The Secret Advantage of the Undesirable Black Woman




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So, there was a video put out by Buzzfeed, which dramatized the infamous OK Cupid and the ayi dating app. In the video, models are used to represent the various races and genders that were represented in the studies.

See for yourself:

I’ll try to keep it brief. As many of you know, I am a Black woman who struggled with self-image and self-esteem throughout my adolescence. It’s still a struggle sometimes. However, I am no longer bothered by studies and videos such as these and let me explain why.

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From a Non-Superficial/ Greater Perspective: 

I know who I am. I come from my parents and I have their blood in me. As the descendant of a once-enslaved people, I have the blood of survivors and the blood of people who overcame great adversity inside me. I carry the features and mannerisms of my ancestors and my very existence is a testament to their tenacity and courage. I am honored to be in their image and I could not imagine looking any other way.

True beauty comes from living a life of love and kindness. What some app says does not define who you are. You define who you are. I must tell myself this again and again or life can get depressing, but sometimes I am a hypocrite about it, I admit. Today, I am going to be a hypocrite and write about the superficial stuff.

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From a Superficial Perspective:

Now that we all know that at end of the day there’s more to life than just some dating app, I must get down to the superficial. I’m only human and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t superficial at times. So, I must tell you the hidden advantage of Black women being portrayed as the least desirable.

Simply put, I love the feeling I get when I’m what people least expect. When many people think of Black women, they have all these stereotypes in their mind. Many people expect to see a mammy, sapphire or Jezebel and when you are none of those things, some people do not know what to do with themselves. It is rewarding, on so many levels, to prove someone wrong.

I have had experiences where I’ve put on a dress, some eye liner and had men of all races that were surprised that *GASP* there was such a thing as an attractive Black women…and then they just stare at you in bewilderment. Most women can tell when a man is looking at them… well when you are a Black woman and people don’t expect to be attracted to you, but they are…it makes that look (and desire) all the more intense.  It’s puzzling, yet alluring to some men (and women) when you are not what they expect a Black woman to be.

But, let me tell you where the real hidden advantage comes in. When men aren’t expecting to be attracted to you, but they are…it’s like they are discovering you for the first time. You become mysterious, rare and exotic  and that puts you at an advantage because most men love the thrill of discovery and exploration. But, no one is expecting you to be anything other than the stereotypes they have in their mind, so they don’t even see you coming.

This is why Black women should stop seeking mainstream media acceptance. Being undiscovered gives us a distinct advantage. We should spend time not dwelling on the negative stuff, but instead investing ourselves in our positive attributes and beauty. The more we love ourselves, care for ourselves and value ourselves, the less other people will feel like they can treat us in a disrespectful manner.

So in summary, don’t let these studies get to you. We are much more than we’re made out to be and we do have a distinct advantage, trust me.

On an even more superficial note, I’d love to see a video about interracial marriage and divorce rates(though i doubt it)…wonder who’d come in first and last for that… *wink wink*

This entry was posted on April 11, 2014. 8 Comments

Beautiful Lupita Nyong’O

Beautiful Lupita:

” I too remember a time when I would turn on the TV and only see pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself before I was in front of a mirror, because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced just the same disappointment at being just as dark as I had been the day before.

I tried to negotiate with God. I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted. I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But, I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because I never woke up lighter. And then Alek Wek came on the scene. A celebrated model, she was dark as night. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman that looked so much like me as beautiful. Now I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far-away gatekeepers of beauty. My mother used to say to me, ‘You can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you.’ And these words played and bothered me, I didn’t really understand them until finally I realised that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume. It was something that I just had to be. And what my mother meant by saying that you can’t eat beauty is that you can’t rely on beauty to sustain you.

What actually sustains us, what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master. But it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even though the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation for your beauty, but also get to the deeper business of feeling beautiful inside. There is no shade in that beauty.” – Lupita Nyong’o, Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon 

Black people, let’s uplift one another, we must appreciate our own beauty. Stop spreading the lie that black isn’t beautiful because it sure is!

Beautiful Black Women Pictures

This entry was posted on March 6, 2014. 1 Comment

Lupita Nyong’o is Brilliant, but Some Black Folks Need to Get a Clue cuz White Folks Shouldn’t Have to Validate You!

I am thrilled that Lupita Nyong’o, a beautiful, educated Black woman has been given credit for portraying the tragic story of Patsey in Twelve Years a Slave. I wept at her portrayal, but I have to say Black folks, why are we so excited about Hollywood giving Black folks some credit?

