K Michelle’s Butt Reduction and What We Can Learn From It

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Is the era of fix-a-flat booties over? Well for K Michelle it is. It was revealed last week during an interview with B. Scott that she plans on getting a butt reduction. She says she wants a butt reduction because her derrière is stopping her from breaking into mainstream movies. In short, less butt=more roles. However, why is there a desire to have a giant butt and also a certain look for movie roles?


Ten years from now, the trend of a giant butt will be over. Countless women will run back to their surgeons and try to get their beautiful, natural shapes back. Some will be able to while others will not and will be stuck with a figure that they don’t want anymore. Until that time and ever after, women are caught in a cycle that tries to make them chase after a certain look.

As a Black woman, there is an immense amount of pressure and politics pushing down on us. Voices from all different forms of media are trying to tell us how to act or when it’s acceptable to look a certain way. Having a big butt is only in when Iggy or J.Lo has one, but when a woman or color has one, it has to be a caricature. Why do Black women get no in-between?

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Normal women aren’t Kim Kardashian, K Michelle, or Nicki Minaj. We don’t have access to a handful of doctors who main job is making sure that you look good for the camera. Also, we aren’t living under the camera’s constant eye. We need to stop looking at these celebrities for unrealistic body goals. Instead, we have to embrace who we are. Once celebrities realize that they aren’t being praised for looking like Betty Boop, then they’ll stop trying to force a certain body image on us because at the end of the day, we are the ones who celebrities make money off of. Without us, they would still be that girl down the street trying to sell her mixtape.

Just Do You: Say No to Cuffing Season

 

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Perhaps it’s the pumpkin spice lattes that’s causing cuffing season to start. With the start of cuffing season, questions about dating will start appearing again. Instead of planning your amazing Halloween costume, you’re left wondering whether or not you’re supposed to get drinks and if you get drinks what does that mean.

On top of all that, everybody and their mommas know that dating as a woman of color is hard. There are so many unseen expectations or rules that guide your hand with every Tinder swipe or settle wink at a party. Either you have to be as classy as the First Lady or as seksi as Amber Rose or Nicki Minaj combined. For some reason, people don’t want to give women of color the right to be bad, or different, or anything that we want. We have to exist in some cookie cutter form that makes it easy for others to understand us.

I have no intentions on waiting on someone who doesn’t understand who I am to tell me how I am supposed to be or behave. I can go from Rihanna to Annalise Keating in .25 seconds. Furthermore, cuffing season doesn’t mean that I’m going to start linking up with anything in sight and trying to make myself into someone’s Happy Homemaker. We’re not pieces of double sided tape. We don’t have to stick to anything that we don’t want to.

People need to stop waiting from some unforeseen force to give them the right to behave a certain way. This isn’t Star Wars—the force is not with you. At the end of the day is just you and your choices. No one can dictate what you do because they aren’t you.

 

 

 

The politics of respectability against black women

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Respectability politics or the politics of respectability refers to attempts by marginalized groups to police their own members and show their social values as being continuous and compatible with mainstream values rather than challenging the mainstream for its failure to accept difference. However, having self-respect has been misconstrued and twisted to mean, according to the internet, how I feel you should behave as a woman.

Moral panics have occurred for centuries and usually are linked to fears that women are getting too much freedom and thus will not be able to handle it. There was a moral panic with books because women’s mind would not be able to differentiate reality from fiction. There was a moral panic with bicycles because the vibration would lead women to lesbianism, among other interesting and bizarre theories at the time. The moral panic that plagues today seems to be social media and decreasing morals, specifically women’s.

Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Blac Chyna and Amber Rose are the most successful but overly criticized women in the entertainment industry. Kim is the rock that built the Kardashian empire that is reportedly worth $101 million off of the theft of her infamous sex tape. Nicki Minaj started off as the female rapper that was repeatedly accused of having sex with Lil Wayne in order to sign with Young Money Entertainment and has ballooned into a megastar with numerous business ventures including her own Barbie, perfume and clothing line with K-Mart. Blac Chyna was a stripper at the notorious King of Diamonds and now owns a clothing line, beauty bar and has her own brand of adhesive eyelashes and recently purchased an Audi R8 for herself. Amber Rose is a vocal voice against slut shaming and is even hosting her own Slut Walk in Los Angeles. Rose has also been involved with many ventures including acting, music, endorsements and even has penned her first book “How to be a Bad Bitch” that makes the point of defining a “bad bitch” as “a self-respecting, strong female who has everything together. This consists of body, mind, finances, and attitude; a woman who gets her way by any means necessary.”

Yet, their success is diminished because of their lack of “self-respect.” They portray themselves too lewd, curse too much and/or have one too many relationships so obviously they do not love respect themselves is usually the thought process. This ideology is flawed because models are praised for their bold decisions to walk in whatever a designer tells them to regardless of how ridiculous or revealing it may be or posing for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue but somehow “Anaconda” put a bigger dent in society’s morals than Victoria Secret’s Fashion Show. Playing a sport and getting millions for it is more commendable than being an urban model because somehow one has a larger skill set. Either women are seen as lacking self-respect for being too sexy or lack self-respect for not being sexy enough as shown by the unwarranted criticism towards Serena Williams’ body and the WNBA proposing that players get smaller shorts and tighter shorts.

