“She Got Body” is a three part series I’m beginning today.

In this series I’ll give one black man’s opinion on different topics concerning body image in today’s society. Throughout the series I’ll do my damnedest to be sensitive to most feelings. I can’t please everyone, but I think there are some conversations worth having. Let’s start it up!

There’s something to be said about makeovers, or body improvements, or getting fit. It’s something to commend. Whenever you can put your mind to something and accomplish it, the effort should be accompanied with positive energy. Something that really gets me thinking are the ugly ducklings to swan stories. Ugly duckling is a term I use very loosely. It doesn’t mean a woman is necessarily ugly, but she just wasn’t paid as much attention to as others. These are the women who women  seek to improve themselves or time is on their side and they grow into their looks/bodies. I was one of those boys that at one time that didn’t like a girl, and then one day became “enamored” with the same one. You’ve seen this type of situation play out in the great daytime television shows of old. Ricky Lake and Jenny Jones were especially famous for this. Sip your Machiato and get ready for story time with Pops.

It was 1999 and I was in the fifth grade.

A young girl in my class whose name was Vicki was pretty cute.  So what reason exactly is there to crack on her? Well to a Pippen wearing fifth grader there were a few. Vicki’s last name was also shared by that of an aquatic animal. That animal made a distinct noise. That noise is one that I and the guys would usually imitate throughout a given day. It was just something we did for kicks but undoubtedly would be considered bullying by today’s standards. Vicki was also a young lady who just began developing a little earlier than the other girls. So Vicki would raise her hands in class sometimes and I and the guys would point to her underarm and laugh. Again, SILLY as hell but to some eleven year olds it was hilarity. Eventually Vicki leaves the school after that year. At that point I had known Vicki for four years. Vicki returns the next year to visit. This time around when Vicki came in…she came in!

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I mean Vicki had curves in places some people didn’t have places.

I said Jesus man what in the shit did I do to this girl all these years. Now I was shy to even speak to her. I told my homegirl Marissa to tell her I liked her. She emphatically told me to tell her myself. Ultimately she said the right thing. The only issue was that it took me TWO years to have the gusto to approach her.  I stepped to Vicki and told her the jokes at stuff were childish. I told her I liked her and wanted to talk and asked for her forgiveness. That’s pretty damn profound for a WWE action figure loving thirteen year old. After that year I lost the toys but I gained her.

In high school we had some legit Dawson’s Creek moments. To this day it taught me a lesson to take it easy on others. Luckily I was on the “winning” side of this makeover situation. She forgave me and my nonsense. We were able to be two teenagers  figuring ourselves out and share some intimate moments in the process.

It doesn’t work out this well for everyone.

Many women who look better than they did when they were younger would post ugly duckling pics on Instagram. These usually happen on Flashback Fridays or Throwback Thursdays.  The captions are that of triumph usually. They wreak of “look at me now.” Rightfully so to a degree. There’s no excuse for anyone to be that mean to cause someone to affirm said things. Unfortunately it just happens with ignorance and immaturity.

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All this being said, what happens to the guys who like you now?

Do they get excluded from this? I guess they do by default. Unfortunately we can’t turn back time to see how they would react to you back in the day. If you’re more appealing to men now than when you were younger the chances are a lot of those same guys might not have dug you back then. It’s great to see someone grow into themselves. But no attention is ever given to the new attention you’re getting and why you’re getting it. I’m not trying to scold a soul. I always just had this idea that maybe the motivation to “look better” wasn’t driven by only oneself. In the event someone improved their features by surgery or being healthier, those decisions should have been for you.

If you’re only doing these things to say “back then you didn’t want me, now I’m hot you all on me” you’re somehow supposing that the new attention you’re getting you would have always been getting. That just might not be accurate. If you look better than you did when you were younger just be cool about it. When those people who hated see you making your moves, those moves will say everything that they need to. You want to improve yourself, always make sure it’s to be appealing to you first. The best revenge is success right? Any of you all didn’t get the looks as a kid but got them all now? What were your experiences like? Anyone every apologized for being mean? How was that? Lastly, do I have a point? Talk to me y’all.

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P.S. – Wherever you are, sorry again Vicki!

These are my words and I make no apologies…well except the one above.

DamnPops is a writer on the staff at SBM: “I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others. ” Brooklyn born dude trying to figure out this life just like you. Come on this journey with me. Follow me on Twitter @DamnPOPS