Happy Sunday everyone. This conversation I’m about to have can not be had enough. For all the people who are wondering when we’re going to stop talking about this, we will stop when it no longer makes us uncomfortable. We will stop talking about it when the very thought of it blows our mind and we really see how stupid it was. Until we realize how important it is that we continue to talk about it.
A series of things happened this week, The President of the United States has once again said something beyond insensitive but we expected that. I don’t know anyone personally who expects him to say anything not offensive, none the less that does not give him any more right to refer to any country as a “shit hole”. The week started for me with the internet buzzing about the image from an H&M ad, a black child wearing a shirt which referenced the person wearing as “The Coolest monkey in the Jungle”, coincidentally the person wearing it was a black child.
I’ll be the first to say I don’t believe H&M is a racist company for my own personal reasons. However don’t think I don’t believe that this image is reckless and a huge oversight, a massive oversight. I have heard from the lips of white people, that black people are ugly monkeys. Yes I have heard it with my own ears, as well as I have studied classes in race and gender and done enough reading to know, this is OFFENSIVE. But that didn’t upset me at all, I understand mistakes happen, even if it wasn’t a mistake it wasn’t enough to get me riled up. When I got riled up is when people want to behave like black people have no right to be upset and that we are using every thing so we can throw the race card on the table! After years of slavery, more years of slavery than black people have been currently free, the destruction, rape, murder, separating of families, tearing down the black man, tearing down the black woman, enlisting black people to help fight your wars and then when they return from these wars. They cant even buy property in nice areas or get loans because, black people might be good enough to fight our wars, but they are not good enough to live in the same space as us, and I could go on and on. Please remember slavery did not end because it was just wrong, no no it ended because our ancestors had to fight for it, they lost many battles, a lot of blood was shed, millions of black bodies were sacrificed so I a Black Woman could stand here today free and able to spread this black girl magic. How many times have they tried to tell us we are ugly and dirty, poisoned our minds so good that even black people wanted Beyonce to process her daughters natural black hair and make it more European looking. Our freedom today came at a very great cost, too high for us to just push these issues under a rug and forget it. So nothing upsets me more than people who think we are overreacting, DO NOT TELL US HOW TO FEEL. Don’t you DARE!!!! I’ve had good friends try to act like it’s not a big deal and I told them “walk away from this one sis. It’s not worth it” – I will BLOCK YOU IN REAL LIFE!!!
A blogger I have been following for years and whom I am absolutely obsessed with is Kyrzayda and she posted something on her Instagram page a couple days ago see image by hovering over and clicking HERE. I then noticed my fellow blogger and Jamaican Natasha Leeds commented about the same thing on her Instagram post by hovering over and clicking HERE and so I started researching further. Revolve clothing was called out for their lack of not using women of color, specifically women of darker skin tones. I don’t follow Revolve clothing and have never worn any of their clothing and up until just an hour ago I did not know they sell clothes. I thought they were a group that took social media influencers with large following on trips and stuff, I believed they were some sort of PR agency (wait are they?). They got called out by blogger, Valerie Eguavoen from the blog “On A Curve” Click here for the story and check out her posts. Eguavoen is a Nigerian- American plus size blogger with a legal background might I add. Her DM conversation with Social Media Influencer ‘Songs of Style” kind of let me down, I really like Aimee, but her response to the situation honestly, she probably shouldn’t have said anything. But check out the article here for yourself. Aimee’s response showed me that her herself, considered a woman of color because she isn’t white, didn’t really understand what was happening and what has been happening to women of darker tones. Has she ever gone to the makeup counter and not found her match because companies didn’t cater to women of darker tones?
Growing up I never saw many black women or girls represented in media, and when they were it was always one token black girl with not as many lines or marketing power behind her. For example Dionne in Clueless, The Princess and the Frog with princess Tiana. For whatever reason I don’t remember this Disney story when I was a child, I don’t remember any black Disney princesses, none the less she is the token singular black woman. Saved by the Bell was another one of my favorites and I also believe it had just one black character, Lisa. Of course there was Sister Sister, Family Matters, Bill Cosby Show and the unbeatable Fresh Prince of Bell-air. But for the most part 90% of my tv was white. So I never gave it much thought I just assumed that, that was the way it was. Reading that article from Eguavoen, took me out of a dark place that I was comfortably sitting in.
There are many trail blazing women of color out there and we deserve to be treated fairly. That includes fair wages, sensitivity to our issues and history just like everyone else. Companies have a responsibility to their customers, to the public and it is irresponsible of them to not take those things into consideration. They make millions every year from costumers just like you and I the least they can do is consider our feelings and represent us.
What are your thoughts on this past week, comment below. Use this #Wewillnotbesilent on your instagram and twitter, lets inspire each other no matter what color you are.
xoxo Lauren #Wewillnotbesilent