I was born in the 60’s and grew up in the 70’s….And for what it’s worth…Things ain’t like they used to be….But then again, we’ve always had to struggle!!!…
Growing up, in my time we were seeing and end to racism-(or, so we thought) as the floodgates of racial / opportunity, equality opened…. Separation, cronyism and segregation was out!! Or, so we thought….
But anyway! Before I get off track here…here’s my question….
Is there a problem with being a black woman today? As it was nearly 60 or 70 years ago?….And to my black sisters — as a black woman do you feel a certain pressure? To look, dress, talk or act a certain way? If so, does it embolden you? Defines you? Or do you feel it isolates you? Diminishes you?
Are you comfortable with your skin?….In your skin? With your Job? Career?Relationship?Your weight? Height? Hair?
Do you feel compelled to want to, or have to wear makeup, extensions, finer clothes? Or are just just as proud, happy and comfortable of being the way you are? And.
Would YOU change something or anything about yourself to please others? Fit in? Or just because YOU want to?
I put some photos together randomly below-(and I’ll tell you who the young lady is at the top in a minute)….But for now, just look at the pics and tell me what comes to mind…Because I am going to voice what comes to my mind…..
What do you see? If you are a black woman, do YOU see you in any of these photos? Personality, color, fashion, attitude or look-wise?Do you see yourself? Or someone you would like to be? Or do you see something else?
How about now? And if your’e not a “black woman” please feel free to comment anyway….And if your’e not a black woman, your’e comments are welcomed all the same… There are some women in other ethnic groups that wish to be a black woman….And I take that as both a sign and compliment….But you, as a woman — should feel proud of who you are no matter your race….Celebrate yourself as you would others….Now, sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery!!!
The images I picked randomly…I wanted to also get some sense as a man-(and black man) of how I truly saw these women….And the essence of what they are…Beautiful!!! And I hope the rest of the world sees them that way too…
These ladies (above) came from the 70’s around the time when I was just a teenager….They came in all shapes, forms and attitudes…
Some were soft, tough, hard, subtle, gentle and even fierce! The embodiment of what I thought and knew what black women were….And for the most part, some still are….
But as of late, I have seen infomercials, commercials, blogs, vlogs, posts and snippets about black women wanting to “bleach their skin” extend their hair, press their hair-(nothing new)…”Pile on makeup”….And it’s all well and good…So long as you do it because you want to….To please yourself!….Not because you think that it will make others accept you…..Your’e beautiful and smarter than that…
Now, in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s women pressed their hair. Some because it made white society accept them more in the workplace, others were just trying out new styles — and still others wanted to look “sophisticated” or sexy, etc..
while women in the late 60’s and mid 70’s however, darned the “Afro” (still my favorite hairstyle)…A show of unity, solidarity, identity, pride, resistance, passion….
There were still many other reasons — but the main reason was for self identity and pride….Saying to the counter-black culture and masses “no more”! We are black and we are proud!!!…..
But lately, women seem more obsessed with looking white and even a bit ashamed to be black…
But this time, it feels different…Like some (not all) are not happy with the way they are made….Like they have to compete in some “Beauty Olympics”…… Only be lighter, whiter, not browner or darker-(black)…
More photos of black women-(and a few guys too for the ladies) just to let black women see — that yes! You are beautiful…And yes, YOU are desirable — -by many men of all races….Especially the black man…..
And YOU don’t need extensions, or makeup, or any of those things to look beautiful…BECAUSE you ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!
Embrace it….Let your glow and radiance shine through….And above all, be proud, don’t be afraid to love, or be loved…Because I know I speak for a lot of men when I say — -You are special….And YOU are loved!!!!
All I forgot to mention, that I took women from the 70’s up until now…More than 50 years — -and the black woman has come a long way and has seen a lot of struggles and milestones… From fashion to hair, attitude to flair…
Contrast to comparison….
From the 50’s to the 60's….Many black women had to transition into various roles nearly overnight! In this case, less than a decade between these ladies!
From singers…To business….To the black woman next door, on the subway, train or on the plane!! Your’e anything but common, or ordinary…..You are extraordinary!!
Whether as our inspiration…….Or.
No one can challenge, nor defeat YOU!!!
Whether in solitude or happy…..you're still women of color…No matter what the situation calls for!!!
Whether a new generation…Or as wisdom passed…..You will always be our future….
Whether in Sisterhood….or Solitude……You stand so tall….And so proud…And so beautiful!!…
Whether shy….Or outlandishly outspoken…..You are our treasures….And should be adored……
From soft to sassy……
From confident….to secure…..
You come in all flavors and shades of brown and black…..And all of them are both beautiful and very much desired…..
You beauty a mystery….Your charm, unparalleled…..
You don’t have to be black to know, love and experience your beauty…Its wanted by all!!!!
No matter where you go…there YOU are….
I hope that many of you ladies — especially black women understand just a little bit more of how important, necessary, fun loving and beautiful YOU truly are….
Now, about the “first girl” at the top of the article? Recognized her? Do you know what era she if from? 40’s, 50’s, 60’s?…..
If YOU do— then inbox me or email me and I will tell you if you are right….Don’t post it here…I want others to guess as well…
But I want to hear from you…And if you have a pic that I can post on this article…Let me know…You can email it to:
You can also inbox me on Facebook….
And as always, I invite your comments, thoughts, opinions and any questions you may have…..