Summer of Self-Love Playlist
Music is such an incredibly personal, incredibly liberating experience. Is there anything else that can connect you so viscerally, in such a primal way, to your identity? Is there any other form of art that serves as such an electric source of immediacy and intensely focused bodily pleasure?
Feeling a rhythm, a beat, a bass-line, pound through your body, inviting you, in no uncertain terms, to be wholly and boldly and completely in tune with every physical and emotional sensation in your body is, to me, the definition of freedom.
As a woman, I am told by society to fear my body, to ignore it, not to trust it, to, in every way, deny it completely. As a black woman, my body is on permanent display, constantly critiqued, hypersexualized. My body may only exist as a conduit for the sexual gratification of others.
Through music, I can—literally and figuratively—drown out all of that noise. I can feel the music and my body in the most intimate, earnest, deliberately physical way. A way of being truly bodily present that, in every other context, is never allowed of me, that is only ever acceptable when it is experienced by someone else, when it is enacted through me, but never with me.
My Caribbean mother, by having music playing in the house at any time the sun was shining, by telling me stories of dancing in the streets of Trinidad as a teenager during Caribana, by handing down to me her clubbing clothes as I became a teenager—body-hugging, body-flaunting, body-loving clothes—instinctively taught me to love my body, to embrace the curves and fullness that would come in time, to feel no shame in the magic of living in a body, the primacy of enjoying this magic through the act of moving my body to music.
Music can be a lot of different things to different people, but the spiritual connection with a physical body is integral to music. The songs selected in this playlist all speak to themes of self-love, bodily connection and personal pleasure. We've created this Self Love Summer playlist for you all to enjoy moving your bodies. Celebrate your body! There is no such thing as a “good” or a “bad” body, only the one that you live in, and it is deserving of respect, love and connection.
This is the fourth week of our 2019 Summer of Self-Love! Every week for 12 weeks, we're sharing questions, activities or ideas that we hope will help you fall more in love with yourself this summer. You can find our first post here, or sign up for our Summer of Self-Love Newsletter here.