Not For Public Consumption

Check it. I was at book club last week, right? Being black and bougie and woke. Per my usual. We read a great book – The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. Ehhhh, lemme stop lying. Only a few of us read the whole thing because it’s like text book length. Long than a mug. It’s a great read though. Get your hands on a copy. I plan on reading it for the rest of my life. Like one paragraph every other day. Should take me until at least 90.

Anyway, the convo got real good and deep and juicy in the way that I like. Not in the annoying way. Good and deep and juicy like Lauren Hill or Chance the Rapper. Ratchet and funny when you need it but analytical and critical of social norms when you need it too. While chatting, a friend told us about an issue she has been struggling with at work. She was a bit conflicted about the issue and was talking through it. I think she eventually got some clarity on it, but she mentioned that she had thought about blogging about it. She decided against that though because she didn’t believe her issue was for public consumption. It was only for her if only for the time being.

Something clicked. Yassss! Dassit!

I had one of those moments where someone says the exact thing you’ve been wrestling with in the exact way you’ve been thinking it but you never had the right words. As soon as the words left her mouth, they resonated with me. Basically, everything ain’t for everybody.

For example, my good friend rented a boat for her birthday and our crew took it out on the lake for a cruise. I had on a bathing suit under my clothes because I figured I would get in the water. I eventually did and when I got back out, I asked a friend to take a picture of me. Y’all, my body was looking together! Listen. Tuh-geh-tha! The lighting was hitting just right. Droplets of water were trickling all down my neck and shoulders. I had on a hat so my edges were out of sight, out of mind. Stomach and thighs were looking not like what I had been eating. Very un-hamburger and fries. More like leafy greens, small portions of lean meats, and probably cornbread with whole milk (because I’m not skinny on a perfect day).

As I looked at the picture, I thought “oooo kill ‘em” and honestly, I did send it to a potential bae because . . . well because I need him to know! Couldn’t resist that text. Then, I briefly thought about posting it to social media. It didn’t sit well with me. Why would I share it? What message would I be sending? Who am I when I post that image? It’s not that I don’t like beach pictures. It’s not even that I haven’t shared a picture of myself in a bathing suit in the past. It was just that this picture, for whatever reason, was not for public consumption. It wasn’t for y’all! It was just for me (and possible future bae).

I’ve made a few decisions in the last week or two that have not been up for discussion outside of my very good friends and God. And I think everyone needs to decide for themselves what’s just for you. What has nothing to do with anyone else in the world but you. What could be an Instagram picture, a Facebook update, a blog post, a GroupMe convo but what really needs to stay right in the head from which it originated. At least until you’ve had the time to sit with it long enough or figure it out or get comfortable or whatever you need to do.

Just something to think about. Y’all know I don’t know the rules to life. Do what feels right. I’m still not sharing that picture of me though. Even if I was banging.


I'm Mariah. Jesus is my homie. I live in (and was raised in) the south. I am, as often as possible, actively grateful for my family because I understand their life giving power. Really dislike melodramatics. Really love reading and writing so much so that I aspire to be an author. What else?

8 comments on “Not For Public Consumption

  1. So true!! I wrestle with what share too.. I know the babe was like 😍😍😍

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this Mariah!!!! YASSS, so many people need to think about, what’s just for me and what’s public consumption? #preachMy7 Love your witty sense of humor 😘😘😘

  3. chelle417

    I live by this! Everything isn’t meant to be shared. Hell, I’m not for everybody. And I’m cool with that. In this social media driven society, not many people keep this to themselves, and I really wish they should

    • It’s a personal decision and comes with maturity and experience. I used to share a few things when I was 20 that I definitely don’t share now. Thank God for growth!

  4. Darneice

    Needed this. Thanks Mariah. 😘

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