I have toyed with this post for a couple of months now. I was afraid of exactly how to deliver what I wanted to say. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t offend anyone with my words, come off as jealous or judgmental. However, while in the midst of a heated debate, a friend reminded me of the truth in a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.;
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
The debate that I was involved in was concerning the photo (shown above) that I posted with the question, “is this a bit much or is it just me.” Of course the response was split although the vast majority agreed that it was in poor taste. However in the midst of others commenting there was one man who argued in defense of the dress from every angle you can think of. He made such an argument in support of the dress that soon it turned to insult. He stated that women were “jealous ” because “we didn’t have the body,” and that our thoughts are the reason “our men cheat” he also “guaranteed” my man would agree with him.
Well of course me and the other jealous “fat girls” had plenty to say, especially since he seemed to be taking cheap shots. In the end, I must say that I am thankful for that ignorance because it (he) led me back to this post.
By nature, women and all of our 2000 parts ooze sexy, maybe some more than others but I think that we all have a little something something that draws another being to us. Now, I am not saying that everyone will see your sexy, I am just saying that it is there to be appreciated. As with most things, being sexy starts with you and is in the eyes of the beholder. Sexy to some may be intelligence, to others it may be facial features, while others may focus on the body. Truth is not every person may see it in you, and that should be fine with you because you won’t see it in every person either. To me, the trick is to not to take it too lightly nor too seriously because it is what it is.
Many women get lost in trying to be sexy or believing that their bodies define who they are in some manner. Those are the women who make me sad because in a sense, it effects our entire gender. These are the same women who degrade and devalue themselves by putting their bodies on display. The sad truth is many women who do this are damaged in some way, they have at some point accepted or decided that their bodies were all that they had to offer the world. Another sad truth is that these women have a platform, they are able to connect with our daughters. Society has placed a stamp on them that make it OK to put themselves on display, this leads our younger girls to believe that it must be right.
I know that all of us have seen the post of women and girls putting themselves on display in person and via social media. They prance around damn near nude everywhere they go(even at church), posting pictures that show more of their ass than their face and making comments that suggest their physical features are a greater asset than their intellectual. How many women do we see on television and on the internet who are famous for nothing more than being fine, seen on sex tapes or because they are the girlfriend of ole boy? Amber Rose may be a model of some sorts but what is she most known for? Her ass and her relationships with famous men. Kim Kardashian, although her family had a certain amount of wealth; found her celebrity status following a sex tape with Ray J . These women and many others have influenced a generation of women and girls to think that having a fat ass trumps having class.
Now please don’t get me wrong, I am in no way trying to shade anyone. I applaud any woman who works hard to have the body that she desires and I love to see women who celebrate who they are and what they have. However, since March is Woman’s History Month, I thought that it would be a good time and idea to educate others on one woman’s truth and pain about being “ON DISPLAY.”
I wonder how many women know the story of Saartjie Baartman, ? I wonder if they could endure the shame and pain of being on display in a manner that was beyond their control. Being poked and paraded in the most inhumane way all because of her assets.
In 1810, Saartjie Baartman, was taken from Cape Town to London at the age of 20 and forced into slavery. She was displayed naked in their streets and at their circuses like an animal. In 1814 she was taken to France, and became the subject of scientific and medical research that formed the bedrock of European ideas about black female sexuality. She died the next year. But even after her death,Saartjie Baartman remained an object of imperialist scientific investigation. In the name of Science, her sexual organs and brain were displayed in the Musee de l’Homme in Paris until as recently as 1985.
Saartjie, also known as “The Hottentot Venus” in British culture was a woman who’s story deserves to be repeat within the female gender. Her story is one of pain and humiliation, most of all it is one that should provoke thought among those who idealize the vixen lifestyle.