I know y’all have seen it. In the last year or so, the #carefreeblackgirl movement has taken over most social media. With our fearless celeb leaders like Amandla Steinberg, Solange Knowles and Rihanna holding it down in the media doing whatever the hell they want, if there’s ever been a time to be carefree and Black now’s that time.
I’m sure there are a crapload of people who don’t understand, who think its racist [blah blah if I tagged myself #carefreewhitegirl it would be racist blah blah white tears blah blah] or who just believe Black women need to stay in their place of general misery, suffering and watching Tyler Perry movies while praying for a man. This article is not for them, those people suck and I can pretty well confirm I know none of those people personally. This article is for all the #carefreeBlacks, but specifically the women and girls, who proudly wear the title but sometimes find it difficult to stay carefree.
Flower crowns and ethereal Snapchat filters are the best. Brunching with besties with someone documenting all the best moments for the gram? Who wouldn’t jump at the chance? But, what happens when you’re too tired to get out of bed or too lazy to complete even the most menial tasks because you just can’t muster up the productivity or the motivation. What about when the taste of mimosa number ten is made bitter by the thought of all the other Black people who can never brunch with friends again because they were taken away by state-sanctioned violence. Or the time you were so frustrated at work and managed to flop on your big presentation in front of your already-established racist and/or sexist ass superiors. It’s a bit harder to be carefree during those times.
With all the expectations of exceptionalism because of the skin you’re in, it can be hard to feel like donning your flower crown or frolicking in your nearest open valley or field. That’s fine. That’s a bit of the point of the movement if you think about it, you are carefree because you exist and you thrive. You may not make it every day but gahtdamnit you make it most days and that’s where all the #blackgirlmagic comes in. Even when you’re not feeling like hitting your strongest Nae Nae or your arms won’t form the perfect 45-degree angle for your legendary dab, you’re still allowed to be carefree and you’re still magical.
Being a #carefreeblackgirl doesn’t mean you’re always laying in a meadow with the perfect lighting or that you’re always happy and ready to give to the world. Most times it means that in a world where being Black and a woman could very well be your detriment if you allow it, you still face the day. Being carefree means that even when you are bothered by the world and the unfair way people feel entitled to treat you, you still choose to be proudly Black and woman and Black woman. There is not another creature on this earth as deserving of the respite of carefree-ness than Black women. As we’ve carried others on our backs for centuries, supported and held up our families throughout the years, so few people have stopped to check in and make sure we’re all right. So we did what we’ve done most times throughout history —we created safe spaces and modes of existence that helped us make sense of our space while still keeping it together.
The #carefreeblackgirl movement is not a mandate to always be unbothered and unfazed by the world around us. That’s impossible and almost as dehumanizing as many of the labels placed on us by others. The movement is about survival and thriving in spite of the bs. So yeah, grab your flower crowns, peasant skirts and favorite Afro pick and stunt on all the folks who can’t grasp why you’re still smiling. You deserve it.
No matter what, you’ll always deserve the right to be carefree.