The Whole Weight Thing

This past Friday, I was a guest commentator on “The Daily Drum”, which airs Monday through Friday on WHUR 96.3 in DC.  The topic was plus-size women and dating and whether a woman’s waistline was directly related to her dating life.  This show was directly related to a post written by “Crunk Feminist Collective” blogger Brittney Cooper.  I may share the link of the show with you all in the near future, but for now, I want to take this post in a different direction.

While the host, Harold Fisher, was pretty adamant about where he wanted his show to go (and kept his questions in alignment with that), there were a number of places this conversation could have gone.  For example, rather than JUST talking about plus-size women, we could have (and should have) discussed plus-size men.  Just as there are men that will not date overweight women, there are just as many women that will not date overweight men. 

It seems recently with posts from Jozen Cummings at “Until I Get Married“, Brittney Cooper at the “Crunk Feminist Collective“, and Alice Randall at the “New York Times“, there seems to be this influx of Black women and weight issues.  I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone of when before it was Black women being single. 

So, as I’m known to do sometimes, I’m going to take this a step further.  I’ve decided to interview 10 people, 5 men and 5 women, married, single, childless, parents, to find out their ideal body type in the opposite sex.  Since it’s going to take me a while to reach out to the people I want to interview, it may be a few weeks before I can post all of their thoughts.  I don’t know if it’s because it’s summertime or maybe the world needs another way to pick on Black women (oops, did I say that???), but maybe’s it’s something that needs to be discussed. 

If you’re interested in being interviewed, feel free to e-mail me at evolvingelle@gmail.com.  I can tell you I already have 2 men and 3 women, so slots are filling up quickly. 🙂  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

P.S. I realized I didn’t give that much commentary.  In case you missed me on the show, no, I don’t think a woman’s (or man’s) waistline is directly correlated with her dating life.  First, as my auntie Casey used to say, “There’s a taste for every shape.”  Sure, we have “types” that are aesthically pleasing to us and that are going to grab our attention.  A man wants a woman who’s confident, sure of herself, and enjoys life.  But if a woman is unhappy at 250 pounds, unless she makes changes on the inside, too, she’s going to be unhappy at 150 pounds.  Same for a man.  Oh, and my type?  I need a man with some meat on his bones-but not so much meat that he has issues breathing or walking or doing simple day-to-day things without taking a break every 5 minutes.

Advertisements

Witty Wednesday-I’m Over It

Once again it’s open season on Black women.  On May 15 “Psychology Today”, Satoshi Kanawaza posted an article titled “Why Black Women are Rated Less Attractive While Black Men are Highly Rated”.  Because of the backlash the site received, they have since taken the post down, but it is still viewable here.  I didn’t read the entire article (yes, I know-shame on me), but I read enough and saw enough comments to know that this man is off his rocker.  And it didn’t take others comments-I figured that out by just reading the title.   But the more poignant question is-why was this done in the first place?

I told this to my former classmate on my Facebook page when she posted the article and asked for my thoughts-“…I think it’s a lie.  All men have wanted Black women since the days of slavery.”  Why is it so easy to beat up on/belittle/attempt to demean Black women?  Are we easy targets because statistically speaking, we are significantly single than our other counterparts?  I truly don’t understand.  Maybe all of the Black women in America should move to Italy or Greece where we will be appreciated. 

Clearly I’m being (slightly) facetious, but instead of adding fuel to the fire, I think we did what was needed.  We  came together and got the filth and lies off of the website.  We (Black men and women-and everyone else, too) know that we are all beautiful and attractive and have a lot to offer.  As adults, we must teach our children that the lies that were stated by Kanawaza are not true-so just in case when they become adults, some idiot tries to spread a similar lie, they’ll be able to stop him or her in their tracks. 

I ‘m ending today’s post with my favorite poem.  Not sure where I first saw it (I think it was when I was part of a program the Deltas in my city had when I was in middle school), but I first recited it during the Black History Month program at my high school in 9th grade.  It speaks to the beauty and resilience of Black women.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

What If I Am A Black Woman?

