What does depression look like on black women and girls? Hmmm....interesting question, seeing that a lot of us seem to battle with depression on a daily, yet don’t even know that we are because those feelings of sadness, unworthiness, and hopelessness have somehow become a part of who we are and how we feel to the point we start believing that we are deserving of those feelings.
Oh and let’s not forget how easily those feelings get overlooked and swept under the rug by the very women, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers around us who have once struggled with these feelings, yet had those same feelings dismissed the very moment they were told this certain phrase, “Oh you will be fine, stop that crying girl, you gotta put ya big girl panties on and be strong”.
Taking those very words and using them to dress up all the hurt, pain, and feelings they’ve been forced to hide and disguise on the outside. All the while, they are hurting inside and there’s this deep, dark space within them that feels like a void that no matter what they do or who they do, it never seems to fill that void. Well, I know too well about that empty, deep, and dark space that we try to disguise and dress up to keep from looking a certain way to the world because I’ve been known to get up and throw on my best “I’m Fine Attire”.
Every day, I get my melanated self out of bed, even though I don’t want to, and I put on my bestest; I know that’s not a word, but I put on my finest “I’m Fine Attire” that only us “strong black women and girls” know how to rock so well and I face those daily challenges awaiting my arrival. Just like countless other black women I know who get up every day and fight through the hurt, the mistreatment, the pain, the challenges, and the abuse that evoke feelings of hopelessness, I show no trace of what I have been through because I learned to put on my finest, “I’m Fine Attire” and struggle with faith and grace.
Now, what does depression look like in Black Women/girls, you ask? Well, I’d say it seems to disguise itself in such a way it’s often misunderstood, overlooked, thrown under the rug, and misinterpreted as anger when it’s deeper than meets the eye. Yes, It’s deeper than meets the eye that is why it is often overlooked because she is supposed to be nothing short of slayed and snatched in her best” I’m Fine Attire”.
And honey, Fashionova ain’t got nothing on this fit here because this fit right here is priceless, it can’t be duped and not everyone can make it look as good as my Strong Black Women do because it’s not for everybody. You want to know why? Because not every woman can say she was forced to watch her husband be snatched away from their family, told to keep it together, and left to fend for themselves and their family, yet still able to remain graceful and strong in the face of fear.
Not every woman can say she was raped and degraded because of the color of her skin, the features of her face, and the curves in her body with no regard to the effects this abuse has on generations before and after her.
So what does depression look like in black girls/Women?
It looks like a young woman forced to figure it out on her own as she is faced with raising her child(ren) on her own because the man she chose to put her trust in, left her to fend for not only herself but her child as well.
You still want to know what depression in Black Women and girls looks like? It looks like the young girl who was told all her life how ugly she was because of the darkness of her skin, the kinkiness of her hair, and the uniqueness of her features, which sets her apart from those who are considered the standard of beauty.
Oh, are you still confused as to what depression looks like in black women and girls?
Well, it looks like the young lady who is searching to be loved, so she gives her all to any and everything just to receive nothing in return but heartache and pain, which now affects how she interacts with the world. If you are still unsure about what depression looks like in black girls and women, it looks like the young lady who is afraid to be her self, so she acts out of character because she fears being judged and misunderstood by those who fail to understand her.
Now for everybody who still doesn’t know what depression looks like in black women and girls, it looks like the young lady who has been constantly told to “get over it, you will get through this” when deep down inside she is feeling like giving up, but she knows she can’t because she gotta remain tough.
The truth is black women and girls you will make it through and it won’t be easy, you are going to cry, you are going to get angry and you might even want to move some furniture. You might even lose yourself in the process, but you will get through it, even though you might have to put on your best “I’m Fine Attire” sometimes.
Know this, it is okay if you don’t always want to dress up those feelings you are feeling because the healing starts when you realize that you won’t always have it together.
When do you put on your best, I’m Fine Attire?
Verlisa is a writer who has a passion for encouraging others through her story.
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