In early 2017, I was chastised by my manager for not smiling as much as I used to at work. She was concerned that my “attitude” was bringing down team morale. Meanwhile, I didn’t feel like there was much to smile about regarding current events, especially as the Muslim Ban took effect.
Damn, I thought to myself, are Black girls allowed to have bad days?
Fast forward to 2022 and mega rapper Megan Thee Stallion says yes.
Last weekend, Megan launched badbitcheshavebaddaystoo.com. The website, which is named after a line in her song, “Anxiety,” features a hub of mental health and wellness resources, including sites specifically for Black people and the LGBTQIA+ community such as Therapy for Black Girls, Therapy for Black Men and LGBTQ Psycotherapist of Color Directory.
When I first started following Megan back in 2018, it was because of her sharp-shooting lyrics and yes, her body-ody-ody-ody. Here was a brilliant and beautiful Black woman unafraid to speak her mind and unapologetic about her curves and sexuality–my kind of woman.
But after learning more about her personal story–starting therapy after losing both of her parents; her promise to graduate college to make them proud; our shared love of fellow Houston native, Beyoncé–I fell even more in love with her. The rapper has also never shied away from being vulnerable and talking about her struggles, showing generations of Black women that you don’t always have to have everything together and it’s okay to have bad days.
In an interview last fall with actress Taraji P. Henson last fall for her Facebook Watch series, Peace of Mind with Taraji, the rapper talked about her mental health and maintaining a positive outlook despite hardships.
“I feel like right now mental health is more important to me, more than ever, because I have more pressure on me than I feel like I used to have… when I was Megan, and I wasn’t as criticized and under such a magnifying glass as I am now,” she says.
Megan’s resilience in the face of constant adversity is admirable, and I wish Black women didn’t have to be so resilient all the time. Because heaven forbid if we have an off day and feel like lashing out at the world–no one likes angry Black women, even though we have a million reasons to be.
After all, her new album, Traumazine, a fictional chemical that is “released in the brain when it is forced to deal with painful emotions caused by traumatic events and experiences.” What Megan is doing by acknowledging she struggles with difficult times is making it safe for people from marginalized communities–communities where talk of mental health is still very much taboo–to do the same.
Not only is she making mental health resources accessible, she’s ensuring they’re culturally relevant so they reach her fans (and hopefully countless others) where they are. And she’s vehemently discarding the strong Black woman trope so many of us have been raised to perpetuate.
By simply being herself, Megan is demonstrating that Black women can be soft. Black women can be angry. Black women can have bad days, too. And there’s nothing wrong with that.