Is it a disease? Well, if it is, I sure hope its catching

 Because they need to pour it into a bottle,

label it, and sprinkle it All over the people

men and women who Ever loved or cried,

worked or died For any one of us.

 

So…What if I am a Black woman?

Is it a crime? Arrest me!

Because I’m strong, but I’m gentle,

I’m smart, but I’m learning,

I’m loving, but I’m hateful.

And I like to work because

I like to eat and feed and

clothe and house Me, mine

and yours and everybody’s,

Like I’ve been doing for the

past 300 years.

 

What if I am a Black woman?

Is it insane? Commit me!!

Because I want Happiness, not tears;

Truths not lies; Pleasure not pain;

Sunshine not rain; A man not a child!

 

What if I am a Black woman? Is it a sin?

Pray for me! And pray for you too,

If you don’t like women of color

because we are… Midnight Black,

Chestnut Brown, Honey Bronzed,

Chocolate Covered, Cocoa Dipped,

Big Lipped, Big Breasted, and BEAUTIFUL

all at the same time!

 

So what if I am a Black Woman?

Does it bother you that much because

I want a man who wants me…

Loves me and trusts me, and respects me

And gives me everything because

I give him everything back, PLUS!!

 

What if I am a Black woman? I’ve got rights,

same as you! I have worked for them,

died for them, played and laid for them,

On every plantation from Alabama to Boston and Back!

 

What if I am a Black woman?

I love me, and I want you to love me too,

But I am as I’ve always been,

Near you, close to you, beside you,

strong giving, loving,

 

For over 300 years, Your Black woman…Love me!

 

~ Author Unknown ~

What is Black? Part 2

Wendi Levy and Kim Etheridge-Founders of Mixed Chicks

Tuesday’s post on “What is Black? Part 1” sparked some much appreciated comments.  And people are still reading it.  Today’s post is mostly inspired by an article I read on Coco and Creme by Alexis Garrett Stodghill.  The article, titled “Do Mixed Chicks Hair Care Products Make Light Seem Right?”, rubbed me the wrong way a little.  What I got from the article was another way to divide the Black community.

According to Stodghill, the name Mixed Chicks, a fairly new hair care line targeted to women of biracial or multiracial backgrounds, is a way to divide Black women and make us feel inadequate about our hair.  Um…yeah, not me!  Yes, at one time I wanted hair that’s a little softer to the touch (I’ve been natural for almost six years), but I have grown to love my hair and work with what the Lord gave me.   The title of this product does not invoke an inadequecy in me because I’m not a “mixed chick”, and I can’t use this product.  My BFF from undergrad is not biracial, and yet she could probably use Mixed Chicks.  Why?  Because her hair is soft to the touch, naturally curly, and has the type of hair that the creators are marketing to.   Look at the product Kinky Curly.  Should biracial women or women who have softer hair be offended by the term kinky?  Apparently so, according to the author of this article. 

Another issue I have with the article is how she goes in on Halle Berry.  Berry, a biracial actress, strongly affirms being African-American and embraces her Black heritage.  A few years back, when Mixed Chicks first came on the scene, Halle was very vocal about her use of the product and how she loved it.  Ms. Stodghill states that if Halle identifies as Black, she can’t possibly be part of the “biracial/multiracial” demographic that is the target audience for Mixed Chicks.   This is another utterly ridiculous notion.  Despite the old adage “One drop of Black blood makes you black”, who’s to say that a woman who identifies as Black can’t use this product?  I’m sure other multiracial women who identify as being Black, such as Raven-Symone, Thandie Newton, or Michael Michele, could use this product. And according to Eugene Robinson, in “Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America“, biracial and multiracial people are still part of Black America. 

Why can’t we just say “KUDOS!” to these women who saw a need and supplied a product to a particular demographic?   It’s going to take more than some shampoo and conditioner to separate us as a people.  I implore all of you to read the article for yourselves.  I believe the author missed the mark on so many levels.  I am a beautiful Black woman, and the name of some hair care product is not going to affect the way I view myself.   What say you Southern audience?  Is there any validity to this article?  Or is Stodghill just looking for another way to divide us as a race?  As I stated in the first portion, Black comes in all shapes, sizes, hues, and cultures.  We need to work on being inclusive as opposed to exclusive.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Southern Girl Album Review: The ArchAndroid

Not her normal "uniform", but a great look nonetheless!

