I think a lot about my author aesthetic. For me, that means thinking about how I want to show up in the world , and to know that I need to know what kind of writer I aim to be. It’s more than just a personal style, though I believe that this is a lot of it.
I think about this because as a young writer who gathers a lot of strength and courage from Black feminist writers, poets and activists, I want to put intentionality at the forefront of everything I do. Intentionality and care are deeply intertwined when I think about my aesthetic. I want to make sure I am moving and showing up in a way that aligns with what I value: Black women’s history and love practices, compassion for self and others, and freedom and futurity as two halves of a whole, to start, but also Black girlhood and joy.
So what does that mean exactly for me? I think it means that I aim to present myself as the truest version of me at any given moment in the hopes that it will inspire others to walk in their truth as well.
I want to always carry a part of Black girl and womanhood with me, in the form of the biggest gold hoops I can find, as a reminder of recognition and value of us– but also how I came to love myself.
I want to wear my hair natural or in protective styles (the bigger the better) because it reminds me that every part of me, my big body, my big hair, were designed by God to take up space. My hair defies gravity, and coils and weaves together while also springing up alone as a reminder that there are parts of myself are crafted in union with others to create unique, rule defying strands.
I wear my identity on my chest as a nameplate necklace so that there’s no concealing my pride.
I will never stop wearing glasses because it reminds me that I ruined my eyes as a child reading in the dark before bed– always a reader with a wild imagination.
Heeled shoes will always have a spot in my closet to combat all the years I refused them, thinking it would make me too tall, before I realized I was an Amazon and Amazons didn’t make themselves small.
Tattoos that convey meaning, tell others about the people and places and words that have shaped me, will always have a place on my body, which I will cloth with love because I had to learn to love it.
Yellow for happiness, the sun and my Grandmother, Thelia; purple for calm and regality; and black for artistry and confidence will always be me go to colors, with a mix of earth tones to remind me of the rolling acres of land in Wakefield I spent my childhood exploring on Sunday afternoons.
Yes, I think of outfits and nail colors, cute statement jewelry pieces and bold lip colors.
But in the end, if you remember me with a yellow pen in hand and a hardcover journal, ready to see if I can assemble a collection of words into a truth…then that will be more than my author aesthetic.
It will be my legacy.