For centuries, black women have been targeted by mass media as voluptuous sexual creatures. I use the word “creatures” because that is what they thought of the body of black women due to its magnificent shape: small waist, protuberant buttocks. This voluptuous shape is glorified, but only when seen on a white woman.
This is a black girl problem.
The natural body shape of a black woman in America during colonial times was seen as weird and almost unnatural. Due to this assumption, they were placed in zoos and appeared in “freak shows,” so they can be glowered and gawked at, as if they were an animal. They were displayed publicly and shamed for bodies they had no control over whatsoever.
Sarah Baartman, an East African Slave, was taken from the home she worked for and brought to Europe so she could be displayed as a wild beast for her humongous hips, backside, and enlarged labial lips. In Justin Parkinson’s The Significance of Sarah Baartman, he states, “Today she is seen by many as the epitome of colonial exploitation and racism, of the ridicule and commodification of black people.”
In present times, black women are still ridiculed for the shapes they are born with, being sexualized and looked at as nothing but a piece of meat. Today, black women are exploited and sexualized in the music industry, like in videos where they have little to nothing on; they are still being seen as a piece of meat.
However, my argument is not on why women of color decide to exploit themselves; I am in no shape or form here to judge. You should own your sexualization. But why is Kim Kardashian and other Caucasian women who have bodies similar to ours not frowned upon for their silicon shapes, imitating the shape that is natural for black women?
Why are white women who decide to sexualize themselves in mass media seen as goddesses? Why does social media give props to women who have paid for the body they live in, while black women are shamed for it, despite the fact that we are born this way? Why does social media get to decide who is considered beautiful and what is acceptable?
More black girl problems.
Saaraa Bailey, in her article The “Kurse” of Kim K.: Blackness, Beauty, and Big Behinds, stated, “What some may consider to be an exotic appeal, is actually the “kurse” (to use their own branding) of the Kardashians: embodying and impersonating black femininity for profit, while still advancing white female beauty dynamics.”
They (as in white women who pay for these curvy bodies) have everything black women are born with, however they get a pass due to the fact that they are white! Is this what the world has come to? You get to decide which part of black culture you mimic without the black struggles that “it” comes with? They appropriate our culture with no consequences or repercussions.
Black young ladies, I want you all to know that you are truly beautiful the way you are. Stand with pride; don’t be ashamed of your body measurements nor your facial features. To me, you are all natural black queens. It doesn’t matter how much social media along with the society that we live in bash us, shame us, or exploit us. We will and continue to be BLACK Queens.
So love your body, love yourself, and encourage your black sisters to do the same. If we don’t uplift ourselves, who will?