By Erickka Sy Savané

Young, Ivorian artist Latitia Ky is someone to watch. Using hair (yes hair!) she's creating beautiful, thought-provoking images to spread body positivity and draw attention to the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that we body shame young girls. Here's a story, in her own words, taken from her IG that may have you thinking differently about some of the ways that you may be body shaming a young girl without even knowing it. 


Via IG
Latitia writes of this image via her IG: 
I never struggled with my body, I always liked it. What I never liked were the comments. In relation to my body I have big boobs, which is not the problem even if I'm not always happy with them. People might think, I should be and even if I am very Ok. with that the most time, it's not always funny. When i was younger (about 14), many people, especially women called me a whore, for just having them. I often got told that I am too slutty and my shirts are too sexy. The thing is, i never wore anything the others don't, just normal shirts, it just looked different on me. People won't belive how many adult (in my case women) assault young teenager girls. When you are 14 and haven't even thought about sex, being a "whore" really confuses. In the other case for the men you're also just boobs, nothing else. It's the only thing they can see. 
I don't dress nondescript, I don't want to. I can't see why I should dress very careful just because anybody feels attacked by my body. I wear what I like, and I do what I like, not to impress any men, not to be "sexy" for society. I do it just for me because I want to.
Commenters could definitely relate...

--"I feel this story personally because I know what it feels like even though I am only 14"

--"It's nice to know that people experience and have experienced the same things as me at such a young age... People think I'm "asking" for attention when all I want is the opposite. I've been going through this since I was 11, and it's been getting worse recently. I'm slowly learning to love myself and accept myself for the way I am."

--"I've had similar experiences my whole life and its nice to hear I'm not alone. I've been told such things even from family members and its shocking and it hurts. My whole life I've heard stuff about my body because I'm curvier and honestly this whole series us amazing. It's such a blessing to hear that other people understand and have been there too."

--"You’re amazing!! This art brings me joy and I even share with my 9 year old daughter!!"

Via IG
Latitia also writes that she was shamed in her teens for being too skinny.
"Does she eat?" "I feel like she's going to break," "she looks like she is sick" "she's awful."
"When I was 18, a lot of things changed for me. I have met, discovered people and experienced events that helped me to love myself as I am, and this growing self-confidence in my physicality has affected my entire life. I started to dream, to have projects and to believe that i was able to achieve them despite my limitations.
Read more of this extremely intelligent young woman's posts on her instagram page and share them with a teen who might need to hear what she has to say!

Were you body shamed as a teen for being too skinny or too developed? 

Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or  ErickkaSySavane.com


 By Erickka Sy Savané

Let’s face it, some questions are just taboo. If you’ve ever asked a woman, “How many months are you?” when she wasn’t even pregnant then you know there aren’t enough rocks to crawl under. It’s right up there with “Is that your grandchild?” when it’s actually the person’s kid.
I’ve been both the asker and the one asked, and it can suck on both ends. Usually, the person asking is just excited and can’t wait to share in the big news, but for the person who isn’t pregnant, well, it’s not so cool. Does any woman want to look pregnant when she is not?

 Continue
To be on the safe side, common sense says that asking someone if they are pregnant is a no-no unless they are being transported to the hospital delivery room because it’s just not worth the embarrassment of being wrong. Most would argue that it’s none of your well-meaning business anyway. If a person wants you to know they will tell you. Actress Tia Mowry has been very vocal about the negative impact of the media’s constant speculation that she is pregnant and equates it to a form of body shaming. At one point she felt compelled to share this message on Instagram.
But the truth is nothing is ever so black and white, and there are only a few occasions when–dare I say it–it’s okay to ask. Here are some…

1. When she’s such a good friend that even if she isn’t pregnant you can both have a good laugh. When one of my besties asked me if I was preggers and I definitely wasn’t, I didn’t get mad, sad or offended. If anything, it was an indication to go easy on the Cheese Puffs. Seriously, if your homegirls can’t ask you anything then maybe you need to re-evaluate the friendship.

2. You want to be mean. True story, Sandy was just a few weeks into a relationship with her man when they happened upon his ex-girlfriend at a party.  “Congratulations!” she said enthusiastically.
“For what?” asked Sandy.
“The baby!” said his ex, pointing to her belly, with a wicked smile.

3. You’re her husband or boyfriend. Not every woman is ready to announce a pregnancy even to the person she loves and some women don’t even know that they are pregnant, like in the case of Carol who hadn’t lost the weight from her first baby so a big belly was no biggie. It took her husband insisting on her taking a test for them to discover that she was actually six months. The same thing happened to my mom who had my brother and then me just 10 months later. She didn’t find out I was coming until she was a full nine months. Perhaps if one of her sisters had said, “Hmmm…you look pregnant,” she would have found out sooner.

4. When the person is constantly sick, tired and/or moody. Nausea, vomiting, and threatening to stab you for showing up 10 minutes late to lunch are all indications that a person might be with child. Sooooo, for your own safety, you might wanna ask in your sweetest voice, “Hey, do you think you’re pregnant?”

Are there any instances when you think it’s okay to ask a woman if she's pregnant?

Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com


 By Erickka Sy Savané

Let’s face it, some questions are just taboo. If you’ve ever asked a woman, “How many months are you?” when she wasn’t even pregnant then you know there aren’t enough rocks to crawl under. It’s right up there with “Is that your grandchild?” when it’s actually the person’s kid.
I’ve been both the asker and the one asked, and it can suck on both ends. Usually, the person asking is just excited and can’t wait to share in the big news, but for the person who isn’t pregnant, well, it’s not so cool. Does any woman want to look pregnant when she is not?

 Continue
To be on the safe side, common sense says that asking someone if they are pregnant is a no-no unless they are being transported to the hospital delivery room because it’s just not worth the embarrassment of being wrong. Most would argue that it’s none of your well-meaning business anyway. If a person wants you to know they will tell you. Actress Tia Mowry has been very vocal about the negative impact of the media’s constant speculation that she is pregnant and equates it to a form of body shaming. At one point she felt compelled to share this message on Instagram.
But the truth is nothing is ever so black and white, and there are only a few occasions when–dare I say it–it’s okay to ask. Here are some…

1. When she’s such a good friend that even if she isn’t pregnant you can both have a good laugh. When one of my besties asked me if I was preggers and I definitely wasn’t, I didn’t get mad, sad or offended. If anything, it was an indication to go easy on the Cheese Puffs. Seriously, if your homegirls can’t ask you anything then maybe you need to re-evaluate the friendship.

2. You want to be mean. True story, Sandy was just a few weeks into a relationship with her man when they happened upon his ex-girlfriend at a party.  “Congratulations!” she said enthusiastically.
“For what?” asked Sandy.
“The baby!” said his ex, pointing to her belly, with a wicked smile.

3. You’re her husband or boyfriend. Not every woman is ready to announce a pregnancy even to the person she loves and some women don’t even know that they are pregnant, like in the case of Carol who hadn’t lost the weight from her first baby so a big belly was no biggie. It took her husband insisting on her taking a test for them to discover that she was actually six months. The same thing happened to my mom who had my brother and then me just 10 months later. She didn’t find out I was coming until she was a full nine months. Perhaps if one of her sisters had said, “Hmmm…you look pregnant,” she would have found out sooner.

4. When the person is constantly sick, tired and/or moody. Nausea, vomiting, and threatening to stab you for showing up 10 minutes late to lunch are all indications that a person might be with child. Sooooo, for your own safety, you might wanna ask in your sweetest voice, “Hey, do you think you’re pregnant?”

Are there any instances when you think it’s okay to ask a woman if she's pregnant?

Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com