Create Your Reality | Fierce and Fearless – “We live in a world that rewards pretending”
“We live in a town that rewards pretending. I had been pretending to be fierce and fearless for a very long time….It’s easy to pretend ‘to be fierce and fearless because living your truth takes real courage. Real fearless and fierce women admit mistakes and they work to correct them.”
Above is a small excerpt taken from a 2013 speech given by Gabrielle Union. These two parts stuck out to me because after I heard it, and after I read it I edited the first sentence in my mind to ‘We live in a world that rewards pretending, living your truth takes real courage….’ My mind started working and two things came top of mind, Beyonce is an adjective and why is Viola Davis courageous?
The realization of Beyonce’s addition into our Webster’s dictionary as an adjective, came when I saw a meme posted on a Instagram. No, it was not ‘Beyonce (adj.)’. It was a meme that read, “Never let a man treat you anything less than Beyonce.” The Instagram poster, then captioned, ‘who in the hell is Beyonce?!’ The entire caption centered around the ability to not be so comparative of what is perpetuated as being beautiful, amazing, or worthy. I’m sure someone somewhere said ‘but wait, what’s wrong with being treated like Beyonce?’ But I got it. It all came full circle to me. When Union said, ‘I had to pretend to be fierce and fearless,’ I could see what she meant. Fierce and fearless today, is Beyonce. It’s not just being yourself or relishing in your own self worth. People are trying to create what fierce and fearless should be, based on what is seen, when it should all be based on living and acknowledging your own truth.
The second thing that came top of mind was a text I received from a friend of mine who works for a news station in Philadelphia. She shared a post from one of her co-workers who highlighted the moment when Viola Davis, from ‘How to get Away With Murder,’ removed her makeup and hair for the world to see as “courageous.” And I had to think, what’s so courageous about it? I wear head scarves and no make up often. Sometimes out in public, for late night kinko’s runs. Is Davis not just the depiction of Union’s fierce and fearless by living her truth? Is she courageous, because she had to feel comfortable to let the world see her like that? Or is she courageous because she was just being her? Then I had to ask, if Beyonce took off her makeup and wig would she be ‘courageous?’ Or would she be ‘a natural beauty?’
Again it came full circle. Our society has created what fierce and fearless is. And it looks like Beyonce. It looks like Gabrielle Union. But it doesn’t look that way, because of their background. It doesn’t look that way, because Union had to overcome adversity. It looks that way because of Instagram posts. Our world is so fake, that we can’t even acknowledge the beauty of reality. And though it may appear I dug really deep to come up with that last sentence, it’s not meant to be deep at all. Your reality, doesn’t need to be a dolled up persona, 24/7 glamour, or paparazzi riddled streets rushing to get your autograph. Applaud your reality as a career woman, who sometimes works until 5:00pm and sometimes until 7:30pm. Celebrate your reality as a full time or part time student who usually works in a head scarf on a couch to prepare for finals. It’s not always pretty trying to meet a deadline. Fierce and fearless is not synonymous with celebrity. It is not coupled with a beat face. But it should stand alone as pure honesty, and an internal and personal truth. You are fierce and fearless not because of the best filter that blocks your blemishes on Instagram, but because you stay true to yourself and what you believe in at all times.