Hasn’t Hollywood shown us time and again, as an industry, that they couldn’t give two sh*ts about Black people? This is the same industry that put up Precious, The Help and Gone with the Wind as examples of the Black experience, so why are we jumping up and down when they finally throw us some crumbs and a bone??

I don’t know about y’all but I would trade in a single Oscar for a Black-owned production company where Black people could put out thousands of our own movies, with our own  movie stars and tell our own stories any day. Don’t get it twisted, I am happy for Ms. Nyong’o, she is talented, intelligent and beautiful and she deserved her credit, but I don’t want Black people to get blinded by the glitz and glam of white Hollywood and think that we’ve arrived and FORGET  what Hollywood has done to help the Black community… which is essentially nothing! 

In the long run, a single Oscar will not change much for Black people…if we want change, we need to start owning the production companies, owning the money and creating stars ourselves…then we can have our own BLACK OSCARS and they’ll carry just as much, (if not more prestige) as Hollywood Oscars.

So, let’s not get carried away and be too forgiving of Hollywood. I LOVE LUPITA, but let’s get a clue here.

Do White people See Black People As Animals?

“I was watching a documentary called Blackfish and it was upsetting to see how these magnificent orcas were captured and detained in little pools and made to perform for the entertainment of people.

They take the orcas who come from different parts of the worlds with different cultures, force them into concrete little tanks (ghettos) and then force them to perform for the entertainment of mostly white people. They break up the families in the wild, they breed the males with the females from entirely different cultures, different methods of communication, they deny the orcas food when they don’t perform, they separate the mothers from the calves (even to the heartbreak of the mothers) and they subject the animals to conditions where they are forced to fight with another and (whale on whale violence is the norm whereas in the wild, it is not. Why can’t they just leave the animals and admire them in the wild? If they want to help why not stop polluting the environment and dumping oil into the ocean?

But in addition to the mistreatment of the animals, one other thing struck me.

The companies that capture these whales are predominately white-owned. One thing that really stuck out to me…doesn’t this sound eerily familiar to how Black people and other POC are treated by racist white people. During slavery the took Black people away from Africa, broke up their families, took mothers away from child, they forced black people from different cultures and backgrounds to breed with each other just to make profit and they put Black people in prison industrial complex and ghettos and everything…

am I the only one who noticed this interesting connection.

It makes me wonder, do white people see Black people as no more than animals?”

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More Thoughts on Blackfish and Black People

 

This entry was posted on January 21, 2014. 7 Comments

Letter from a Confused African-American Woman: Feeling Guilty for Wanting to Move On from Black Men

This is a email that was forwarded to me by a follower of my blog:

“I am just so confused about everything right now. I do not know where to start.

I’ve always preferred Black men because of our history and culture and I am physically attracted to them.  I also love dancing with Black men, we have a natural rhythm when we are together.However, I also can look at a white man (and many other races of man) and find him handsome. Even though, I am attracted to all races of men, I always thought that Black men and Black women had a special bond because of our culture and the way we’ve been treated globally. you would think we would be our own support system, but it doesn’t seem so any more.

When i got older, i began to notice that a cultural rift between black women and black men was developing. I noticed that as proud as I was of my culture and as tied to my roots and history as I was, so many young Black men, especially, just did not seem to care.

I had black male acquaintances, relatives and family friends who wouldn’t even date Black women or if they did date bw, it was never serious and they delayed marriage for years, so much so, that black women weren’t marrying at all. But, i noticed when these same Black men were with non-bw, the question got popped usually much faster, like within a year max. My black woman cousin and my friend were both hurt this christmas because they thought their long time boyfriends (who were black) would propose to them. One has been dating and loving the guy for four years and she was heart-broken that she didn’t get a ring this xmas. I worry that the guy may never propose to her because some black men think it’s okay to string bw along and they don’t take us seriously in terms of marriage.