Happy Friday’s Eve!  This week is a first for me on this blog; yesterday, I did my first book review (hope you guys enjoyed it), and today I’m doing my first album review!  I have a very eclectic taste in music.  Where most people like artists and will purchase anything they make I like songs and will have my buddy make me a mixed CD as opposed to going out and buying someone’s album.  There are very few artists whose album I will buy as soon as it comes out.  I can honestly say that Janelle Monae has now been added to that short list. 

I purchased “The ArchAndroid: Suites II and III” before Christmas.  Off the strength of her single “Tightrope” with Big Boi of Outkast and her appearing on the “Idlewild” soundtrack, she piqued my interest and got my attention.  If I had to rate this album, I would give it 5 out of 5 stars!!!  It’s absolutely fantastic!!!!  Once I started listening to this, I took it with me everywhere.  It was always playing in my car, I had it with me at the PT job, and I even snuck and brought it to my day job as well!!!  I can’t put her in a genre; she’s in one all by herself.  She’s the female version of Prince…and ya’ll know how I feel about him.  The musical arrangements are amazing, her voice has so much range, and none of the songs sound alike but they go together.  The Intro reminds me of “Black Swan”, in the sense of being music from a ballet.  My favorite track is “Faster”.  I also love “Say You’ll Go” and “BabopbyeYa”.  I can honestly say there’s not one track I don’t like, and it’s very rare that that happens. 

All of you should go get this album, via CD, iTunes, or whatever means you purchase your music.   She taps into all genres of music and is just a really talented musician.  LOVE HER!!!  (And you will, too!)  If you’ve listened to the album, what do you think?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Today’s Black History Month fact is about Ella Fitzgerald.  Ella, also known as Lady Ella or the “First Lady of Song”, was the first Black woman to win a Grammy.  In 1958, the first year the awards took place, Ella won for Best Jazz Performance, Individual and Best Vocal Performance, Female.  Before her death in 1996, she would go on to win 11 more Grammys.

Way Back Wednesday-Our Beautiful Models

Happy Wednesday!  Today’s Black History Month fact is Tyra Banks.  We may clown Tyra for various reasons, but Ms. Banks has become her own mini-mogul in the fashion and modeling world.   Tyra was the first African-American model to grace the covers of the “Victoria’s Secret” catalogue, “GQ”, and the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue.   So “KUDOS” to Trya!  Plus, I think she’s great!  In keeping with the model theme, I’m going to highlight some of our beautiful Black models from back in the day, who all happen to be more than a pretty face.

First, Beverly Johnson.  This Buffalo, NY native was the first Black model to grace the cover of American “Vogue” on its August 1974 issue.  She has appeared on over 500 magazine covers, has guest starred on various television shows, and has even started her own wig line.  And at almost 60 years old, she’s still doing the darn thing!

Somali-American beauty Iman is as timeless today as she was when she first began modeling.  During her career, she served as a muse for Yves Saint-Laurent, Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan.  Iman started her own cosmetics line and received a Fashion Icon award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.  It doesn’t look like Iman is slowing down any time soon.

I LOVE Veronica Webb!!! She’s definitely a timeless, ageless beauty.  This Detroit native began her modeling career after moving to NYC and being discovered by a make-up artist.  When she signed her contract with Revlon, Veronica became the first black supermodel to have a contract with a major cosmetics company.  In her photos, she has been seen wearing the clothing of Isaac Mizrahi, Todd Oldham, and Karl Lagerfeld.  Veronica is definitely a multi-talented woman.  She was acted in various movies and tv shows and has written for various publications.  Ms. Webb’s celebrity knows no limit!

