Tabitha Brown Reminded The World Black Women Are Done Shrinking

There once was a time when Black women had to shrink to be accepted. We had to make ourselves smaller, less intimidating and more accommodating to stroke the egos of those around us. That time is long gone. Black women are done shrinking, and Tabitha Brown made that very clear for those who missed the memo. To quote a book titled Edge Control for the Soul, by Brianna Laren, “my curls shrink, I do not.”

Auntie Tab recently shared that her new show on the Food Network It’s CompliPlated moved from a coveted primetime spot to Tuesdays at 1 p.m. She started the video with, “I know I’ve said this so many times before, but for whatever reason, people just don’t seem to believe me, okay? There is not a company, there is not a network, there is not a person, place or thing that is going to change who I am.”

While others heard the literal words Tabitha spoke, Black women heard, “I see you, I hear you, I am you.” If we were all in the room, we would have given Tabitha Brown a standing ovation. Most of us have been told in one way or another that who we are and what we have to offer is not enough. We have squeezed into spaces that were not built to hold us and become expert contortionists to fit into the box society made for us. The truth is, we are more than enough — but it defeats the purpose if we don’t know that.

My grandma told me a story about a man who purchased an antique plate for $5 from a yard sale, then turned around and sold it for $500,000. I don’t know if the story was true, but the lesson stuck with me. The man knew the value of the plate, but the owner didn’t, and we do that to ourselves all the time. We undervalue ourselves, our skills, our knowledge, our talent, our abilities and our worth. People see the lack of confidence in who you are and take advantage.

So, don’t think when people treat you a certain way it’s because they don’t see your worth. They see it; they just hope you never do.

Auntie Tab clearly knows who she is and is not backing down. I love that for her, but I also love that for us. She didn’t just speak up to tell networks we’re done playing small, she was telling us too.

In her Instagram post, Brown also said, “If you don’t like my personality, if you don’t like everything that makes Tab Tab, don’t work with me. Because I’m not going to change. I’m not going to shift a little bit for your audience. I’m not going to talk a little bit different for your comfort.”

My hope is that all Black women realize no box can contain us. This is our “take up space” era and we are no longer compromising who we are to make others comfortable. We will not shrink in the workplace, within friendships or relationships. We don’t have to hide our gifts, downplay ourselves or lower our voices. People will adjust, or they won’t, but we are unapologetically showing up as our whole selves. We belong in every room we enter, they don’t know it yet — but soon they will.