April 14, 2010

White people have a monopoly on everything (enriched!)

This is essentially a Tumblr re-post because I figure my blog posse never gets tired of hearing about my ongoing identity crisis (just nod your head).

So after I wrote the original Tumblr blurb, I stayed up a few more hours and watched Youtube. I ended up watching some music videos to make me feel better. I was still thinking about the post I'd written and watching Massive Attack by Nicki Minaj so I could yell TOM TOMS (inside joke). Anyway, obviously Minaj isn't everyone's favorite rapper, you may not even care, and that's fine because I'm not here for that (another day). But if you've ever seen her you can't tell me she doesn't have some interesting fashion tastes--she calls herself the Harajuku Barbie and I have to admit I think she's one of the few Americans that actually gets Harajuku style (nope Gwen Stefani doesn't count) even if she doesn't subscribe to it all the time. I think she's pretty and really owns what she does.

Now, I tell you that not to fawn but to mention that Harajuku is a JAPANESE subculture (or was depending on who you ask). One of the criticisms I see leveled at Minaj every so often is that she's "trying to be white" because she wears the wigs and talks in different voices and what not.

To that I usually say, "Whaaaat?"


I really wonder, when did white folks get a monopoly on identity? Why does she have to be white because she likes to do different shit, or am I missing something here? Sure she wears the blonde wigs and blue contacts but if you haven't noticed, she wears green & purple wigs now too. And...come on now folks, she's about as far as the White Beauty Standard (TM) as you can get. Seriously though. There's no chance. She's not even that light. That'd be a lot of noticeable surgery is what I'm saying. Different hair colors or wild styles does not make one "white".

I can't say what's going on in her head because obviously I don't know her, and yes choices don't exist in a vacuum but I get the feeling it's just artifice. Not "artificial" although it's that too, but artifice.

So I got that little rant off my chest and increased my search engine visibility, I'll show you why this pisses me off so much:

"Over the phone dad accused me of wanting to be white because I dye my hair funky colors. But he didn’t find the irony in telling me to get a perm so he could see my hair straight again.

*side eye xtreme*

This isn’t the first time he’s accused me of such. I want to tell him, daddy—I’d say—white folks don’t have a monopoly on everything. I’m over the fact that women of color who want to change their hair style/color are automatically trying to be white (while accepting that obviously choices like that don’t just happen in a vacuum & it’s a bit more complicated).

My hair is pink. It’s been various shades of red, green, and blond for a few years now. I thought long and hard about those choices. Ironically, I’m now trying to be “white” with natural hair, the FURTHEST THING from European standard beauty you can get.

If I’m not white because I talks propers I’m white because I like to be different and shit. When do I get to be black? When do I get to be me?"

Seriously people, I have a gravity defying afro. I'm so tired of "being white"! I remember the days when I was just plain ol' weird and quirky, and I'm starting to miss that shit for real. Black people are not a monolith and white folks don't own "edgy and cool" alternative identities, sorry to bust all up in your worldview.

I'm going to take a nap, fuck this.

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