Black love at its finest is an amazing blanket that insulates us from the cutting chill of racism. Baby, when it’s good it feels like a Method and Mary track.
“Shorty I’m here for you anytime you need me.
For real girl, it’s me and your world. Believe me.”
If you’ve ever experienced the type of romantic love that makes your heart sing the hook to “You’re all I need to get by,” then you know it’s a feeling worthy of celebration.
In fact, as a society, we do celebrate and cherish romantic love. We double-tap all the pictures on the ‘Gram when our favorite couples pose wearing matching pajamas on Christmas. We uncharacteristically giggle when large romantic gestures lead up to engagements and we’ll even fly internationally to attend the wedding of a close friend-- pandemic be dammed. No matter how old we get, we light up our group chats, when our perpetually single friend finally finds a healthy romantic love that makes all her past relationships seem insignificant. #YassGirl #CierrasPrayer #BlackLove. We even have an entire “holiday” dedicated to this form of love with traditions and overpriced candy.
Admittedly, I’m a romantic and I love every part of love. So, you can imagine my happiness on February 11, 2022, when Mary J. Blige released her 14th studio album, “Good Morning Gorgeous.” After all the years of “no more drama” and “I just want to be happy,” Mary has finally realized what real love is and it’s not the romantic love we’re all so fond of. It is, however, everything I wanted for her.
According to Mary, “Good Morning Gorgeous” stems from a morning ritual she started to affirm herself. No matter how she felt, she would wake up in the morning and say, “Good morning gorgeous,” to herself before she did anything else. She did this when she felt beautiful and even when she didn’t. It was Mary’s way of using her power to shift the narrative inside her head and move away from thoughts that didn’t edify her. For Mary, greeting herself in this manner was an important step on her journey to self-love. It was also a way for her to be more deliberate about making self-love the center of her life, as opposed to romantic partnerships.
Centering self-love is exactly what I want for every Black woman, who like Mary, struggled with addiction, survived an abusive relationship, publicly struggled with accepting herself, and in her own words “never felt pretty.” Hell, I want this for every Black woman, and I want us to celebrate it.
I want us to celebrate self-love with the same vigor as when someone finds a partner. “Yasssss girl” it up and down your timeline and double-tap pictures of your sister glowing and smiling. Go off in the comment sections and hashtag life into her love affair with self. #WontHeDoit #Goals #BlackLove. Normalize celebrating this type of love, not just because self-love precedes romantic love and is worthy of celebration, but because we all deserve to be greeted with, “Good morning gorgeous.”