I notice all these things, but I kept quiet about them because I didn’t want to judge all Black men based off of this. I still don’t. But, the turning point finally came when I went on YouTube, innocently researching for a college paper , and came across a YouTube video by a Black man who was verbally abusing, berating and demeaning ALL Black women. I was sickened by what I heard. I never in my life would have expected to hear some of the hurtful things being said about Black women… from a Black man. I later discovered that there were literally hundreds of videos like this about black women
(95% by bm) on youtube and i was crushed. My self-esteem was just wounded so much by this. Couple that with the actions of the black men i mentioned earlier and you can only imagine how that made me feel. Even the white guys who I went to school and college with(some of whom were very conservative and close-minded) did not stoop to the levels of these Black men on YouTube. I would expect racist behavior from a close-minded, conservative white male, but I always thought that Black men, of all people, would know how it feels to be mistreated based on skin color.

so, for the first time, i wondered if maybe i was holding onto the past in terms of my expectations for marriage with a black man. i thought about my father and grandfathers, who were and are all wonderful black men and above all, beautiful human beings who cared for their families. I wanted to build a legacy like that with a Black man too. I was proud of my culture and still am, but when I see some of the things I am seeing, it makes me feel like I am living in the past with my hope for finding a Black husband and building a black culture. Most Black men may not be “marrying interracially” on paper, but most black men also aren’t marrying at all. I feel like some black men love to string black women along, but when they get with a non-bw, then they want to take her seriously and pop the question. It’s too much emotionally for me. I’ve never been a so-called “strong black woman,” I am vulnerable and was raised to cry when I’m hurt and ask when I need help.
I find some white men to be handsome, I enjoy their lighter colored eyes, (although i still love brown) but because of our history and cultural differences, I have always been turned off by them in a romantic sense. It seems there is just a gulf between white men/black women when it comes to their understanding of the black experience and that is because their white privilege blinds them. However, after some of the hurtful words and experiences with Black men, honestly I feel like if i’m going to be mistreated like that from black men any way, i might as well just go with a non-black man. I also worry that if I continue going down this path with Black men, i may very well end up alone and never get the family life that I’ve always wanted and grew up with.

But, it is not fair to default to white men because of some negative experiences with Black men and because the black culture is deteriorating. I wouldn’t want to do that to any man, including a white man, but emotionally I cannot HELP, but crave that protection and validation from white men because i am so emotionally wounded by the hurtful words and treatment by certain black men. I never felt this way before encountering the mistreatment that I did.

Intellectually, I tell myself that it is wrong to seek that validation and that I need to judge people as individuals, but emotionally, I want that validation. Part of me knows that if I am with a white man, then i am going to get a certain degree of protection and i would feel beautiful and valued because he chose me. But the logical part of my brain is telling me this is the wrong way to think and that i am cheating, not only the man who i become involved with, but myself by going into a relationship with that mentality.

I want to be with a man because i love him as a person, not because i think his skin color will bring me validation or protection. I despise that mentality, yet emotionally, i crave the protection and value from white men that, some black men, it seems, are unwilling or unable to offer.

it is ironic because i never felt comfortable around white men when i was younger, but now after hearing some of the hateful things from black men, i feel so unprotected, so despised and so unwanted that i don’t even care if a white man doesn’t understand the black experience any more, i just want to be safe and cared for. even if a white man doesn’t understand everything that i go through as a black person, at least he could give me the protection and care that i crave. i hate that i feel this way.

but at the same time, part of me is saddened because I know that institutional racism & white privilege are a large part of the reason that Black men haven’t been able to give Black women the support that we need and I feel like I am abandoning them and going to the group of men who have benefitted the most from the very system that has destroyed us, as a people. While, I completely see and empathize with Black men because institutional racism is an issue, I cannot fathom why some Black men would be so cruel to Black women and take their anger out on us. There is no excuse for that and it hurts terribly, but what can I do?

I also feel guilty because, if i become involved with a white man, I don’t want to just default to him for that protection and validation, that is not fair to him. He is an individual too, he is a human being and I want to connect with him as a human being, love him, care for him, support him and give him what he needs.

Of course, white men are far from perfect and yes, some can be ignorant about Black people, but emotionally, i cannot stop wanting that feeling of being protected and safe and i know a white man can more readily provide that, ironically, because of the very privilege that has historically disenfranchised black people as a collective.

Needless to say, I am very confused and don’t know what to do. “

This entry was posted on January 7, 2014. 39 Comments

Megyn Kelly: Santa is white

Originally posted on Abagond:

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Megyn Kelly of Fox News

Megyn Kelly, a White American news host of Fox News, informed her television viewers on December 11th 2013:

Santa just is white … Jesus is a white man too.

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Archie Bunker

Archie Bunker, a self-parody of racism who appeared on American television in the 1970s, said:

Jesus was white and so is Santa Claus.

Kelly was commenting on an article in Slate by Aisha Harris, “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore”.

