When Did I Become #LessClassicallyBeautiful?

When a television critic for the New York Times, Alessandra Stanley, referred to Shonda Rhimes as an “angry black woman,” in a recent article (that I will not link) twitter went wild. It was filled with many black women including Ms. Rhimes appalled at the author for characterizing her in that way. The author went on to say that Ms. Rhimes’ characters such as Miranda Bailey from Grey’s Anatomy, Olivia Pope from Scandal, and now Annalise Keating from How to Get Away with Murder (who’s creator is not Shonda Rhimes, rather it’s Peter Nowalk) are successful women despite being the “angry black women.” The phrase “angry black woman,” is a tool used to silence black women and discredit their anger. As a black woman, I am angry that Ms. Stanley chose to perpetuate a stereotype that is not only false but demeaning, and disguise it as a compliment.

As if referring to Ms. Rhimes as an “angry black woman” wasn’t enough, the Stanley then  goes on to say that they casted a “less classically beautiful” African American woman, Viola Davis, as Annalise Keating of How to Get Away with Murder. If you have never seen Viola Davis, she is gorgeous and exudes elegance. What does “less classically beautiful” even mean? When I searched classically beautiful it returned countless white faces, so the assumption would be that less classically beautiful is anybody other than white. Countless black women on twitter responded with a mockery of the phrase “less classically beautiful” with gorgeous pictures of themselves. You can see examples below.

It’s for reasons like this that black feminism exists. Ms. Stanley never claimed to be a feminist and I don’t believe her to be. However, I used her article as an example to bring forward some of the many issues black women face on a daily that white women aren’t aware of and do not understand. Black women are overlooked, characterized as angry, mocked, and imitated. Black feminism was birthed because our needs were not met with mainstream feminism. Our needs were not understood. Our needs were even ignored. We have the right to be angry, and that doesn’t make us the “angry black woman,” it makes us angry. One must understand a black woman’s story, to understand her fight

Signed,

Asha (in all my less classically beautiful glory.)

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#BringBackOurGirls

The young Nigerian women stolen from their boarding school are not just Nigeria’s girls. They are everyone’s girls.

They are your sister, your mother, your aunt, cousin, friend, coworker.

Just like Stella mentions, there is a flight still missing with about 200 people on it. How is that issue significantly different from this one.

Women make up about 54% of the world’s population. They are the world’s most unbridled resource.

Allowing terrorist groups to abduct the young Nigerian girls into the night while the Nigerian government turns its cheek sends a very clear message about their value of women. And maybe even the world’s value of women.

Speaking out about this issue is the first step in creating change and bringing our girls back.

“Your silence will not protect you.”
-Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Unattainable beauty. It’s a real thing.

I have been aware of this issue for about a year or so now, but it seems to be even more obvious than before.

I can feel it grabbing hold in my life. I am no long just an observer of the phenomenon.

The beauty myth is the perception of what’s beautiful as defined by white, upper class, men in western civilization. This ideal is spread through mass media incessantly. Literally, it is never ending and engulfs every waking moment of our lives.

It is perpetuated by the constant reminders of beauty in the form of advertisements. Products are marketed for all women, because all women can be “beautiful.”

What’s “beautiful” is unattainable for about 97% of the world’s population. I mean if that doesn’t scream moronic, then I dunno what does.

Lately, I have noticed more and more women molding to become “beautiful” because it’s been made easier (but not actually). Photo editing apps allow all women to become “beautiful” which basically means uniformity and conformity in equal parts. The more the selfie is edited, the more likes it gets (because it’s more “beautiful”), so ya gotta post another selfie to see if you can get more likes than the first… and the cycle continues.

What follows is pressure. Pressure to actually look like the edited version of your photo in real life. This means purchasing more makeup and applying said makeup. When the face kinda resembles the selfie, next is the rest of the body.

Don’t forget that you have to wear a bikini soon, gotta work your ass off for three months strait for that bikini body. And even then, who knows if you’ll be skinny enough to be “beautiful.” Oh! And I almost forgot, your clothes have to fit your body type. Are you pear shaped? Apple shaped? Triangle? Square? Oval?

This whole “beautiful” thing is all an illusion. It’s not real. It’s fake, and made up by producers to make money and control lives.

“Beautiful” has been made insurmountable for any woman.

I hope my overuse of the banal word beautiful has pissed you off enough to never use it to describe a woman ever again. And don’t use the word cute, either.

Check out more about the illusion here: http://theillusionists.org/

Oh you twerk? Do history a favor and watch these women.

The history of twerking.

If you know what twerking is via Miley Cyrus, you should probably educate yourself. This dance that girls do is part of an important history. Other dances like tango, salsa, tap, and swing get distinguished cultural histories while twerking has its history written over by someone who bears no relation to its origin.

To see the inspiration for this post, click here: http://www.upworthy.com/if-all-you-know-about-twerking-is-miley-cyrus-do-history-a-favor-and-watch-these-women?c=tpstream