When I was in high school, I would use every Friday night to do my nails, facial, hair and watch TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Friday).
It was methodical and my friends knew that every Friday, I’d be heading home to have my girly night. I wasn’t going to the go-go, the skating rink or any other teenage outing they had planned. This was my thing. They got it.
Then I got a bit older but not much changed. I still had my “girly night” but just this time I had found one of the fake id sites and managed to get my hands on some wine to enjoy with my pampering. During college, my boyfriend(s) would learn that every Thursday would be my night to sit in my dorm room, paint my nails, do my facial and sip on a glass of wine while laughing it up with my bestie. It was like clockwork. There were no exceptions. Okay, maybe some. But, overall, I had learned at a young age to always dedicate one night a week to myself.
I didn’t really realize it at the time, but I would be building a special and well-needed tradition that I just assumed all women had. I don’t even know where I got this from. But, it was just natural for me to have one night to myself where I didn’t talk to anyone, watched my favorite show and when I got older, drank my favorite wine.
At 28, nothing has changed. My night has moved to Wednesdays, my show is either Catfish or The Mindy Project re-runs and my choice of wine is Sweet Bitch Merlot.
Over time, I’ve come to realize just how important my “girly nights” are. After my dad passed away, they sort of ceased for a few years. A few months back, I realized that I hadn’t hosted my girly nights in a long time. I’d missed them. It was then, too, that it hit me that this wasn’t really just about doing my nails and getting my skin right for the weekend. But, it was more of a night to myself where I zoned out; tuned out the world. A moment to sort of sit with my thoughts, pay attention to my beauty (inside and out) and just…relax.
I think that sometimes, women forget to put themselves first. We forget to take care of ourselves and make sure we’re okay. Especially Black women. We’ve been conditioned to carry so much, emotionally and mentally that a break (even if it’s once a week for one hour) is more than necessary.
I have a theory that if you don’t feel beautiful, you essentially don’t look it. Have you ever seen a pretty woman, like a gorgeous woman at face value who didn’t seem to have that glow? Me too. I’m sure I’ve been that woman. In fact, one time an old mentor of mine told me I looked sad (I had gone through my last breakup and I clearly remember just not taking care of myself), and I had on a full face of makeup. Face beat to the Gawds. And she could tell that my glow wasn’t there.
I say all of this, only to share my personal hope that all women reading this blog post will pick one day of the week, and give themselves one hour to an entire evening, to themselves, to host their own “girl nights”. I understand having children, husbands, partners and other obligations may make this hard. But, if you can, give yourself one hour a week to turn your phone off, pour a glass of wine (or whatever you want), light a candle and get the face masques and nail polish out. Hop in a hot shower and put on some light music and let the steam relax your mind. Get out of the shower and slap on your best masque while you tune into your favorite show, or read your favorite magazine.
I just want us all to have our own girly nights. Because all of this Beautifully Brown gorgeousness deserves it.