meet xiomara

meet xiomara

Growing up, I was told that my name matched who I was: “A beautiful name for a beautiful girl.” Pronounced see-o-mara, the actual meaning of the word is unknown. My mother always told me it meant bluebird flying over mountain. And in fourth grade, after a quick google search, I read that my name meant woman warrior. After a more extensive search, I am told it means ready for battle. Regardless of the meaning, there is one thing that remains true, my name has nothing to do with beauty. Yet somehow my experience as a young girl on the path to womanhood was always centered around being beautiful outside of my home.   

At home there were three expectations. The first was that I made sure to ask at least one question a day and every night when I would get home, I had to share that question with my family. The second expectation was that I stuck to all my commitments. No matter how much I didn’t want to go to softball one day, I had to stick it out for the rest of the season because I said I would. And lastly, I had to participate in at least one sport, one of the arts, and something that challenged me intellectually all outside of school.  

I learned to ask questions without hesitation and in the process learned to express my opinion without thinking I wouldn’t be heard. I tried ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and joined an African dance team. I joined a band and started learning to play jazz on the piano. By the age of ten, I wanted to be a forensic anthropologist thanks to a science program I was a part of. And by the time I was twelve I wanted to be a neuroscientist. But my favorite extracurricular activity was physical activity. The older I got the more I became focused on playing competitively. And when I would play pickup basketball or flag football my goal was to surpass the boys I would play with. I spent extra hours playing for two softball teams and having private pitching lessons. Extra hours going to basketball drills with boys who far surpassed me. Extra hours on weekends for middle hitter practices focused on practicing my footwork, my jump, and my spike. During it all, the way I looked never mattered. It was only ever about my contribution, especially in rugby. 

Playing rugby was the first time I started to push myself beyond what I had perceived as feminine. All aggression is laid out on the field and never perceived negatively by the opposing team. It was the first time I felt completely whole. ces’t beau1872 is reminiscent of that feeling. All the items exist to make a person’s existence easier. For every person to simply exist, for me to just be a woman in the way that best suits me. Nothing is overtly feminine or flashy. As a model, I get to just be me. 

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