I’m mad at ya’ll. And by ya’ll I mean US, Black women. We can be so mean. We can be so judgmental. We can be haters for no reason. The sad part is we judge, hate on and talk ish about other Black women.
We complain that Black women are the most disrespected and undervalued in society. We talk about how our Black men don’t stand up for us and constantly degrade us. The way we treat each other though?? Geesh. Now, I am not speaking for all Black women, obviously. In the age of social media, the backlash and shade is easily accessible so we see it on a daily basis. The most recent target is Gabby Douglas, who is a member of the US Women’s National Gymnastics team and is currently competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. You guys came for her so bad back in 2012 (when she was only 16) and ya’ll are at it again four years later.
*sigh* Ok, now I can admit that as a Black woman I totally understand how we feel about our hair being laid, edges included. We take a lot of pride in our hair and put a lot of TIME and energy into the creative styles that we rock. Since I’m being honest, I will also admit that when I see a celebrity with a bad weave or jacked up hairdo, I give them the side eye because when you have access to millions of dollars and top hairstylists, there should be no reason your hair looks a mess.
Yes, I know we were raised by mothers who made sure our hair was done and we didn’t leave the house looking crazy. And yes, I am an advocate for a new hairdo boosting self-esteem. Stepping out of the salon always makes me feel better about myself. For a lot of us, it takes hours to get our hair to “lay” the way we want it to; usually using a combination of gel, edge control, water, grease, coconut oil, etc. etc. and a head scarf to top it off. Believe me, I get it. All of this hard work is put in for a regular day of going to work, running errands or a night out with the girls. Just imagine how much work it takes to keep our hair intact while running, jumping, flipping and sweating profusely. Hell, most of us don’t work out or swim for that very reason: we don’t want to mess up our hair or “sweat out our edges”.
We are missing the big picture here. We have to look at the grand scheme of things. This young woman has won Olympic gold medals. She has broken records and continues to live her dreams and she’s not even 21 years old yet. People are worrying about the wrong things. Congratulate her on her accomplishments and keep it moving. Don’t drag her on social media for something that you feel is important. Thankfully, there are people out here defending her.
Don’t be pro-Black when it’s convenient. Don’t pick and choose when you want to believe in female empowerment. If nobody else stands up for us, we have to lean on each other and not bring each other down, especially when we see one of our sisters out here winning. Shout out to Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, Simone Manuel, Michelle Carter, Elaine Thompson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and all of the other magical Black women representing at the Olympics.
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