reminded the world that she continues to be on top because those things that they disparage, give her the strength to be who she is. Unapologetically. Likewise, who I am is more than enough. I've fretted enough over my lopsided breasts and losing, then reconstructing, my boobie. I've cried enough tears over my lymphedema in my arm and all the drama that it causes me. But who I am is enough. Enough just as I am. I am Pink and Proud. I'm a survivor with scars and all. I'm okay with that. Get okay with you. All the way okay. And what you're not okay with, change. 
  8. I see it, I want it. I dream it. I work hard. I run hard 'til I own it. Beyonce sees her vision for her life and then she chases it down with hard work until she gets it. There's no magic to it. Being a breast cancer survivor is hard. It's kind of a pain actually. But dammit I'm here and that's that. So I own it. I'm tired of feeling guilty because I'm here. No day is promised to anyone. So I have to be okay with seeing my own vision and chasing it down until I get it. 
  9. My natural aesthetic is gorgeous. OMG! Between the lyrics and the styling in the video, Beyonce made it plain that being a black girl, with black girl hair and all that... is what's popping. I'm not just a survivor who was lucky enough to have her hair grow back (it doesn't happen for everyone)... but I'm a survivor who has the audacity to be growing her hair long (it is challenging) and loving -- I MEAN LOVING -- the aesthetic of my naturally kinky, coily juicy hair. That all of her dancers rocked big natural hair, while she rocked beautiful braids & cornrows... EPIC! The freedom that it gives to so many of us is hard to describe. In my lifetime, I have known of black women who have been fired (or never hired/never promoted) because of their hair. Braids in the workplace? Never. An afro in a formal event? NEVER. So many black women have been taught and told that their natural hair is not just ugly but wrong. But I am a breast cancer survivor who tries hard to limit the contact that I have with chemicals - especially the strong chemicals that are in hair products that change the curl pattern of our hair - so naturally kinky hair has to be okay because it is my reality every day. I have one real boob and one reconstructed boob. Sometimes that makes me self-conscious in my clothes. But... I have to get over that because my natural aesthetic is GORGEOUS! I am gorgeous. I am. And I'm okay with that. Get okay with your gorgeousness too. 

Watch the video... you'll understand better when you see it for yourself. For me... Formation was the visual representation for my Year of Epic Transformation! Thank you Bey.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Web Statistics