I want to be seen. Not in the way that you want to see me but in the way that I am. Not in the way that you hope, wish and dream for me to be but in the way that I just truly am. In the way that my fro stands on end and doesn’t move when the wind blows. In the way that I watch Netflix to unwind and hate Clifton Powell. I want you to see me in the way that my body isn’t built like Blac Chyna but I still love her for what she has going on. In the way that my music is loud and the bass is bumpin but I hate noise. See the me in me when I decide my box braids should be blonde and my straight hair should be jet black. See the carefree in me when my clothes aren’t flowy and my fro isn’t coiled for the gods. Honey, I want you to see me. And I want you to see them too. See the big booty girls walking across the street for more than a succulent piece of meat. See the skinny chick driving down the block and admire her big ass forehead. Listen to the lisp in her voice as her passion grows when she speaks on philosophy and her eyes glaze over when you try to get her to understand algebra. Watch how excited she is to see the Real Housewives and how annoyed she gets when she fails to see the real her on tv. Watch her kneel down and pray 5 times a day and admire her faith rather than calling her oppressed because she chooses hijab. Stand next to her and hold her hand while she prays on Sunday and forget all your judgments because you just want your sister to be alright. I want you to see the she in her when you catch her mouth full of kale and her eyes full of B-list black movies on Friday nights. See the her that she presents and take her for who she is. Allow her to be the carefree blackity black ass black girl with 20-inch tracks down her back and stripper heels on her feet. I want to see your fix your face when you see her twerk and stop acting like Nicki doesn’t get you hype too. When she comes to you owning her own sexuality, see her for the woman she is and not the object you want her to be. You cannot control, manipulate, downplay her. She is who she is and she gon be who she be. She’s gonna speak ebonics and proper English whenever she feels like it. She’s gonna rock gold teeth, Chuck Taylors, crop tops and quickweaves and you can’t do anything about it. She’s going to rock to Corrinne Bailey Rae, Elvis and Gucci Mane and you’re going to just let her live. I mean that. You are going to let her live. You are going to see her and let her be her and let her live. She is going to be a hoe, she is going to be chaste, she is going to be a mother, she isn’t going to want kids. She is going to be everything that you hate and nothing more than what you love the most. She is going to be the Cardi B, the Michelle O and the everywoman in between because that’s just who she is. She isn’t wrong for being loud, ratchet, crazy, funny, angry, smart, educated, silly, wealthy, focused or brave. She isn’t wrong for being the whoever that God created her to be and she isn’t going to shrink down to fit into your box of whatever you think is appropriate for a lady, woman, female, chick, broad and whatever else you deign to call her but her given name. She is not a prop, she is not a project, she is not property. She is full grown femininity and you must respect it. You will respect it or you will get gone. She is everything and everything is she. She cannot be anything except who she is and she will not try. You can fight, you can fuss, you can cuss and you can cry. But homegirl’s gonna be who she is until the day she dies.