Hellur guys. I hope everyone’s doing great, having some peace love and funk in all your lives. I found this tumblr blog that has the randomest writing prompts and I’ve been using that lately- that’s where I got https://purpuraa.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/smart-v-swag/
if anyone wants it. lol you’re welcome *cheesy wink*
By way of life updates, I fell in love with Jay Z last night. I watched some of his interviews, and he’s just the smartest, wittiest, coolest, deepest, *dreamy sigh*. You should see some of his interviews, especially this one with letterman after blueprint 3 came out. Hilarious. More importantly, I found this medley of Ghanaian praise and worship songs. It made my day. It’s making my life. I was so happy, and I missed church so much. I also reminded myself today how blessed I am to be here; to use this opportunity properly.
That said, I listened to some Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael/Kwame Toure speeches earlier on tonight. I’ll post the links to them. While I don’t agree completely with either of them they do have very interesting ideologies (well, you guys know how I love Malcolm) and are both compelling speakers. This prompt stuck out at me because, and I think I’ve mentioned this before, I’ve been noticing a lot of ‘glorification of the black woman’ on my tumblr feed. I know it comes from a packed history of black beauty culture.
It’s great that people are loving, and teaching others to love, their bodies- whatever shades they may be. I’m pretty dark, and I know the struggle of being that dark girl in the class that people make fun of. I would’ve been happy if someone had told me my skin was beautiful then. I still had struggles with it, but I’ve made peace with it. Also, that’s a story for another day.
The underlying concept of these blogs is something that I understand a lot of people need- being told by your friends, family, commercials, movie stars, that your skin is ugly or just doesn’t quite cut it can affect a person deeply. It’s great that these blogs are trying to remind people that they are beautiful. What I don’t agree with is how this quickly disintegrates into objectification.
A lot of the time, these blogs will post pictures of naked black women, half naked women with stereotypically black bodies, or just plain porn. It objectifies black women, it thingifies them. We become nothing more than our bodies, and even that, a certain understanding of our bodies. When you want to uplift someone to believe that their body is beautiful, turning them into something exotic and sexual is not the way to do it. Because then you teach them that bodies are all that matter. There’s something wrong with having to romanticize the way a person is, turning it into this mythological essence of beauty before it can be acceptable. Then, take away the ‘nubian queen’ narrative, and what am I left with?
What I wish these blogs would do, would be just to say who you are is good enough. It’s beautiful. That’s what I would’ve wanted to hear. I think that’s what a lot of people need to hear.
Stop making black women some sexual fetish, prescribing what our bodies should look like, giving us an abstract romantic standard to see ourselves with. Who we are is enough. We should know this. We have always known this- other people didn’t; and we listened.