Thursday, January 31, 2013

You guys know about vampires? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, “Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist? And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.
Junot Diaz

The girl I am and the girl you want me to be

---you can't stand to see me that way---
---no matter what I do, no matter what I say---

The Woman I Am and the Womyn I Be

"Come on, come on let's take a chance; we could fall in love"
"I want to live a pure life; I think that it's about time"

Well why is it called Manic Pixie Colored Girl? It's... I know that the media trope isn't seen as very feminist but you have to understand that-to reference Kerry Washington- it's not often that we as Black women get to be seen as beautiful, delicate, eccentric, otherworldly, and fey, even when we have those traits! So it's a step up for me to even be considered a MPDG, you know?

Seeing this thing that everyone appreciates in myself, but realizing that no one else sees it in me and also seeing this ideal and conforming myself to it. Trying erase/massage away the aspects of myself that stopped others from seeing the manic pixie dream girl in me. And I remember being 25 and walking in this park in my town after I'd gotten off work and it was the perfect place to do a photo shoot and I was seeing myself in different dresses and poses and honestly it was a lot of stuff that, at the time I felt would never happen and even if it did it wouldn't look the way I planned and would basically be an utter failure. and it just dropped into my mind that I never got the chance to be the girl I wanted to be you know I have the recurring phrase " the girl I am and the girl you want me to be" and between the girl I am and the girl you, whoever you is at the time- want me to be I never got to be the girl I wanted to be and... 

That was a hard revelation, you know? I'm 25 I never got to be the girl I wanted to be and now that chance is completely gone. Then I just thought, "well, what about the woman you want to be?" And I had to resign myself, you know, and about face. That point in my life is gone and it hurts that I felt so unfulfilled. But. I can still be the woman I have in mind, the woman I really am. And that's what this poetry collection is about; that transition from half-finished girl to a woman who is knows herself or is at least comfortable with the process of getting to know and love herself, to know and love others, and also feels free to express herself. Settling within myself that these ideals, these tropes, these expectations and the fulfillment of those expectations will never look the same on me as they do on those real or *imaginary* white girls. And that's OK.  They way I express my manic pixie carefree dreaminess is still legitimate and perfectly OK. And that journey is what this book is.

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