To the Beautiful Black Girl on the Boardwalk
You were the Queen of the Boardwalk that night and I wish I could have taken your picture, blasted it all over the internet, and declared to the world that we need more role models like you.
On Saturday, July 30, 2011, my daughter attended a fundraiser in Seaside Heights for her sorority. I came along for the trip to spend time at the beach while she was doing her thing. We were looking for the restaurant in which the function was to be held, then parked the car and walked into a Laundromat on Boulevard to ask for directions. Suddenly my daughter turned on her heels and ran out, mumbling under her breath: “They’re here, they’re here.”
I followed her and asked: “Who’s here? Your sorority?”
“No, the Jersey Shore cast. I saw Vinnie and J-Woww.”
I looked back inside and saw a camera team, filming Snooky and the others doing laundry. My daughter refused to bother them. “Just leave them alone, Mom,” she said. So we did.
Later, after I swam, read, ate, and napped on the beach, I hung around the boardwalk. It was crowded of course, as you would expect it to be on a beautiful summer evening. I took pictures of the pink sunset when I heard a commotion behind me.
Cameras, lights, security guards, and police surrounded three guys from the reality show “Jersey Shore”, namely Ronnie, Vinnie and Pauly D, as they passed a few feet from me. People dropped what they were doing and followed these three heroes to wherever they were going.
You know how it is: screaming and shouting and taking pictures and calling friends. One I think fainted. Despite my aversion for the show, I am a sucker for celebrity pics and I happily joined the chase and took my share of pictures. Things eventually returned to normal and that’s when I saw her.
She was young, in her early twenties, and very large. She wore a tasteful outfit that covered up the important parts, but not by too much. She didn’t feel the need to hide her body. The expression on her gorgeous face was so content and happy that it made you stare. She pranced down that boardwalk like a model on a catwalk and didn’t give a hoot about her size. Where was her camera team, following this wonderful person around? Why did the people not cheer for her and her attitude about life? She had more charisma than the three short guys who didn’t acknowledge their fans once.
Young girl, whoever you are, keep strutting your beauty and encourage us who hate life when we are a few pounds overweight or sprout a pimple on our noses. If you can celebrate life today, the way you are right now, with all your faults and imperfections, your true beauty shines through. The one that is not imposed on us by shallow commercials, but the one that springs from the well of really knowing who you are and what you are worth.