When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland


This may meander.

Miley Cyrus made news this week with a carnival-like stage performance at the MTV Video Music Awards that included life-size teddy bears, flesh-colored underwear, and plenty of quivering brown buttocks. Almost immediately after the performance many black women challenged Cyrus’ appropriation of black dance (“twerking”). Many white feminists defended Cyrus’ right to be a sexual woman without being slut-shamed. Yet many others wondered why Cyrus’ sad attempt at twerking was news when the U.S. is planning military action in Syria.

I immediately thought of a summer I spent at UNC Chapel Hill. My partner at the time fancied himself a revolutionary born too late for all the good protests. At a Franklin Street pub one night we were the only black couple at a happy hour. It is one of those college places where concoctions of the bar’s finest bottom shelf liquor is served in huge fishbowls…

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When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland

2 thoughts on “When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland

  1. I liked this article a lot. However how about skinny Black women like me? I have had none of those experiences happened to me because I am not a thick Black female. I am as thin as they come. I ave had different experiences though. White women envy my body type and strive to be my size while Black women tell me to eat more so that I can have ”curves”. I attract more non Black men than Black men because of my size as well.

    Either way, Black women’s bodies are denigrated and not respected in this society.


  2. that is a great article, I don’t want to see any black females being objectified like that regardless of shape or attractiveness. I do see they use a certain kind of black woman to do this to, the ones that are ok looking ,they won’t use very attractive black women because that is challenging white women’s beauty. It is like when a group of women go out and they have a couple of ok looking friends and one or two very attractive friends that really stand out. That is disgusting that woman has to go through that, being asked to dance and let ppl do stuff to her just because they assume oh well she’s an average looking black woman she’ll do what we ask and I don’t have to worry about losing my man to her. Reminds me of the same people that do mandingo parties and don’t expect their woman to fall for the black male. So I guess black bodies are just for pleasure without the fear of their partner falling for the black person because surely no superior being would fall for an inferior.

    The feminists defending her right and not wanting her to be slut shamed are funny to me because she was acting that way to get attention from males and she was grinding on a married man. But ok that is supposed to be empowering by dancing on a man and being dressed with ur butt cheeks hanging out, yeah that is so empowering. not. Empowerment imo is being able to dress in sweats and dance better than other people including males without having to wear almost nothing .that is why I have more respect for old school artists and tlc. They weren’t dressed with their stuff hanging out but they were still very beautiful because they had an amazing smile, personality, and talent.


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