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Aisha Harris

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Penguin Claus by Mark Stamaty

Harris, half-serious, half-tongue-in-cheek, said that Santa should be a penguin – Penguin Claus! Growing up, Santa was black at home, as in many black homes, but in the broader American culture he was white. A white Santa pushes the White Default, as does white James Bond and white Spiderman, but more powerfully since Santa is so important to…

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Back in the day, I thought this was Funny…

Back in the day, I was a Nickelodeon Junkie. I loved shows like Clarissa Explains It All, My Brother and Me, Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Hey Dude and All That. Suffice it to say, I am the quintessential 90s kid.

Any way, this post is hardly about 90s cartoons. Instead it’s about the seemingly, innocuous image of Black women in comedy and the media in general. I would like to draw your attention to the following clip from the 90s  Nickelodeon TV show, All That.

All That Skit- The Convenience Store: 

…After watching that clip as an adult, the first thing that came to mind was…”and to think, at one time, I thought this was funny.” Yes, the last time I had seen this short skit from All That was when I was a kid. I distinctly remember watching this episode and finding it hilarious.

Today, as an adult, I can see the plethora of stereotypes, demeaning images and classist references in this skit and they’re anything, but funny to me. We have three “Black women,” portrayed as rude, ignorant, tacky and unintelligent. In this short skit, so many stereotypes of Black women are replayed, that it’s mind-blowing. We have the sapphire stereotype, Jezebel stereotype just to name a couple. What makes these stereotypes even more disconcerting is the fact that two out of the three “black women,” portrayed in the scene are played by Black male actors. Nick Cannon and (no surprise here) Keenan Thompson.

The third Black woman is portrayed by Christy Knowings. In all my childhood years of watching All That, I can only recall seeing two Black women, Christy Knowings and Angelique Bates. Although this is not much representation, it’s still more than some modern-day Comedy Shows, like say…Saturday Night Live, which has only had 4 Black women cast member since it’s inception in 1975. Although, they are reportedly adding a new Black female cast member soon.

Speaking of Saturday Night Live, it should come as no surprise that Keenan Thompson would transition from portraying an ignorant, stereotypical Black woman sapphire to portraying loud-mouthed, ignorant Black women on Saturday Night Live…nor should it be surprising that he thinks Black women aren’t funny enough to be on SNL.

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What is most disturbing to me is that these are images of Black women that I grew up on and as a child, they seemed like nothing more than good, old fun. Now, as an adult when I see and feel the impact of these stereotypes, it makes me sick to think that children grow up on these images so much that when we see Black women misrepresented or mistreated, it’s comical to us. I have never gotten over the Antoine Dodson fiasco. A young Black woman who is living in poverty is attacked and sexually molested by a stranger and it becomes comedy for the world. While many people were cheering Antoine on and making songs about his genuine concern for his sister, I was sickened. It’s nice that it turned out somewhat well, but what truly was overlooked in all the hoopla about Antoine was the fact that Kelly’s experience was a  tragedy and a stark reminder of the powerless position that many Black women (especially those of lower income background) are forced into. It’s truly saddening when the sexual abuse of a Black woman is seen as comedy.

  I wonder if it’s easier to disregard Black women’s experiences with racism and sexism when we are indoctrinated with images, like that of Virginiaca from SNL and the three Black women at the All That Convenience Store, from a young age.  In reality, these images of Black women objectify and stereotype, they are not comedy. When we live in a racist society, its impossible not to be affected by these images in a negative way.

I wonder if when people looked at Kelly Dodson, they didn’t see a woman, but instead saw the image that they were taught to see. Did they see a LaQuisha/Latasha/Lanisha or Virginiaca, instead of a woman who was victimized and dehumanized?

When Renisha McBride went knocking on a stranger’s door for help, did the stranger see a woman in need or did he see an aggressive, potentially dangerous and ignorant Black woman like those portrayed in our culture?

When I think about the mistreatment of Black women and I see images like these in the media, they don’t seem so harmless to me anymore.

So, we have to ask ourselves…are these images just harmless, all-in-good fun comedy or are they something more…and what does it mean when a children’s show could so readily portray such racist/stereotypical images of Black women?

It’s no wonder that many from my generation didn’t bat an eye when Black women were continuously mocked and derided on shows like SNL or in Pepsi Max Superbowl commercials. We grew up on these images…

This entry was posted on December 15, 2013. 9 Comments