It seems these days we have the notion to think that everyone in America (A country who prides itself on diversity) must dress, react, and become culturally the same. And one particular group has really been subjected to standards of “other” races. I am referring to black women in this point. Earlier in the year, I came across an article of the new hairstyles that are prohibited under military guidelines, that while not directly mentioning black people, it did mention the hairstyles commonly found predominately in the black community. I’ve also had friends who decided to go the natural route and receive ill remarks and disgusting looks in public, at work or what have you and not always by someone who is of “other” races, but its common.
But Hairstyles are just one instance of this ridiculous standard to transform black women to different from what they are and to be like “other” races. Recently hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj posted a picture of her sporting a thong for her next song release and received major criticism for her outfit, but instead of taking her picture down she posted several pictures of white women sporting bikini wear as well with some skin showing from Sports Illustrated Swim Suit magazine and commenting sarcastically what society has found acceptable but yet they found her bikini wear unacceptable. But remember images from the 1980s of so many “other” women on beaches sporting the fashionable thong and nobody gawked at the idea of women so openly wearing these dressings? And I know the same argument comes up “what kind of message is she sending wearing that”. First and foremost with the amount of Porn that is so readily available online, with sites like Worldstar Hip Hop who objectify women in so many degrading ways, with the continuously praise by men on women who show more skin and look a certain way with no morals, Nicki Minaj is the least of your worries for posing for her album cover. The next argument would be “well so many look up to Nicki”, and again this is the same young lady who surprised a little girl on Ellen DeGeneres Show, and who continues to influence women to step up for themselves and you can become anything. To allow the slim amount negativity (or what society calls negative) that you have only seen from Nicki versus what good she has done for herself and her fans speaks of how we want to ridicule any black women who is not assimilating to American norm but professing what we find unacceptable about them. Black people do not control most things that are put out in today’s airwaves and media, Nicki Minaj is the least of your worries.
The most recent wave of disrespect towards black women are the Vine and Instagram videos of black men on black women. The direct humiliation and shamelessness of black men on black women is utterly distasteful. These so-called Instagram famous and Vine famous men who portray the black women image by dressing like them and perpetrating women in “ratchet” settings do not help the black women in any shape. Creating a false perception of what black women are in a negative form, only adds reasons for people to believe black women are an unfit group of women who are not to be taken serious enough for society.
And yes, probably the biggest instance of the disrespect towards black women is the men who say they will never date a black woman. Whether it’s due to some men being mentally weak, or incapable, they rather shun and disrespect their very own race, just to go run to other races of women who they find are not going to stand up for themselves. It is one thing to marry for love, and genuinely fall for another individual regardless of the color, but another thing to say you’d date outside your race because you hate the women in your race. That’s a direct disrespect to your family, history and culture. It’s a psychological damaging philosophy to yourself and your skin.
As we continue to lose iconic black women like Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee and others, we must have strong black women to replace them. We must be ready to encourage the very foundation of life to be stronger than ever and more courageous in a time where media is running rampant for the negative images of black. We must not let the idea of the black image be left to video models party host, and Worldstar fights.
My advice to black women is to embrace who they are. Nobody is telling you to flaunt it off, but don’t let anyone tell you that you need to be a certain size, style, or character just because other races aren’t as curvy or don’t have as much, or don’t have the mental strength. Don’t let society tell you how to be a black women, don’t let society convince you it is better to be mentally weak. Mentally weak and being submissive are two different things. Be the strong woman who you will always be, and raise strong fighting women as well. Show your man you love him, just as he has to show you. Appreciate the positive black men who find the black women “a sight for sore eyes”. Don’t let men degrade you regardless of what color, and don’t let society tell you that you’re unfitting to look at because you wear your natural hair, or that you have more curves than “other” races. I can remember a time where other races hated the idea of a big butt now it’s the thing they want and it’s due to the black woman. But black women you are so much more than the Goddess Physique that you possess you are actually some of the strongest people and some of the most brilliant minds. My one critique of you would be that you often have the strong will for the wrong battles. Fight for what you believe in but understand every battle doesn’t need to be fought, sometimes it is better to be humble than to be aggressive. To all black women we love you.
A Black Man