One of the last times I went home to Jamaica, my sister, mother and I had a short wait at the airport upon our arrival. Without hesitation, my sister and I happily sat down at a bar situated right outside the airport. In addition to ordering hot and spicy patties with warm coco bread, we also ordered cold Red Stripe beers.
My mother was appalled.
“It’s not a good look for women to sit outside at a bar and drink like that”.
My sister and I looked at each other and laughed.
“Another round please!” we exclaimed as we took in the warm island breeze and talked excitedly about our arrival.
This wasn’t the first time my mother’s views on how a woman should carry herself has clashed with my stance on how a woman should be (which is whatever the fuck she wants to be).
Aside from hearing throughout childhood that I wouldn’t get a husband if I didn’t learn how to cook and clean-there has been many proclamations on how a black woman should carry herself.
She can’t be too big, too thin, too tall, too short, her ass can’t be too flat or too large. And good Lord help her if she’s an extrovert, giddy, or easily excitable. If she’s too reserved, shy or meek that’s a problem too.
For way too long everyone and their mamma has an opinion on the black woman (and I’m sure before this blog is posted there will be continued debates and judgements on the state of the black woman in this country).
Take for example Cardi B’s new song WAP with Megan the Stallion, in addition to the controversial cameo of a Jenner in the video, many people have negative views on this song that I view as simple entertainment. The choreography, costuming, make up and visual effects are enjoyable brain candy.
It’s a temporary reprieve from all the overwhelming and heavy social issues we have been dealing with as a society for so long. We are down for the good fight as it relates to social justice causes. However, in the spirit of having appropriate self care -a carefree song celebrating a woman’s ownership of her body and sexuality is a welcome break.
It’s okay to take a moment and enjoy escapism from our current freak show of a society. It’s okay to advocate for the underrepresented groups and still enjoy a good twerk session, one may be a feminist and feminine. They do not have to be mutually exclusive.
And in case you didn’t know-black women are dynamic. We didn’t then nor do we now fit in to anyone’s constraining box!