Before y'all come for me, please don't. Hear me out. As a black woman, I know FIRST HAND the many challenges we face all day, errday. We cannot express ourselves in an assertive way without being labeled as angry or aggressive. We are (sometimes) seen as being as less attractive & less educated in comparison to women of other races even though statistics & good ole fashioned common sense proves otherwise. We have to ignore asinine comments, hate, and micro aggressions about everything from our hair, to our bodies, and so much in between. As Malcolm X said in his divine wisdom 27 years ago:
"The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”
And to add insult to injury, sometimes we aren't even protected by our own men. Yikes!
Now, to add yet another thing to the list of things black women have to deal with constantly: cultural appropriation. There's a lot of talk & confusion (for some) about what this looks like. You can't log onto social media without there being so many discussions around what this means, and frankly, The Innanets can be a dangerous place for these types of conversations to be had. Dictionary.com defines it as 'the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society." An example: cornrows, braids, baby hairs, and other culturally specific things being "ghetto" or "urban" on us (even though we are the originators of this fly shit! The sheer audacity of it all!) but called edgy, fashion forward, daring, trendy, or a slew of other plaudits when they're on anyone BUT a Black woman.
You can't mention cultural appropriation without mentioning The Kardashians, which brings me to my point. Recently, North's mom took another social media dragging from fans (I use this term v loosely) over her hairstyle choice during Paris Fashion Week. (You can see it here.) Basically, Mama had some waist length jumbo braids that gave: "Pusha T circa The Clipse era, but make it fashion!"
Personally, I thought North's mom looked cute. But aside from that, I think the issue in question *may* be a reach. For one, they were basic ass braids. One thing's for sure, they weren't as egregious as those damn cornrows with the beads that she ever so Kardashian-ly called Bo Derek braids instead of what they're actually called: CORNROWS. Kimberly & her sisters have a LONG list of offenses that without question fall in line under cultural appropriation or black fishing (trying to pass for a Black woman by altering hair style/texture and/or by deepening skin tone), but
THIS AIN'T IT!
Moreover... EYE AM SEW TIRED OF GIVING THESE HUSSIES AIRTIME! For my own sanity and also my edges, I would LOVE it if we collectively just stopped giving them and people like them the time of day. (Y'all... I'm SO tired.) At this point, they are trolling us and pulling stunts for clickbait & to remain at the center of conversation. And I know some of y'all may be thinking "doesn't writing about it constitute as you, yourself, giving them airtime?!"
My message is less about them, and more for us. "Us" being the black queens who are sick and tired of having our hairstyles, our slang, our essence, our skin tone, our mannerisms, our natural curves, our lips, our style, AND our edges stolen then cooked, bagged, and sold as if we aren't the creative geniuses behind this whole wave! We have to start walking more in our power and paying less attention to the watered down versions of what we NATURALLY posses. Everyone knows that we got the juice! I repeat: EVERYONE KNOWS WE GOT THE JUICE! As Queen Mother Beyonce Giselle Knows Carter told us in 2016: nothing real can be threatened. Let's keep that same energy all 2020 and beyond. Because after all..
"Nike ain't worried about Reebok!"