“Putting the Cape Down: How the Superwoman Complex Can Be Detrimental”

Growing up, I always thought Black women were magical. Resilient. Powerful. In my family, my grandmother and mother were the glue that held all of us together. My grandmother would feed you if you were hungry, clothe you if you needed it, offer you a shoulder if you needed someone to cry on, and anything else you may have needed at the time. She raised five children alone, worked in the service industry for most of her life, and worked to hold the family together at any cost. When she passed away, my mother effortlessly stepped up as the matriarch. Between grieving the loss of her mother, being the rock for our family, raising me as a single mother, and climbing the ladder of the corporate workforce, I often wondered how she was still able to smile at the end of the day.

As I mature into a woman, I can identify many of the traits my mother and grandmother possess within myself. I’m a person who is all about giving everything to my family, friends, and community. I’ve been drafting business plans since middle school. I have worked my behind off to be the superwoman I admired so much as a little girl, and I’ve always been proud to do so because it was what I regarded as the normal progression into womanhood. Beyond the women in my life, I watched the women of my community hold their families down alone and without complaint. I watched as they sacrificed portions of themselves and their passions for the sake of others. However, it wasn’t until recently that I began to question this image of Black female heroism that millions of young Black children, including myself, are exposed to and often attempt to emulate as adults.

 

This reflection was published by Healing Points on February 20, 2017. Access the full article here!

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