The debate seemingly never ends on whether or not how a woman dresses really matters on who she really is and what she will or will not accept in her orbit of self-love. I battle with this every time I am on social media and come across thirst traps from women that don’t seem to do much but hawk teas and waist trainers and literally only model for Instagram. If they’re lucky, they’ve maybe appeared in the occasional hip-hop video. The feminist and womanist in me doesn’t want to bash these type of women. I had an epiphany months before when I heard Ernestine Johnson’s “Average Black Girl” poem and I was influenced to tell myself to stop judging other women who were maybe a bit more salacious in their mannerisms and dress. Their journey is not mine and vice versa. And it’s not that I’m never not wishing them well. I wish them self-respect and that they are making choices based on what they want, and not some man. We’re all struggling with that or getting better at handling that each and every day. Even those of us that don’t leave the house in leggings and crop top as our go-to outfit have to evaluate.
On the other hand, I do get annoyed however at the hypocrisy of our media and what is defined as sexy. The media pokes fun at these Instagram models as bimbos, but yet these bimbos, or worse, they are sometimes called “THOTs”, have a million+ followers, somehow bamboozle a rapper to date and even marry them, which then, of course, leads them to an A-list lifestyle. Men and boys act as if “real men” don’t want women who put it all on the table sexually, but they’re the first ones to press “follow”, call her a “bad bitch”, and in regular people life, aim to get girls that look like they stepped off of the cover of Black Men’s magazine, or some shit. Artist Wale posted on his IG some weeks ago, a meme that used the real image of a stripper model type with an overblown backside with a caption that read:
He then added his thoughts on the matter, apologizing himself for at times falling victims to the “She gotta have a fat ass” syndrome and indirectly adding to the pressure of women doing all means necessary to achieve social media’s standard of attractiveness. A debate started in the comments section with Wale defending himself. But unsurprisingly, he was since taken it down the post. (He has however attempted to change the IG model status quo through his music videos, often casting beautiful and modest Black women).
Also in October, a Twitter user was honest in after seeing “model” Lira Galore‘s Snapchat, and Galore is engaged to Rick Ross, that she once again felt it was confirmed that striving for an education didn’t matter all that much when women like Galore were winning and nearly living the beautiful life with all its Louie bags and trips back and forth to LA, NY and possibly beyond.
And Galore was right in her response tweet. All the college women who just happen to know who she is should stay in school regardless. To not be jaded or mislead because they are down different paths while aiming for the same thing: a decent home, money in the bank and possibly a partner to have it all with. But the impact of women like Galore, Amber Rose, Blac Chyna and dressing scantily is mounting more than ever before. We can even throw Kylie Jenner in there who for just at 18-year-old has followed every stamp of the Instagram approved pamphlet of what is the desirable woman.
Maybe that’s why Ayesha Curry, best known as the wife of NBA champ Stephen Curry and mom to their two daughters, hit a nerve recently with her “modesty” tweet about how “everyone’s into barely clothes these days, huh?” The good of it was that that the Christian faithful Curry was unabashed about her lack of interest in wanting to dress like she was ready for King of Diamonds in Miami. Possibly with her tweet, she was just trying to encourage women like her that it’s okay to not want to wear skin-tight or barely there clothing. At least all the time. And with two daughters to raise, I’m sure her and Stephen are on the lookout to have a positive world around them and have them not feel the pressure to pose duck face and spread eagle on the ‘gram just to get likes. Remember when Rashida Jones tweeted back in 2013 for women celebs to stop acting like “whores”? Gosh.
On the darker end of her tweet, she was accused of slut-shaming and re-igniting the war between women who dress conservative and those that…act as if they wouldn’t even know how to. In a way, maybe there was a twinge of slut-shaming or woman-shaming in there, but on the flip side it makes you wonder? Was she really slut-shaming? Was that really what she was doing? Wearing a dress or outfit that happens to be sexy or shows some skin is different than wearing a g-string and busting it open for each and every person. Or wearing such little clothing, it’s pretty obvious you want attention and don’t care who it is from. Have you seen some of the pictures on Instagram and those items from Instagram boutiques? Sometimes, it’s a bit much. And every woman is pressured to follow suit. It’s gotten ridiculous. At least in the early 2000s, when Melyssa Ford was the queen of the hip-hop video, we all accepted that for then video-models like her, that was their thing. In 2015, their thing has become the backwards mentality of how to determine whether or not a woman has high or low self-esteem and the norm. Not every girl that happens to have a social media account or is ready to face the world beyond her front door wants to “dress” like Niykee Heaton, another one that with a million followers on Instagram and thirst trap extraordinaire.
It’s a perpetual chasing the tail circle and it sucks.
As strong women, we hate to even feel the need to want validation by others or the opposite sex, and especially through our appearance or sex appeal. But on the human side of things, it sucks to be regularly passed over because you chose to wear appropriate fitting jeans, or a long coat rather than a bodycon. If these hoes are really winning, I don’t know who to be madder at: the hoes or the society that pretends to hate them but glazes them with attention. Giving them all the more reason to keep doing what they are doing.