Kendrick Lamar recently released a song called ‘Be humble’. In the song he has a line that goes, “I am so fuckin’ tired of the photoshop, show me somethin’ natural like afro on Richard Pryor. Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch marks…”. What Kendrick Lamar was trying to do may seem noble criticizing photoshop for making black women feel like they have to live up to white standards of beauty. But women on social media were not amused with his comments. Why?
The issue here is that women are tired of being told how they should look. Men still think that women exist for their pleasure, therefore, we should appear just the way they like at all times. Why should women have to change to suit what you think is beautiful? If you do not like the girl who always has on full make-up and a weave then go for the girl with no make-up and natural hair and vice versa.
Some people argue that the way women dress is for the sole purpose of attracting men. This is closely related to the argument that because a woman was dressed “skimpily” she was asking to be raped. However, the truth is that although women sometimes dress to attract the attention of men it is not our sole purpose. Sometimes what you wear and the way you look are an expression of your mood and how you are feeling at the time. Other times we will wear an outfit because it’s the only clean outfit that we have left. It can also be an artistic expression or even an advertisement if you are in the make-up industry or you make clothes. #MyDressMyChoice
Related to that is this idea that women should and should not do certain things. Women should cook, women should be seen and not heard, women should not raise their voices, women shouldn’t drink, women shouldn’t travel alone and all other manner of pointless things. Do you ever stop to wonder why? We are human beings with free will so why is it we should be restricted to certain norms? I will admit that men too are subject to this. Men should not cry, men should not be in the kitchen, men should play sports, and the list goes on. We should be able to do whatever pleases our souls so long as we are not hurting anybody else.
It is perplexing to me that the exterior appearance of a person still determines whether or not you will like them. Have people never heard of the saying ‘Never judge a book by its cover’? The way a person looks does not determine their character and trust me character comes in handy in the future when you are 90 and everything is sagging. We have to start looking beneath the surface. Perhaps if people are more focused on being better human beings instead of just looking outwards we would be happier and nicer people.
The point is that women are not playthings here to entertain men and do their bidding. We are our own persons with our own destiny. So the next time you want to tell a woman how she should look please think twice. If you like the way she looks then go ahead and talk to her and even compliment her but if you don’t like the way she looks then just let her be and go on with your life.
Featured image via BlackWomenNaturalHairstyles.com.