I rubbed my eyes disorientated trying to figure out what the fuck had just happened. I was in the gym of Hamilton Middle School in the Heart of South Memphis. I was a fresh faced, eye glasses clad, 6th grader getting ready for basketball practice. I was standing and chatting with some of my friends. I already didn’t want to be there because I was not athletic at all, but I was obese. A little too obese and it was embarrassing my father, so to combat this childhood obesity that he had helped to encourage, he decided that my fat ass was going to play basketball and if I quit I would get the ass beating of my life. He loved basketball, he was confident that all 3 of my brothers were going to become professional NBA players and was convinced that basketball would help me loose weight. Lucky for him all I ever wanted was a sister and I loved girls, and liked the idea of being a part of a team. Although, I was probably the worst player, I was big and tall, and as all the coaches told me “you got heart”, so my father was ecstatic when I made the team. So here I was just chatting away with my new friends when out of no where came a flash of white light, blinding me. My eyes got watery and I immediately removed my glasses to wipe my eyes, in this process all I heard was laughter. I got myself together, glasses on and ready, in front of me stood a crusty older boy just giggling away. In his hand he held a digital camera. He was the cause of the blinding flash, he proudly proclaimed “I can’t wait to show my niggas the ugliest girl I’ve ever seen”, and before I could do or say anything he ran off. Ran off with a picture of ME, the ugliest girl he’d ever seen. He ran off with a little piece of my dignity. Really, I wanted to crawl up in ball and cry or die. I’m always in awe of how memory works. I don’t even remember anything else about that day, I don’t know how practice went, I don’t know how many suicides me and the Lady Wildcats ran that night. What I know was that this boy, solidified a reoccurring theme in my adolescent life, that I was ugly, unattractive, unsought after by Black men.
As far back as I could remember I was bullied by other children especially boys. Being from a predominantly Black area, I knew that having darker skin was unfavored. My mother had always told me that my grandmother favored her lighter skinned sister over her because even to my grandmother, a Black woman, darker skin was a flaw. The laundry list of why I hated myself was as follows: too dark, too fat, knock kneed, talked with my tongue, four eyed, teacher’s pet, and somehow I had the audacity to make good grades, the ultimate lame. The girls could be cruel, but the boys were the reason I would cry myself to sleep at night. The names they called me “Shriek, (I hated that movie because of it), the Blob, Hurricane (because when I walked supposedly the floor shook), Giant Burnt Cookie”, but the one I hated the most was “Gucci Girl”! I was home schooled most of my 8th grade year and the majority of my 9th grade year, except for the first month in the beginning of the school year. However, it only took one month for an entire new set of kids, kids who I desperately wanted to like me, to make me feel like the ugliest most deformed human being. I have always been a nice, funny, kind, and an intelligent person. I had no enemies and a never-ending support system of friends who loved the fuck out of me and whom I loved just as fiercely, these mean kids were mean to me, solely because they wanted to be, we had no beef.
During the summer of my 9th grade year, Gucci Mane’s “Freaky Gurl”, blew up. I had never heard of him before I started high school because my parents were on one of their religious benders and no rap music was allowed for moment. There was this one boy in my Spanish class who was just as dark as I was, but for a reason unknown to me made me his prime target. This boy was very popular and had decided that he would call me “Gucci Girl” because I was so ugly that I looked like Gucci Mane with hair. At first, I honestly didn’t know how to react, I didn’t even know who he was talking about. It seemed like over night all the mean boys and girls who wanted to be cool started to call me “Gucci Girl”. They would walk up to me in the hallway harassing me saying “hey Gucci Girl, what’s up Gucci Girl, where you going Gucci Girl”. I decided to investigate who this “Gucci Mane” was and what our supposed resemblances were. I found him on YouTube, along with his video for “Freaky Gurl” and you know what? I loved the song, I loved his confidence, I loved his swagger, his “ I don’t give a fuck, I’m fly demeanor”, and I did want to eat a girl. I always had sexual feelings for the same gender and recently declared myself as a lesbian (to my friends). Being called “Gucci Girl” hurt my feelings but not because I thought Gucci Mane was unattractive, but because all these boys thought I was the ugliest thing on Earth. I was over crying about the bullying, I told my mama about it and she was heated, ready to kick some ass, she did confront one the bullies, this 6’3, 215 pound senior, jacked him up by the collar in the boys locker room before he went to football practice, in front of his teammates and coaches, he never bothered me again, but that’s another story for another day. After, my recent discovery of Big Guwop, and with my new found confidence because my neurologists wanted me homeschooled again, I was about to begin receiving IV treatments for my migraines from a nurse that would come to our house and pump me full over narcotics, I had to leave that school and those imbecilic future jail bird boys with a piece of my mind. When they would hit me with the “Gucci Girl” I would hit them back with “I rather be a Gucci Girl than a broke girl any day”. That would mess them up. I told them they would end up in jail or with 15 kids and no money and like a fortune teller, I was right. While they spent a little under a month attempting to torment me, they were the same people who later on became customers of mine during my brief stint, at Cash America, a pawn shop (I worked at for a year after I graduated college). They had to bring young “Gucci Girl” their DVD players, their mama’s jewelry, their kids’ ps4s and Xbox ones because they didn’t have money for their bills or to support all their kids. They gave me the stereos and speakers out of their cars, even their microwave and toaster ovens, I had people that would only want to deal with me, because I was more pleasant than any of my other coworkers. While they aspired to be dope boys yet lacked the dope, knowledge and smarts, or video vixens or nurse’s assistants, I always had bigger dreams, I’ve always wanted to be a multimillionaire just like Gucci Mane Laflare. Even though I’m not there yet, at least my ugly ass has a college degree, and without a jail record or 30 kids holding me back, I’m still creating who I want to be. I recently read the Autobiography of Gucci Mane and I loved it! I feel inspired, to read about his story, not one of silver spoons and picket fences, but of overcoming the hood and overcoming himself, his own enemy. It just got me thinking that if Radric Davis can do it, if he can create a better life for himself even after being hit with road block after road block, then I can too! A recent dispute with financial aid from the university I graduated from had me feeling like I wasted my time at Denison, had me regretting my choice of turning down HBCUs, but everything really does happen for a reason. If I never saw how the rich white folks live, I would never imagined that I could live that good. I may not be attending grad school in the fall like I wanted but that ain’t going to stop anything. I’m on some next level shit. I hope that boy still has my picture because one day he’ll see me on tv, Big DG, building a boarding school in the middle of South Memphis, free private education. His kids will be welcomed.
-With love and sincerity, the Gucci Girl DG 😊