• Kyia Young

My Experience as an "Awkward Black Girl"

"As Ralph Ellison once posited, we’re invisible to them. We’re simply not on their radar. As long as the people who are in charge aren’t us, things will never change."

- Issa Rae, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

Ever been the only black girl in a room full of white people and the topic of discussion was slavery? Someone ever ask you why "black people's hair can't grow"? How about a black or white person deciding whether they should question your blackness or not?

Yeah, I've been there. Stuck in all three situations and have faced many other microaggressive predicaments within my 21 years as a human. It's hard to explain the awkwardness that comes from not only being shy, but being black AND shy. A lot of people don't believe this, but I have major social anxiety. To the point that I would walk past someone when I'm afraid if they're going to acknowledge my existence or not. To the point where I feel like I'm the only one going through anxiety and depression as a young adult. And also to the point where sometimes I feel like I don't fit in...anywhere. I'm a complicated individual and it takes a patient and understanding person to be my friend.

I'm just here to tell y'all, especially women of color (WOC) that it's okay to be "awkward." It's okay to not fit the "social norms" of looking like black barbie or shooting your shot at every guy you're interested in. And I swear it's okay to feel like you don't fit in. We don't have to fit the mold of having "good hair," a nice body, being "wifey material," being a twitter sweetheart that receives 19K retweets/likes on every picture, or listening to SZA's lyrics whenever she says "you're like the 9 to 5, I'm the weekend." (No shade)

I'm not good with small talk, so if I've ever offended you by trying to avoid conversation or walking past you without acknowledgement--I have a big ego/my awkwardness is on 3000. I swear I'm working on it (lol), especially since I'm a PR major.

I hope I helped you overcome some fears & while you're here, you should give The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae a read! I think you'd like it.

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Stay awkward,

Kyia

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