I could CLEARLY be here all day naming models (i.e. Roshumba Williams, Naomi Campbell, Jayne Kennedy, just to name a few).  These ladies definitely paved the way for other models of African descent to grace our runways and magazine covers.  We should never forget the contributions these women made to the world of fashion.  They allowed an industry that at one time was predominantly white and waif to embrace a little color and curves.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

My Favorite YouTube Video…

Happy Monday!!!  Last week, I came across a video on YouTube that I thought was absolutely HEE-LARRY-US!!!  It speaks so much to mainstream media’s perception of Black women…which isn’t a good thing.  I’m sure some of you have seen it, and if you have, that’s ok.  Maybe it’ll still give you a Monday morning chuckle. 

My thoughts on the video?  Sadly, for the average educated, well-bred, financially independent, upwardly mobile, slightly bougie, single Black woman, this is an accurate portrayal…with a little extremities.  And unfortunately, there is a lot of double talk coming from us.  We want a man who is able to provide, but we’re interested in remaining a team of one rather than becoming a team of two.  And while we claim to be Christians, we only want to follow the parts of the Bible we like.  And most importantly, we don’t recognize a good man when he’s sitting right in front of us, because he doesn’t meet our height, age, income, etc. requirement. 

What are your thoughts on the video-good, bad, or indifferent?  I have to admit I am a little tired of the not-knowing-what-I-want Black woman syndrome, but I’m glad this was something that is actually funny.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

America’s Most Wanted

The Ideal Black Man

There is one person in the United States of America that everyone wants.  He is attractive, suave, educated, God-fearing, gainfully employed, has a slamming body, loves his mama, is his own man, respects your mind AND your body, is a thug, has a mean streak, came from the wrong side of the tracks, has seen the inside of a jail, can’t keep a job, and has “questionable” practices and friends.  To whom am I referring?  Why, the Black Man of course!  Everyone, from black women to white women to the streets to jail wants the black man, and today’s post is going to point out exactly why.

First, the black woman.  It’s very simple.  To keep the Black Family strong, united, and to remain in existence you must have a black woman and a black man.  In order to have the ideal Black Family, both parents must have love and respect for each other.   They must be able to work together.  And let’s face it, the ideal black man, the one who wants to get married (to a black woman) and have babies and life happily ever after is almost becoming a myth.  So when a black woman happens upon one, she’ll sink her claws in to him before some other woman comes along, such as…

The white woman.  She may want to get married, she just may want a good lay, or she may just want something a little taboo (since the black man has always been off limits).  But whatever the reason, white women love black men.  And unlike some black women, they won’t question the hell out of their man.  He can play ball with his boys, go kick it at the club, and can go on trips without his girl tripping.  She’ll even give him some as soon as he gets back home, no questions asked.  Now, the black man the white woman will attract most likely won’t be the same guy that is being hunted down by…

The Rough Side

The streets.  In attempt to survive in the hood and to bring money to his family, the black man will let the streets take over his life.  He’ll steal, sell drugs, and maybe even kill to ensure his survival.  At first, it may start out as him doing what he can to provide for his family or even himself.  Then his obsession with the streets can take over his life; he enjoys the power, money, and respect he receives from other hustlers and the fear he puts in people in his neighborhood.  What he doesn’t realize is that this behavior could put him in the one place no one ever wants to go…

Jail.  This place may be a reprieve for some-I mean, you are guaranteed three meals a day, a place to sleep, a gym, cable, and you can get your education if you want to.  But who seriously wants to be locked up and have your movements monitored by someone else?  For those who were in the streets, it probably feels like they’re at home.  He may have his homies and family members in with him.  But being in jail and being caught up in the streets takes the black man away from building a strong black family and from having a
“no pressure” relationship with a white, or other non-black, woman.

I took some jabs today, and this post was definitely not meant to offend, but to make you think.  I tried to pick the high points, and I think you all got what I was trying to say.  Seriously, no one is as wanted as black men.  So, what say you good people?  Did you get the point I was trying to make?  Do you disagree with my statement?  If so, why? I could go on and on, but I know some of you have short attention spans and will get bored easily.  Feel free to talk amongst yourselves and share some comments.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.