Why Was I Crying? Black Girl Magic, That’s Why.

Gymnast Sekai Wright’s DMX Tribute Was 🔥🔥🔥

Like many, my mornings typically follow a similar routine. I wake up and immediately check my phone (though I’m working on not dilly-dallying for too long.) My next course of action is to head to the kitchen. If my S.O. is up before me I’ll give him a smooch otherwise I get to town nourishing my body. Yogurt with oatmeal, toasted almonds, hemp seeds, half a banana, and a warm mug of cacao with a splash of almond milk on the side is my main squeeze(for now) but I am also a sucker for smoothies (basically the blended version of the above). I then try to park myself somewhere near a window and sun to enjoy my breakfast.

This morning was no different, except for one thing. When I checked my Instagram stories, I immediately came across a post that my friend had re-shared, a clip of Sekai Wright’s recent floor routine.

The clip successfully piqued my interest and I clicked through to the full version. A few seconds in and I had tears in my eyes. Why was I crying? #BlackGirlMagic. That’s why.

Though I can’t ever remember seeing a professional athlete with a body that looked like mine and so many other women’s bodies, soft and jiggly in some parts, strong and powerful in others, that’s not why I was crying, I was crying because the woman before me was owning that performance. Not only was she an amazing gymnast and landing all of her twirls and spins (not gymnast lingo but hopefully you catch my drift) — but in between those flips and dips, her body didn’t skip a beat. She was not just a gymnast, an athlete, a beautiful Black woman with a luxuriant afro, but she was also an incredible dancer and performer. She was #BlackGirlMagic personified.

I cried because, in just a few seconds, she inspired me to be a better, bolder version of myself. I cried because I saw how much passion, dedication, and hard work her one-minute performance required. I cried because it takes guts and a dash of #blackgirlmagic to show up in a mostly white space and outperform everyone else. I cried because she’s likely had to work twice as hard her entire life just to be seen as “equal”. I cried because the crowd went WILD after her performance.

I often debate whether my life would be better if I just deleted my Instagram altogether. Sometimes (usually after my phone offers an unsolicited update of how much screen time I’ve accrued over the week), I’ll even delete the app from my phone. But it’s days like this that I remember WHY I keep the platform around, to connect me to the outside world and show me that the world is improving in incremental yet important ways. Oh, and to give me my daily dose of #blackgirlmagic. ✊🏿🖤

When one woman shows up as her fierce, authentic, magical self, she inspires so many others to do the same. Thank you, Sekai.

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Nicole Paulus

Squarespace website designer and writer in Berlin. Helping Conscious Business Owners navigate the Squarespace platform and gain clarity around their content.