How Learning to Love My Sexual Identity Helped Me Learn to Love My Cellulite

by Rachel Charlene Lewis
PHOTO:

Glossier

As a queer, black woman, my relationship with my body and my identity has been a messy one.

While I know what a woman is “supposed” to be—thin, white, and feminine in a way that follows the many rules of the male gaze. But I don’t know what a woman like me—a biracial bisexual—is supposed to look like, exactly.

It doesn’t help that my identity itself has been something else entirely to reckon with. I was in college when I realized I was probably queer. Despite my wholly supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, when I realized I was a part of that community, I found myself sinking into a depression. What if I wasn’t really queer? What if I did it wrong? What if I tried to date a girl and realized I didn’t actually like her that way and ended up playing into the trope of lesbians getting “tricked” by straight girls? I didn’t know who I was anymore.

My journey to loving my body and loving my identity became intertwined as, ultimately, it all came down to me learning to love myself regardless of who I felt like I was “supposed” to be.

I needed examples of who I could be, but at the time, I couldn’t find people like me. When I think of the word woman, a very specific image pops up in my head. When I think queer black woman, there’s sort of a vague shape I can’t define. But what I do know about that shape is that she probably doesn’t carry her weight the way I door have nearly as much cellulite.

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