I wrote an expletive-laden post encouraging black women to embrace themselves despite dating trends, I was excoriated on an interracial blog for not turning the post into a PSA for white guys (more on that later…), in the comments of that post (which have since been removed) one lady told me that I would “get further in life” if I didn’t curse so much. Which brings me to this fun post!

I thought it would be nice to do a roundup of things about myself that, at age 32, are just not likely to change. This has been a process. A lot of sitting still with myself and thinking, ‘I’ve been pushing against this thing for years. Maybe I need to stop fighting myself and start going with it.’ So here goes…

1. I curse… like a lot.
I remember exactly when and why I started cussing. I was 13 and in grade 9 at my Jamaican high school (what a time!) My drama teacher broke us up into groups for the entire term. I was assigned to the popular girl group which was odd because I was not at all popular. On the contrary, I was the poorly dressed pastor’s daughter who ate lunch by herself. I desperately wanted to impress them, and since I could not wear the things they wore or hang out the places they went, I did the one thing within my power — I started cussin’. And honestly I didn’t even curse right. I was all like, “Hey guys, weren’t the damn-hell beef patties so good at lunch today?” Or, “Oh wow! What a beautiful afternoon! This island sun is so ass beautiful!”

Around the time I thought, ‘I should really stop doing this before I slip up and talk like this in front of my parents and get the holy hell beaten out of me,’ my eyes opened to the true fuckery in the world around me. I started to notice the moral inconsistencies of my elders, and how many of my friends and classmates were being crushed by the demands of their parents. And all of a sudden my hells and damns were completely real.

A black woman cussing is not always or often well-received, but cursing has been tied to honesty and intelligence, so I’m good.

2. Straight shooting
Do you know how many times I’ve said something that was met with a collective groan? A lot. I have never been good at sugar coating tough truths, with others or myself. Sometimes I upset people. Hell, sometimes I upset myself! But this is who I am.

3. My love of animation and voice acting
If it’s drawn then colored then animated, I’ll probably love it. The Boondocks, F is for Family, Family Guy, American Dad, South Park, Archer. Look, I’ve even watched Ugly Americans and The Cleveland Show. If it’s mildly funny and non-animated, I’m like ‘Meh’. If it’s mildly funny and animated I will think it’s the best thing in the world.

And it’s not just adult comedies. I think Toy Story is one of the best movies of all time. I was watching Mulan — as in ‘Disney’s animated film for kids’ Mulan — on the elliptical the other day while at the gym. And I am so excited they are revamping the Hey Arnold franchise.

Paired with my love of animation is my love and random knowledge of voice actors — who are really are the unsung heroes of entertainment. Like, did you know that the guy who does the voice of the dad on Doc McStuffins is the voice of Uncle Ruckus on the Boondocks? Yeh, this nerdy obsession is not going away.

4. My love of rainbow colors
Do I keep buying my daughter ‘My Little Pony’ dresses and tees because she loves them? Or because I do?…. It’s because I do. The lush use of pinks, purples, yellows and greens makes me soooo freaking happy! My entire apartment is an ode to my love of all things rainbow. I have a literal rainbow rug in my backyard and a balloon lamp that turns all colors of the rainbow in my front hall.

Backyard rainbow rug as seen through my ‘egg chair’.
My rainbow balloon lamp currently glowing blue.

My kids room looks like a rainbow exploded in it. And while I’m a bit more reserved in the common areas, literally every color of the rainbow is represented in my living room — my rug is purple, my couch is blue, my plants are green, my curtain is yellow, my art is orange and the little chair at my kids’ desk is red.

Give me all the colors.
This is hanging on the back of my bedroom door.

And well, you’ve already seen how my storefront is deisgned. #allrainboweverything

Some would call this obsession juvenile. I would respond by blowing glitter in their face.

5. My general conspicuousness
I tend to stand out. And it’s not because I’m the prettiest or best dressed or most fab. I stand out because I’ve always been different than the people around me. Growing up in Jamaica it was because my Mom was American and my Dad was Haitian. In college it was because I was black. Post college it was because I was a blogger. And today it’s just… everything. The kind of work I do, the kind of life I live, my thoughts, opinions, actions. They tend to be different. Moving to Brooklyn has given me some relief because there are a lot of weirdos here, but still, I’ve had to learn to be comfortable with who I am. With all of my Leila-ness — no matter who doesn’t like it or is uncomfortable with it.

What about yourself are you holding back, pushing down or hiding from?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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15 Comments on "5 Things About Me that Are Probably Not Going to Change, So I’m Done Trying to Change Them"

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TWA4now

I tend not to speak up and been lately cussing up a storm… I was bullied a lot and adulthood less is said BUT THE TEASING is still There…ESPECIALLY online. They mistake my kindness for weakness but I am ANYTHING but weak. Rock on!

Gillian

Bravo! Do you without apologies. It is one of the most difficult, but essential things for women to embrace.

aiych

The cursing incorrectly part made me laugh aloud, I think I’ll start using profanity in the wrong context just to see how people react lol!

TWA4now

I knew the cuss words and said them well and so did my friends! Lol. My challenge was not letting my parents hear me BECAUSE THEY said I couldnt get a job if I talked “ghetto or hood” Lol!

Antreé aka Moon Star Child aka Goal D Loxs aka Chi
Antreé aka Moon Star Child aka Goal D Loxs aka Chi

I loooooovvvveeee this article and everything you said…thanks for shining, it has encouraged me to shine brighter! ?????

LBell

I have done voice work off and on over the years but mainly for business purposes (like right now part of my job involves supplying narration for training videos). I would LOVE!! to do voice acting but my stumbling block is the “acting” part. I wish I could take an acting class just for my voice…I ain’t trying to be the next Viola Davis! 🙂

TWA4now

Just go for it….keep at it!

Barbara Felton-Wilson
Barbara Felton-Wilson

Leila, you are so wonderful in ALL your “Leila-ness.” And the fact that you figured out who you are warts and all and you like yourself and comfortable in your own skin is a great thing.

Strawberry Slugz

This will be my first and last comment EVER! Could not contain myself once i read “Some would call this obsession juvenile. I would respond by blowing glitter in their face.” I am a black and brown weirdo tomboy street grrrl who has really learned a lot from this blog and has found a sense of community i have never known where i am from.. thank you for existing.
Amor y Paz <3

Robin H.

Hello, Woman….You remind me of my daughter who tends to make some of us uncomfortable with her truth and bluntness..But both of you have been given an incredible gift..You are here for a reason… Carry on and keep being yourself. God bless you

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