I was inspired to keep writing about the idea of walking with purpose, confidence, and changing one’s view of the world through the body. The result is below:
(Image: © Chantelle Nash)
by Britt Julious
Objecthood is taught at a young age, is felt even earlier. Strength in form in moving lets us literally take back the things around us, the public space. If I am most comfortable in my home, in my room, then I will move with purpose to feel comfortable everywhere. I will take back the outside that has made me feel raw and rigid and wrong and instead. This is mine now: these streets, these sidewalks, this world. If only for a little bit, I will make certain that this is true.
When I write, it is about the body. It is not a fascination. It has moved beyond that point into a series of questions that must now be answered. It is about justice and security and purity of form. It is about being one with oneself and having that only matter.
Our postures exists as a method of deception. The way we move tells others who we are. Or rather, the way we move tells others who we want to be, who we want to share with the world. Last year I covered myself in sequins and sparkles to mask an underlying insecurity that felt, at the time, to rise out of nowhere. And this year I’ve embraced moving with purpose. This is not about hiding who we are, not really. Rather, it is about what we do to blend in, what we do to embrace normalcy. And if we can not achieve that goal of averageness, then we must stand out in a bright light, away from the troubles of our interiority.
My friend Alysse once said, “You walk with confidence. You strut.” We were discussing an interview she gave about her accessory company, Ready-to-Stare. People have said things about the way I walk in the past. When I was younger, I too was obsessed with placement and movement. My bones grew in twisted. I spent years wearing funny orthopedic shoes and re-learning how to walk in the “right” way, the way my mother said was how I was meant to move.
Naomi Campbell was and is a symbol of strength and purpose. I was obsessed with what she represented to me as a young girl. In the extended version of Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied,” she references the Naomi Campbell Walk, a strut down the runway that is so memorable to be referenced by numerous generations. When I hear that line, I can’t help but smile for I too see the greatness in her limbs. Naomi was not only the most famous black model of her time or of all-time. She is the best ever. She dominated in a culture that, at least from the outside, does not appear made for her. Naomi’s walk is and was an instructional manual. This is how you survive in a world that excludes, that thrives at breaking you down, that wants nothing more than to see you cower: You push through it. You show them everything you have. You be the best without question.
To move with purpose is to rebel against the world that manipulates how we exist within it. I think about the way men are told the world is made for them, out loud or implied, and how they move within it with that knowledge. Think about the way a man crowds the train seats, how his legs are stretched wide and free, how he lives for comfort. I do this thing: I press my body together tightly, making sure I take up as little space as possible. I move my belongings onto my lap. I put my things away – my phone or book – for things imply space, room, an open physicality. When I learned this, I don’t know. But I hate it. I recognize it. We do not move with that freedom of space. I do not move with that freedom of space. But I crave it. And when given the chance to take back what was taken from me through a long stride, a straight back, a head held high, I do so and do not let go. I can not afford the alternative.
Follow Britt on tumblr or twitter @britticisms.