These proclamations that society has withered because of these poor role models and that our young women are falling from grace completely ignores that high school graduation rates are at an all-time high, women lead in enrollment in degree-granting institutions and that African American women lead in degree enrollment and attainment and represent the fastest growing segment of women-owned businesses. This outrage over music and attacks aimed at women who morphed their situations into global ventures focuses too much energy on personal decisions. If Amber Rose wants to twerk on Instagram and get paid for hosting club events, more power to her. It’s no different than Don Benjamin, albeit no twerking though he raps now. Amber Rose’s decisions does not diminish Janice Bryant Howroyd or Vanessa Simmons achievements. The concern should be aimed at the fact that even after all these achievements amongst women, specifically African American, they still get the short end of the stick with higher unemployment rates, less acceptance to business loans and investors being more likely to give funding to men. Personal decisions should not override national gains made.

A key part of self respect is self. We all have our ideas, morals and values. I find family and friends to be extremely important and I strive to provide for both in anyway I can. Yet, I know that there are people who would not pass on a date to watch a Love and Hip Hop marathon or who would not stay up all night to console a friend because they have work at seven in the morning. I do not view them as selfish for their decision and hope I am not viewed at stupid or weak for mine. Criticizing others for not living their lives how you feel they should is counterproductive and, most importantly, has nothing to do with you. If they are harmlessly enjoying their lives, let them live. Help those who want to be help instead of trying to force those who didn’t ask and don’t want your help to take your aid. Let’s make 2016 the year when the word self-respect is not used as an insult or a tool to manipulate others.

Too Old for the VMAs

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Everyone reaches that age when watching the VMAs makes your eyes hurt because you’re rolling them too much. Miley Cyrus was the host for the VMAs and she did what was expected. She wore crazy outfits, talked about drugs, and whipped her long ponytail. Oh Miley!

The craziness continued throughout the show. During the opening of the VMAs, Taylor Swift appeared on stage with Nicki Minaj smashing the beef that filled all of our Twitter feeds. Rebel Wilson made a joke about the hating the stripper police. Nicki Minaj called out Miley Cyrus and then Miley Cryus got mad and whipped her ponytail again.

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Sunday night, there was a lot happening on stage at the VMAs. After the second Miley skit, I realized that I have reached that age where I am too old for the VMAs. Right now, my eyes are resting underneath an eye-mask after last night. When I was younger, a music performance and an edgy joke could distract me from the serious issues happening.

I get it. The VMAs are supposed to be fun. There needs to be something exciting happening so that people have something to talk about. Ratings fuel these award shows. If the award show is crazy, then it’s more likely to be remembered years from now. There’s probably an article floating somewhere that’s ranking the craziness of Miley Cyrus’s outfits.

However, the cast of Empire was right when saying that music can spread social messages. Don’t get me wrong, the beefs are fun to watch and write about, but at the end of the day, in the words of Kanye West, this stuff is for the kids. Miley’s fashion is sparkly and edgy. The seflies are fun to like, but when lives are being lost and discriminated against, every opportunity is one for social change and justice.

Lessons from Nicki Minaj’s Wax Figure

 

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Nicki Minaj’s hit “Anaconda” keeps reappearing in the news. Earlier, the song started the Twitter war between Nicki and Taylor Swift. Some weeks later, “Anaconda” is back in the spotlight. For Nicki Minaj’s wax figure, Madame Tussauds decided that the suggestive pose of Nicki on her knees was the perfect representation of her career. Nicki’s pose is iconic for “Anaconda”, but did Madame Tussauds really have to make a wax figure out of it?

There’s no denying that Nicki has used her sex appeal during her music career. Nicki has the hits that make you want to pop your booty while proclaiming you’re the new ruler. Nicki’s beautiful but more importantly she’s talented. Unfortunately, her wax figure only concentrates on her sex appeal. Like really Madame Tussauds, the wax figure doesn’t even have a microphone.

To no surprise, the wax figure has been victim to tomfoolery. There are pictures of men mounting wax Nicki and women smacking the wax figure’s butt.  When you look at other famous musicians’ figures, they are standing with microphones or awards. Katy Perry who loves to move her ta- tas gets to have a figure with her standing up, and there aren’t pictures of guests grabbing her assets. Miley Cryus’ wax figure isn’t her riding a wrecking ball. She’s sliding down a giant tongue.

Madame Tussauds says that they are going to set up security around Nicki’s wax figure. However, the damage is done and we’ve been reminded of the important politics regarding Black femininity and sexuality. We’ve learned that a song can be iconic enough to gain a wax figure, but not iconic enough to gain an award nomination. Additionally, we’ve been told that Black women can have their sexuality as long as someone else controls it. The moment that Black women try to use their sexuality for personal empowerment, it gets shut down.

How to Love: Black Women and Our Hearts

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How to Love: Black Women and Our Hearts

I listened to “Buy A Heart” with Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill nonstop. I wasn’t sure how, but I was positive that song would play at my wedding. Then Meekgate happened, and the floodgates of shade opened everywhere. Continue reading “How to Love: Black Women and Our Hearts”

Drake + Meek Mill “Back to Back” Dis

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Drake and Meek Mill during Meek Mill’s “Amen”video

Drake has remained silent on Twitter while Meek Mill went on Twitter a tirade a few days now. The impending days has caused a number of hilarious memes and now two diss tracks from Continue reading “Drake + Meek Mill “Back to Back” Dis”