As I approach 30, I look back on my life and think about all the decisions I made in my twenties. I have made several not so right decisions, and I’m still learning to grow from them. The pressure to remain perfect as a black woman is utterly mind-boggling to me. Why does society put so much pressure on us?
Two weeks ago, Michelle Obama released her Netflix documentary “Becoming,” and it has gotten rave reviews, but of course it was met with many critics.
In the documentary, Michelle had made a remark speaking on the 2016 election, expressing her disappointment in regards to low voter turnout. She was upset because voters, more specifically black voters, did not come out to vote as they should.
Now we may have different opinions on this manner, but I think that she has every right to express how she feels. We all know the history behind The Voters Right Act of 1965 and how important it is to older black women and men that we exercise our right to vote. So why is it such a surprise that she said this?
I understand that many of my peers do not want to vote for the lesser of the two evils, but to bash Michelle over her personal feelings is just not right. We have to learn to put ourselves in her shoes. She endured a lot of racist attacks even before stepping foot in the white house, so she is well within in her right to feel loads of disappointment if our current adminstration is full of self-proclaimed racists.
The Perfect Black Woman’s Past
In the same week, someone decided to circulate a 15-year-old clip of Tyra Banks heavily criticizing a black woman named Dani Evans, on her hit TV show America’s Next Top Model. Tyra was speaking on the woman’s gap and how it was unattractive in the modeling industry.
Multiple individuals were calling Tyra out for being a tyrant and a bully. I’m not saying that the things she said were not problematic, but she was doing her job. Her job was to give criticism to those models. I know it came off very harsh, but that was the reality of the modeling industry during that time.
Fortunately enough, Dani ended up being the winner of that season. I believe Tyra knew what she was doing, and I think we should give her credit for that. Tyra critiqued those women because she wanted them to build tough skin.
In that regard, Tyra did release a statement in regards to her actions from the past. Unfortunately, many of her critics were still unsatisfied and demanded that she be canceled. They even went as far as circulating more videos of Tyra and her past behavior.
Why are social media trolls and critics bashing Tyra for something she said 15 years ago. There were plenty of people who watched the show during that time and had no issue with what was said.
This is not to say that we should not hold her accountable, but it is unnecessary to tear down an empire that she built. These types of attacks are incredibly petty, and it goes to show you how far we go to try and drag someone down, even when they have been chillin for years minding their business.
Let Black Woman make Mistakes
It’s very disappointing that we do not allow black women to make mistakes or even show vulnerabilities. We have canceled or criticized many black women such as Keri Hilson, Michelle Williams, Jemele Hill, Chrisette Michele, Summer Walker, Ari Lennox, and even Kamala Harris.
The media has tormented Michelle Williams so bad to the point where she now suffers from chronic depression. Ari Lennox, can’t even get on her Instagram Live and vent, without someone trying to turn her statements into something bigger than what it truly was meant for.
Summer Walker admitted a few months ago that she suffers from social anxiety, and everyone was more concerned about her performance and stage presence than her overall health.
As you can see, these women are not perfect, but the media, trolls, and ordinary people like myself have dedicated time to tear apart someone. This Is just an unhealthy obsession that we have with anyone that is black that has a platform. You can’t do anything without being crucified for the rest of your life. So, where do we draw the line?
I feel as though only under certain circumstances such as racism, sexual violence, and domestic abuse, etc, should there be a consideration for cancelation ultimately. In a previous post, I spoke about sexual assault and how the entire music industry would come crashing down if those men were held to the same standard as women.
Why has it taken years to throw R.Kelly ‘s ass in jail over child sex abuse charges? Almost all the crimes he committed were against young black girls. So how did we handle the situation? We victim-blamed! We blamed black teenage girls for being raped by a grown man that should have KNOWN better.
According to a study conducted by Georgetown Law, they have found that black girls as young as five years old were more likely to be viewed as behaving and seeming older than there stated age.
They also found black girls were perceived to be more knowledgeable about adult topics such as sex, and more likely to take on adult responsibilities than what was expected for their age.
So as you can see, even at a young age the expectations to be this perfect little black girl are instilled in us by society. This narrative desperately needs to be changed and enforced.
Leave Black Women Alone
Sometimes, it is not easy for black women to just be unapologetically themselves. We can’t even wear a weave or any form of hair extensions without being compared to a white woman. Never in my 29 years of life, have I ever aspired to have hair like Brittany Spears. Even when we want to wear our natural hair, we are scrutinized.
Some black women don’t even feel comfortable wearing makeup, because some men will find it funny to insult us and call us drag queens. We can’t have a public opinion about anything, without being called angry or sensitive. We can’t dance without being called ratchet, BUT white women can do the same things and never get talked about as poorly as black women do.
I’m am so sick of going on social media seeing memes go viral with a picture of white women with the caption that says “Black Girls Could Never.” COULD NEVER WHAT?!
These memes are typically circulated by black men, which is not surprising to me at ALL. It would be nice if ya’ll can leave black women the f*** alone! Stop antagonizing us.
I just want the world to understand that black women should be allowed to voice their opinions and make mistakes without it affecting their entire livelihood. We will never be perfect, but we are resilient, courageous, and strong women. It is time for the world to ease up off our backs.
Any accountability can still be served on a golden platter to us if necessary, but please be willing to listen to us in the process and accept us for who we are.
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