Editor’s note: This is installment #3 in a series of guest posts by the wonderful, prolific, and talented Claudia Moss. In this series, Claudia artfully explores the voice, opinions, and reality of women’s breasts and what they experience. Enjoy! And, please, please show Claudia some love by commenting here.
It’s the catchphrase on everybody’s lips. Natural this and natural that. We honestly cannot go more than three days without bumping into the word in some way, form or fashion. Yes, we understand that a considerable percentage of the population wants to be natural today more than ever, but, goodness, why we hypocritical about it?
Educate yourself, for Heaven’s sake.
Think about it. Consumers want natural foods with as few preservatives as possible. Over half the FDA-approved additives in our processed food will no doubt leave us six feet under, given enough years of eating it. What’s natural about macaroni and cheese bright enough to tie-dye five white T’s? Give us naturally brown eggs, with unbleached shells; brown rice or maybe even black rice, which is new to us, in place of white rice. And, let’s not forget the catchphrase whole-wheat flour instead of bleached, lily-white flour.
That word natural is a stream, flowing over into grooming and hair care. It’s unnatural for mothers, black or white, at least the white ones with biracial children, don’t need to be combing creamed lye into their children’s nappy hair, burning the daylights out of them while instilling the premise: “Something is inherently wrong with the way your hair is right now, in its natural form. And, in order for you to presentable in my eyes and yours and the world’s at large, please sit still while we bring order to these unruly naps!”
Then, you have the fashionista, natural, hair-care divas with YouTube on lockdown. Sisters talking self love for others with naps and curls and waves and kinks. Sisters who are not only bringing the natural, hair-care tips, but sisters who always demonstrate right there in their bathrooms and bedrooms how to be thankful for and glorify the beauty of nappy hair.
The power of the video is a wonderful thing.
Let’s not forget the natural-oriented fitness community. One of our favorite fitness queens on Instagram, that awesome Mankofit, just plugged eating right, with the right servings of vegetables and protein and drinking water, works better for her than drinking the whey protein-powdered drinks. They’re the new fitness craze, another way, we say, to bank dollars. If you have enough funds to purchase a $34 plastic bag or $62 canister of the powder, then why not put those dollars into fresh produce? It’s got to be better than continuously drinking something that you don’t actually know the ingredients of. The tiny print in its contents section looks like Greek or Malaysian.
I’m just saying.
Now, if you care to follow me in other directions, consider the natural fabrics that allow the body to breathe. Or, the shoe that is engineered to fit the natural curvatures of your feet. What of using natural gas to power the energy-needing sources in your house? And, the natural resources we need to be honoring and preserving?
So, with all this talk of us living in a world going more natural every day, somebody please tell us why we are so “unnatural” that she can’t ever put us in her baby’s mouth without the family going into battle about it, simply lining up and taking all sorts of stabs, above and below the belt, about it.
It gets so crazy, so unnaturally insane, until we want to scream, “Where else on a woman’s body can milk be secreted to nourish an infant? Can somebody please answer this for us?”
And if you can’t find any other place on a woman’s body to do that, please don’t edit and proofread and revise what the Divine has preordained for a baby’s first meal. I mean, folks, it’s not even relegated to homo sapiens. Animals under the umbrella of mammals have teats and suckle their young, people!
You would think that people forget that everyone has a chest—if they are living, and some men have literal breasts, when they are overweight. Dressed, people forget this bit of minutia, until a woman pulls out one of us to do what thus made the Lord, okay?
The problem is the world’s mind is wrongfully thinking.
If all people can see when they see us or bump into us or feel us or read about us is sex and dirty sex (for why else would they think we are so nasty and need to be bound and lifted and smothered and covered, like hash browns,) then scientists and spiritual leaders have got it wrong. We are not advancing, getting better with each generation. In truth, we are heading backward…or maybe we are standing still, locked in stasis, considering cavemen and women knew to put a baby to a woman’s breast, we’re thinking.
Why can’t the family see that we are magical?
When the baby cries out in hunger, we download a stream of milk in response—we are that attuned to Mother Nature’s call. And, even when she thinks about the baby when she is away from the baby, we will discharge sustenance, reminding her to return to the little one. How can knowing how to do what we were made to do be wrong?
She has gone to taking a lightweight drape to toss over her shoulder as she nurses the baby if she is going into the public. That keeps harsh eyes from glaring at us and the baby, which isn’t good, to say the least, for either of us. The cold way some people stare would make you think we’d committed a capital offence and should expect to be arrested at any moment.
“That’s right,” Cedric blares, when she sat on the long sofa one evening and peeled the lap back on her nursing bra and placed one of our nipples in the baby’s ravenous mouth. “Why don’t you listen to your mother and go upstairs or in another room when you do that?”
“Do what?” she asks, drawing him out. We knew she was tired of his rude, self-righteous tone.
He smirked and clicked the television remote. “You know. What you are doing.”
“Feeding our child is what I’m doing.”
“Don’t be cute, Jadira. You know what I mean.”
“Honey, I told you. In my day, I nursed you children in private. Some things are only for your husband to see.” Her mother is in the rocking chair across the room, barely able to stay in the room. She’ll be fleeing soon.
“What is it with you? My nipple? I don’t even have my whole breast exposed. Is it my opened blouse? Or, is it a tiny sucking mouth doing what comes naturally, instead of what is perceived as sexual?”
Cedric’s back stiffens. “Why do you have to go there? Nobody mentioned that nonsense, woman. We just want you to cover up and go somewhere else to do that is all. Damn.” He huffs loudly. “Do you have to make everything dirty?”
Her sister laughs softly with her legs pulled up in the armchair near the kitchen. “No. I’d say you guys do that exceptionally well already.”
“Sophie.” This from her mother, to keep Cedric from commenting, but it doesn’t work.
“Stay out of grown-folks conversation, girl. I done told you about that, but you just like your sister.”
Sophie’s different. We love her.
She giggles and answers, “Oh, forgive me. You’re right. All grown-folks’ conversations aren’t equal and worthy entering to share truth, light and love.”
“Excuse me, Mama. But what’s right is right, and he’s right on another account. I’m ‘just like Jadira,’ except I wouldn’t have made some of her choices.” She looks over at us, nursing. “Not that you’re my favorite person, Jadira.”
She and Jadira share soft, musical laughter.
“No need to explain, Baby Sis. We speak the same language,” Jadira agrees.
“And, that is precisely why she will be an old maid and you,” he says, waving the remote at his wife, “maybe an older maid with her, you keep that talk up.”
“Aaaaw, that sounds delightful!” Jadira sighs and looks at Sophie, who adds, “Yes. Sounds like the glory of liberation!”
The baby releases a nipple, palms our white nursing bra and glances up at his mama and smiles, full and satisfied. He coos his gratitude.
“And, I see Junior is in agreement,” Jadira says.
Before lifting the flap back over one of our nipples, she lifts the baby to her right shoulder and gently massages a burp from his middle.
Sophie leans over the side of her chair. “Good boy,” she coos. “That’s Auntie Sophie’s fav nephew.”
Cedric hurls his disgust into a nearby chair with the remote before stalking out of the family room.
“See, both of you are, plain and simple, unnatural,” their mother affirms. “Haven’t I taught you anything? Women do not goad men. Now stop it. PLEASE.”
This is post number three, in a series of guest posts provided by the incomparable Claudia Moss, author, radio personality, speaker, dancer, and all-around AMAZING WOMAN! Please share your thoughts here, BigBodyBeautiful peeps; better yet, visit Claudia’s links below, tell her how you feel about her writings, and connect with this Goddess of self-esteem.