In the past few weeks, the SM timelines have been afire with videos from TikTok challenges that give the girls a chance to show off, most notably the "Buss It" challenge. Black girls everywhere giving everything there is to give. Face, BODY, movement, etc! With this influx of opportunity to show out, the girls are finding their confidence, their sensuality, and the courage to show the fuck OFF! And we've loved to see it! Well... most of us have.
With every chance there is to uplift, praise and cheer for us, there's also what seems like an overwhelming downpour of negativity and backlash. We've seen it for Serena, we've even seen it for Meg, and now for Chloe Bailey of ChloexHalle. Women who are confident, capable and excelling in their craft; all being knocked down a peg simply for being who they are. And why? Are they a threat to patriarchal power complexes? Are they defying what society deems lady like or not fitting into the box created for them? Whatever the answer may be, I'm quite sick of this sick obsession with humbling black women while they are being great.
In the case of Serena Williams, we have a woman who is by far one of the greatest athletes of ALL time. Her career path started at a young age. Her skill, nurtured by a father, was a means to an escape a violent neighborhood for herself and her sister, Venus Williams. For years and years she has proven that she can not only beat the best, but that she is the best. With 23 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister, 3 gold Olympic medals and countless other accolades, the proof is undeniable, right? Wrong!
All throughout her career, Serena has been under scrutiny for her appearance, her strength, her wardrobe. Even her decision to marry and procreate with a man outside her race has come under fire from men who had previously accused her of being a man or saying they would never date her. Baffling, to say the least.
She's been constantly disrespected and berated by sports fans, all while accomplishing unthinkable fetes like winning a title while pregnant with her daughter and remaining gracious in defeat while competitors fell short in that area. Impressive is an understatement, for sure. But no matter how talented, how undeniable, how amazing, somehow, she is questioned and compared to others who couldn't hold a candle to her.
How does Serena deal with it all, honestly? I personally wouldn't have half of the grace and poise she does. I would have to remind the haters every chance I got that I was THAT girl. But I digress, we love Serena even when the critics don't, and when she can't turn up, we should continue to do it for her!
And next we have Megan Thee Stallion! Whew! Talk about embodying everything that is powerful, sexy and strong in a woman! The last few years have been a feeding frenzy for female artists! But Meg has created a space for herself and has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that she can keep up with the boys! She's not shy about her body, not bashful about her skills and she makes no apologies for her Hot Girl antics.
And while the Hotties can appreciate the boldness and bragging from Ms. Tina Snow, ever so often we here the cliché chattering that "she talks about her body too much", "she don't ever have clothes on", "I'm sick of hearing her talk about p*ssy" -- blah, blah, BLAH!
It's exhausting really to have to sit through these comments when the men are constantly telling us about how they can f*ck your b*tch, or how they have this watch, and this gun. They get away with mediocrity and lackluster bars, and yet they aren't ever dragged the way they tend to do the women.
We allow the Lil' So & So's and Young Whoever's to make whack music time and time again with much less talent. So I think the real problem is Meg's dominating presence, taller stature and brazen personality is threatening to some men. They can't handle a woman they can't put into a box.
Many have called her a man, disrespected her talent and attempted to shame her appearance. They've even gone so far as to use these things as a justification of violence against her. And as pathetic as it all has been, Meg has remained tenacious, promoted positive messaged like preserving our environment, continuing to pursue education and to be your Hot Girl self. And we love that for her.
And now we come to the most recent victim of society's take on women having autonomy over their image without shame: Chloe Bailey. Chloe is bets known for being apart of the duo ChloexHalle, a talented sister duo who do it all; from singing, to dancing, playing instruments, acting, producing, etc. In recent weeks, the two decided to make separate IG accounts from their joint account.
Most fans speculated that this was because of an impending split and pursuit of solo careers, while others noted that it may be because Halle , who was casted in the live action Little Mermaid reboot, may be off filming. This split would allow each of them to move freely in their content, especially Chloe who is NOT under a contract with Disney *wink wink* and may want to post some age appropriate content. The two maintained ownership of their joint account and use it as they had been doing before.
And to all of our delight, Chloe popped OUT with a quick #BussItChallenge to remind us all that she was GROWN. Following the challenge another video was posted where Chloe could briefly be seen in her underwear. This, of course, sent the internet into a frenzy! The most annoying thing however was people's needs to impose their views of her being overly sexual and note that she was seeking attention.
A teary eyed Chloe took to the internet took to the internet to defend her freedom to do what she wanted with her body. She emphasized that she was just being herself, loving herself and being free. She received an outpouring of love from fans and other celebrities, telling her to keep doing what she was doing. Others continued to criticize as predicted but the message stuck either way.
Absurdly enough, this happens to a lot of women. Unfortunately, women's bodies are commodified and thought of more as objects than something that is an extension of self. It perplexes some to think that a woman could have autonomy and agency over her own body. They feel it is their duty to police, criticize and decide what is appropriate for us.
It's an outdated and invalid idea and it always brings a warmness to my heart to see women TAKE that control over their bodies and images for what they see fit! Too many times we are judged harshly for what we choose to wear, and what we do and portray with our bodies. We are often not regarded as independent, free willed beings the way that men are. And now more than ever we are seeing women OWN their images.
From this girl to that one, the message is as clear as day:
STOP projecting your ideals and beliefs onto us and attempting to use us as martyrs for the cause of shaming women who of aware of their power, their bodies and their sexuality/sensuality! We are allowed to love ourselves out loud, clothed or nude, modestly or brazenly. We own our bodies and have every right to show or not show it in the ways we see fit! We own our skills and crafts and don't need to shrink ourselves for your comfort!
So shoutout to allllll the girlies having it their way, big stepping regardless of who doesn't like it, loving themselves and their bodies loud af and being exactly who they want to be and FUCK whoever can't handle that!