Lost- Part 1: Wait, Weight?

Written by Dana Smith

ACTION. 7-year-old Dana walks into an Italian themed restaurant with her family, another trip to any restaurant, just another day. Her attention is stuck with her 7-year-old thoughts. She gets into the booth, goes straight for the crayons, and flips the menu upside down. There was no need to look at the kids menu, she knows what she wants.

Cue the waitress, entering to deliver the prompt “and what would you like?”, Dana looks up from her 3 crayon options to recite “a bacon cheeseburger with French fries”. CUT

It never failed, regardless of the theme of the restaurant regardless the time day, if it could be helped, I would always order bacon cheeseburger, the main exception being an occasional double bacon cheeseburger.

But as a kid I danced with my sisters in multiple companies (Gales studio, City Ballet Theater, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Opera, Ton Ko-Thi), so many nights a week we were dancing moving and rehearsing.  I also had the metabolism of a 7-year-old so the meat, bread, and cheese diet really didn't stick on me until middle school. With middle school came puberty, the loss of recess, and purple fucking ketchup. Needless to say I wasn’t so much a twig anymore. I was a tall big ol’ pre-teen. However, my weight never was a subject of concern to me, it was just a given. “I’m plus-sized big boned and proud!”. With two snaps for the ones in the back!

I am glad that as a child and through puberty I was able to take pride in the way my body was developing. There were many examples in my family of big beautiful black women and quite frankly when I found out Queen Latifah’s real name is Dana you couldn’t tell me SHIT!!!! (AND YOU STILL CAN’T)

As I got older though the situation changed. I encountered the dreaded freshmen 50, in my first year of college.  *you read right freshman FIFTY*

SETTING. 18-year-old Dana, for some fucking reason, enrolls into UW-Stevens Point and attempts to adult. She takes the sound advice of her counselors, friends, and family and got a dorm room with a meal plan. ACTION. 19-year-old Dana enters DeBot Dinning Center on another trip to the cafeteria on any day of her life on campus. Cue prompt “What would you like to order?”. No need for cue cards she already knows her lines.

END SCENE

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MKE MUSIC FACT- I had B-Free saved in my phone as B Free since before Fankh was Fankh.

These were really some great years <3

Growing up 90’s- Going through these old pictures was such a blast! I really grew up performing, it’s humbling to know that the spirit of entertainment has carried on this far. I can’t wait to see what it will feel like to look back on these days 20 years from now…

Growing up 90’s- Going through these old pictures was such a blast! I really grew up performing, it’s humbling to know that the spirit of entertainment has carried on this far. I can’t wait to see what it will feel like to look back on these days 20 years from now…

Black Don’t Crack- Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much things stay the same throughout all of the changes and never ending cycle of life ...

Black Don’t Crack- Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much things stay the same throughout all of the changes and never ending cycle of life ...

Us Women... I know I’m going to be alright! I’m reassured always when reminded of where I come from

Us Women... I know I’m going to be alright! I’m reassured always when reminded of where I come from

I get it from my Momma!!!! &lt;3

I get it from my Momma!!!! <3

Stick around there is more to come…

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EMBRACE

Emptiness doesn’t just leave

Make a motion towards the light

Break away from the shadows

Relish in the sun

Accept your life and

Change what you can’t

Emptiness doesn’t just leave

Photography: Mahdi Gransberry