“Is big booty the new black?”
*Insert picture of Igloo Australia (formerly known as Iggy Azalea)*
“Are big lips now trendy?”
*Insert picture of Kylie Jenner’s suspicious, overly filled in, full pout*
“Look at all these badass women rock these bold hairstyles!”
*Insert pictures of “high fashion” white models with cornrows, laid baby hairs, and dreads*
I’m sick of it. I am completely fed up with women of colors’ natural attributes being exhibited as the latest fashion trend, or caricatures when white people see fit; when they were the very ones to ridicule it.
Ridiculed how, you ask?
The list goes on, but I digress.
So white folks, and all of mainstream America who actively snatch black culture: I ask you to take a step back and grasp just how detrimental the effects of you stealing black culture are. I ask that you check your privilege, and have several seats as I attempt to break down for you my growing frustration and angst with the travesty that follows the appropriation of black culture.
The irrefutable damage caused that many seem to consciously disregard is that black culture is all cool and fun until it is actually time to be black. Everyone wants to twerk, flounce their injected butts, and adopt urban slang, but when an innocent black teenager is gunned down for looking “suspicious” (side-note: in American culture, being clothed and black constitutes as suspicious), nobody wants to step forward and expose the institutionalized racism that dictates actions of our poor excuse of a justice system.
Nobody wants to acknowledge the fact that hundreds of black men are being stopped and frisked daily without probable cause, humiliated solely because of the color of their skin.
None of these supposed fanatics of black culture want to call out the hypocrisy in dragging black female artists (and black females in general) who choose to brilliantly speak their mind, and instead write them off as “angry black women” – a stereotype continuously perpetuated in television.
You have the liberty of putting on and removing this persona, but black people do not.
You do not live under a system that was built against you.
You have never, nor will you ever, face racial oppression in the United States.
So please, save that “I’m just appreciating your culture!” bullshit for someone else – someone who doesn’t have half a brain and can’t recognize the paradox in seeing black culture glorified with little to no credit in music, fashion, etc., while black lives are disposable in the eyes of the American public. And when little over a century ago, black women were being displayed in freak shows and illustrated as dehumanizing cartoon characters.
Another point I’d like to stress is the fashion world’s latest trend: cornrows. To say I was appalled when Kendell Jenner was pictured with her hair styled in cornrows is an understatement.
I was livid.
These braids were a style that black girls have always owned, but coincidentally it’s new and edgy when a white girl does it? A style I rocked for so long when I was younger, sitting in between the legs of my mother as she twisted my locks while I winced and hollered in pain, suddenly became “bold” and “new.” The same style I was made fun of for having on the playground was apparently all the rage in 2014, when Kendall Jenner or Cara Delevigne gave it their entitled white-girl stamp of approval.
As Maya Angelou so beautifully put it, “We hold all this stuff in our hair…it is a repository of our history, of our heroes, of our happiness…it’s how we identify.” Black women’s hair is a direct representation of our culture and identity, so when it is suddenly taken from us and placed on the heads of a privileged blonde or brunette whilst neglecting its rich history, you better be prepared for our rage-filled shit storm that will ensue.
Check. Your. Privilege.
And on that note, I leave you all with this. *sips tea*