YOU may never have heard of me. Or you may only know me from one of my most famous sayings, “Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?” The funny thing about being known for that is it made me a one-dimensional character. I was thought of in ONE way. As a very sexual being. Now, for the truth, I was a very sexual being, but that is not all I was. I gave women permission, in some sense, to be sexual beings. Not that it was considered okay at the time, or even now for that matter. I was also a very sensual being. AND that is VERY different from being a sexual being. Yes, I loved sex and I loved sex with many different partners. AND that is okay. BUT it was NOT considered okay for a woman. Especially for a woman in my time. I was worshiped by some and vilified by many. And of course, there were plenty of hypocrites in that vilifying mix. Big surprise there.
Let’s talk about sensuality. True sensuality is enjoying your life. Feeling the air on your skin. Tasting your food with great delicious joy. Feeling the grass on your toes. Loving the feel of clean sheets, a hot bath. I was the master of the art of sensuality. BUT I was also quite good at being sexual as well. What most people did not see was my intensely intelligent side. My almost professorial part of me that was well read. I did a lot of reading and thinking. There were not many who could keep up with me either sexually or intellectually. But, for the most part I felt that I had to hide my intelligence. It did not fit with the sex symbol role that I played. It did not work to be intelligent with most of my co-stars. Only a very few knew of my smart self. It was a rare person with who I could truly be myself.
So, now I say to all you women out there. Fuck it! BE YOU. Wallow in your sexual and sensual selves. IT IS YOUR TIME. Feel the patriarchy shifting and toppling. It may not be overt at this point, but TRUST that this is truth.
Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Don’t dumb down to make others comfortable. Don’t hide your beautiful sexy self under an over-sized t-shirt. Don’t denigrate your size 16 or PLUS X size self to try to please this crazy ass culture. LOVE YOU AS YOU. You are unique and uniquely beautiful JUST AS YOU ARE. Embrace it. Love your curves. Love your fatty-sensual-curvy self. I use the word fatty on purpose. This has been a word that has been used as a slur. Change that word to serve your luscious, bodacious self. Your va va voom YOU. Your rubenesque self. Curvalicious. Bootylicious. Callipygous. Do YOU GET IT?
Let your brilliance, your intelligence shine shine shine. Let it out. There is NO ONE like you. Love yourself like there is no tomorrow. Practice this. Practice this until you mean it with absolute joy and FEEL the thrill of loving yourself COMPLETELY and UNCONDITIONALLY.
THAT leads to your liberation. That leads to world peace. That leads to loving your neighbor. That leads to a sublime life.
DO IT NOW.
Ms. West passed in 1980