Was written in May - but this is just as relevant right now
When we embrace our curvy bodies, we’re told we’re fat. When we accept our thin frames, we’re accused of lazy or bad cooks. We’ve been charged with nursing and caring for the children of our white employers from Antebellum times through today, but we’re constantly being portrayed as bad mothers. We put a weave in our hair trying conform to a beauty standard that has nothing to do with us and we’re still called “nappy-headed hoes”. When we go to school, get degrees and a career, we’re “un-marry-able”. If we work and have kids early instead of going to school, same thing happens. When we or others decide to celebrate us, white women scream out “REVERSE RACISM” but we have to comb through 50-11 magazines with white women on every page to find ONE with a Black woman on the cover. We bare it all in a video or keep condoms in our nightstands and we’re called sluts. We dedicate ourselves to The Church or are decidedly single and we’re prudes or “bitter”. All too often, we are forced to choose our race over our gender or risk feeling the wrath of our Brothers, despite having to live with the realities of both. From Saartjie Baartman aka “Venus Hottentot” to Satoshi Kanazawa’s “scientific” study claiming Black women being less physically attractive than EVERYBODY else, we’ve been studied like freaks of nature instead of just regarded as human beings with the same value as all others.
We’re pretty much damned if we do, damned if we don’t. So, the stereotype of “The Angry Black Woman” is rooted in a very visceral truth. We’re tired of this shyt. Stop telling us to stop getting upset. Stop telling us to not be mad despite having to deal with this crap ALL THE TIME. Why are we supposed to put up with this reckless disregard for our humanity with a smile on our face? Because we’re women? Because we’re Black? Please, miss me with that bull. We are HUMAN first. This anger is righteous and all ignoring it and the causes of it will do is create a dyspeptic breeding ground for spiritual, psychological, social and physical dis-ease.
Thank you colorlines, cause I kept seeing everyone blog the pics of her new photoshoot and couldn’t stop giving all of tumblr the side-eye.
My mom bleached her skin for a lot of my young life. I believe my sister did. Am I going to call my sister up and tell her she’s a bad black woman? No. She’s grown and adults have the free will to do what they please with their bodies. But that doesn’t mean we need to glorify the practice of making your skin as light as possible so people either permanently damage their skin with chemicals (like my mom) or grow up wishing they were lighter and hiding from the sun (like me and countless young girls who grow hate themselves all over the world).
The blonde wig may be throwing us off, but Rihanna is on the cover of British Vogue’s November 2011 issue and she’s looking much lighter.
It could be the actual lighting on set, it could be that we’ve gotten used to her wearing a fire engine-red wig, or it could be that someone forget to tell Vogue’s retoucher that Rihanna is in fact black.
What do think? Chime in the comments and help us figure it out.
Skin lightening in beauty magazines is an all too common practice. At this point it’s just a question of how severely a person will be lightened. ELLE did it to the most beautiful woman in the world most recently, they’ve transformed Gabourey Sidibe into a much lighter cover girl. L’Oreal whitewashed Beyonce, too.
There’s a thriving skin lightening beauty industry too and that one can be dangerous. In 2003, Dr. S. Allen Counter, a professor of neurophysiology and neurology at Harvard Medical School questioned why it was mostly women who were dealing with increased rates of mercury poisoning in places like Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and even in the Southwestern United States
In every case, clinical questioning revealed that the women had used skin-whitening creams — many for years. In other words, these women had tried so desperately to whiten their skin color that they had poisoned their bodies by applying mercury-based “beauty creams.”
Ninety percent of the women entering border clinics in Arizona with mercury poisoning were Mexican-American, and they like their Mexican counterparts had been using skin-whitening creams such as “Crema de Belleza-Manning,” which is manufactured in Mexico. These skin-whitening creams contain mercurous chloride, which is readily absorbed through the skin. Saudi, African, and Asian women were also using these skin-bleaching chemicals in a tragic attempt to change their appearance to that of white women.
Did you know that Hattie McDaniel was the first African American woman to ever be nominated for an Academy award?
She was not even allowed to attend her own movie’s premiere. The movie, in case you are unfamiliar, was 1939’s Gone with the Wind.
Her career began with radio in which she played a maid who went by “Hi-Hat Hattie.” The radio serial was called “The Optimistic Do-nut Hour.” She was paid so little for her role (especially in proportion to her white counterparts) that she had to work as a real maid off to the side in order to make enough money to live.
She also got criticism from different groups such as the NAACP, who felt she, like other black actors at the time, were only perpetuating stereotypes of African Americans. She decidedly kept working as she did saying, “I’d rather play a maid for $700 a week than be one for $7.”
Will someone buy this for me? I will love you forever.
1800s - early 1900s: Journalist, Women’s Rights Activist, Newspaper editor and owner, leader of Civil Rights Movement.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Ida. LOVE her.
Ida Bell Wells Barnett is one of my (s)heroes. My junior year in high school I wrote my research paper for AP U.S. History on her, and it was one of the best and most fun things I did.