The #Flawless12 Campaign: You #nofilter (Day 1)

“I have found that it is the willingness to say what I feel and want that makes me feel whole.”  – Shakti Gawain

Speak, Shakti–I feel you on that!

I was a confident little girl. My grandmother raised me, and she made sure of that.  Even with big ole’ coke bottle glasses and the “nerdy girl” label, I felt like the words I heard most often: you are smart, beautiful, and allowed to speak your mind.

I’m practicing self-nurturing in order to maintain that level of confidence in everything I do, particularly because Kris and I are raising two amazing people.  I want the world for my daughters, and truth be told, I’m rustling up a li’l somethin’-somethin’ for myself too! Average, mediocre, and regla-ass (read: “regular ass” as in not particularly noteworthy) are big time No, Thank You’s! for me.

Howeverrrrrrr….*deep cleansing breath* I can tell you right now that I carry a boulder-sized chip on my shoulder about one aspect of myself that doesn’t always fit in with the confident person I generally am.

My natural grain is heavily infused with candor.  I’m a low-filter person, and my core value is radical self-expression.  I believe in asking questions, and I believe in authentic sharing.  Apparently, that’s not an uber-common trait because inevitably, whether with dear old friends, cool new homies, or regla-ass folks, I get some iteration of these statements.

Wow! You just tell it like it is, don’t ya!  OR  You know Akilah can be prickly.  OR What? Did you actually say that to him/her?!

It bugs me because I am never intending to offend or hurt, but mostly to gain clarity or appease my curiosity.  Thankfully, this sort of direct approach works well in my line of work, but dammit–if one more person calls me prickly, I’m gonna….I’m gonna…tell them about the #Flawless12 campaign, and go on ’bout my business.

The #Flawless12 campaign, created by long-time blogging homie, Christie, is divine and right on time.  I encourage you to use it the way I’m using it right now: as a means of risking expression.

Day 1 (Feb 1)
You #nofilter | Flawless Defined

I’m playing catch up because I found out about the project a few hours ago, but this is the good stuff right here, so I’m not skipping a single day.  This campaign is a welcomed remix to my 2009 Love Seance, so, I’m…

1.  Posting an unfiltered photo of myself (“Take a picture of yourself first thing…without make up…without camera tricks.  The ultimate flawless self-portrait.)

Me No Filter

2. Include a statement about why I decided to participate in this campaign.

WHY?  Because I am smart, beautiful, and allowed to speak my mind.

Thanks, Grandma for taking Valerie’s baby and doing right by her.
And thanks, Christie, for setting us up for some wonderful self-expression and self-love.

Should you choose to risk expression, you can learn more about the #Flawless12 campaign over on Christie’s blog.