Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Black Women Are Ugly?

(my misadventures in Italy will be continued but I had to comment on this first)

We were enslaved, raped, had families ripped apart, struggled for success, have a low chance of getting married, now we’re ugly? Well that’s the case according to my new arch enemy Psychology Today and their pseudo study regarding why black women are less attractive than women of other races.

I am angered by the audacity of the piece and the magazine for validating it by publishing it (seriously I am breaking a sweat trying to find a publisher but you can print this crap?). I have to ask myself why the writer felt the need to even study this topic but the question doesn’t remain unanswered long.

Somewhere the Black is Beautiful idea fell to the way side when it came to women (note: the alleged study says black men are the most attractive race of males but uses stereotypes to support this).  Our media (movies, music videos, TV, magazines, modeling industry) kicked us to the background in support of a repeated pattern of light (mixed, Latina, white), long, straight haired women.

Lucky for me I grew up right before this movement took hold but by the time I graduated college, if you were a hippy, dark skinned girl with kinky hair you were hard pressed to find anyone shouting your beauty besides other women trying to uplift each other.

And the swarm of black male actors dressing as black women didn’t help that image either. Especially when these women were all obese, ghetto and unattractive.  I mean when men dressed as white women in the movies at least their characters tried to look cute (from Some Like it Hot to White Chicks).

And when you see a swarm of black men, especially those with money/fame/success, go for white women and then learn the rate of black women getting married is only 40% no wonder some idiot decided to take notice and comment about it. With such negative images of black women about of course there must be something to it!

It’s not really about our looks but the way we are looked at! America, not just black women, has a problem with obesity (and Hispanics rank as the number one obese group). So it’s not just the weight. It’s the battle we have with trying to fit an image that is not intended for us to fit. And yes, I could encourage black women to take off the weaves, and in other countries stop bleaching their skin but that won’t solve the problem.
Black Girls Rock, yes but we have got to get some buy in from others. On a purely superficial stance how can you say that we are less attractive? We have some great beauties of color from Naomi Campbell to Lela Kibede, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Tyra Banks, Nia Long, Sanna Latham, Keri Hilson, Beyonce, Iman, Dianne Carroll, Stacey Dash, Megan Goode (heck even those reality show women are cute).  Seriously?

I’ve had men of other races (at least three times I can remember) literally tell me that they usually aren’t attracted to black women but that I’m an exception. Are you kidding me? The reality is you are attracted to black women but you just haven’t encountered many in your day to day that you find attractive. I’ve seen a cute guy of every race so I never rule out a group no matter how rare it is that I see them. The fact that men feel comfortable even saying that to me is the problem I have with this article all together.

When did it become okay to dehumanize black women? Who said our feelings don’t get hurt and why doesn’t anyone care but us?

If you’d like to sign the petition against Psychology Today to issue an apology please click this link. http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/psychtoday

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Misadventures of a Globetrotting Type A Cosmo Girl Part One

So I’ve been gone for a minute but I’ve got good reason, I was in Italy and far away from internet. Okay, Italy has internet but, sorry folks, I had to be out and about rather than in some cafĂ© clacking away at a keyboard. I didn’t use internet or phone while gone and you know what, I didn’t miss it. Not even my TV (although you can bet I spent about two days catching up on my DVR’d programs when I got back, I wasn’t missing the Smallville or Oprah series finales for no one!).

Anywho, here’s the breakdown of my trip: I went to Italy via US Airways on a Contiki tour to see Rome, Vatican City, Florence, San Gimingnano, Pisa, Verona and Venice (and back to Rome) in that order.

Day One (Clonk Clong… that’s the Law and Order sound, trust me it’s needed):

Departure (also titled Why I Will NEVER Fly US Airways Again, tell your mother, tell your sister, tell your brother, father… because all I really know is that they don’t really care about us (song in the key of the Michael Jackson song).

Why? Well there’s a reason why US Airways was ranked DEAD LAST by customers as far as airlines.
So we get to the airport and are told that our flight to Charlotte, NC is delayed and we may miss the flight there that will take us to Rome. Instead the US airways agent tells us to take a cab (on their dime of course) to Philadelphia to catch a similar flight straight to Rome. Now we are about an hour and a ½ from Philly and the flight is in a little over 3 hours but we figure if they are telling us to go we should listen. They’ll look out for us because why would an airline lie?

We call US Airways while in route and let them know of the situation so they can have things ready for us (ie a new ticket, maybe an escort to skip lines since we’re running late). We get there, nothing done and no one knew to expect us. Thanks, BWI airport! The lady at check in has a nasty attitude and complains that “they do this all the time” but she is not getting us on this flight. If I wasn’t afraid of jail I would have set it off in there! The agents were less than sympathetic with one bamma stating that we have to make a decision whether we are going to accept another flight that will get us there half a day later but it doesn’t really matter to him because he gets off in half an hour. (Seriously I’ve seen OZ and Locked Up, I cannot choke the ignorance out of this man no matter how tempting).

But luckily we were with another flight goer who happened to work in an airport and after much arguing and loud talking got us on our intended flight, which boys and girls, took off two hours late! So I sweated out my straightened hair (no relaxer) running like a track star through security for no good reason. And wouldn’t you know that I was unable to get my chi iron to work the whole time I was in Italy so the roots were real shakey!

Anywho we made it on the plane in whatever left over seats we could get. Mine was next to a very pleasant older Italian lady who, let’s say spilled over into my seat so comfort would not be in store for me on this eight hour flight. But you know what, after all we went through, I wouldn’t care if they put me in cargo (okay, no that’s not true, I’d have raised some hell and a half). I practiced some Italian with her and watched in avid curiosity as she ate not only her whole in-flight dinner but her husband’s (who we dubbed the Feeder). I thought perhaps she had a problem and needed to eat that much and was wondering if I should offer her my food.

However, I was on my way to Italy. Excitement awaits! First stop, Rome! To be continued!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Gotta Go...

May 9, 2011

I am always moving. This is one reason, of many, I can’t buy property just yet. I get irked by something and have to jet. I’ve yet to find that place that I want to stay for a couple of years. I liked a high rise I lived in Baltimore in their arts district a few years back but then my former roommate (Grr, you know who you are) had to move out and silly me thought I couldn’t afford it on my own (which I later discovered I could especially after getting a raise at work). Anywho I’ve jumped from place to place in the last 3 or 4 years and I am tired! But atlas, my journey is not over and I must bounce yet again.
Now my reasons are good, namely, because I live below a person with a dog and I firmly believe that unless the apartment walls and floors are made of concrete no one should have to live under a dog. Every time I see that dog I want to kick it (and someone will have to watch me because I just might when I’m moving out). I used to kind of like dogs until I moved here.

I’m also moving because the commute to work is long. I got a new job and my old commute which was okay has now become annoying. A 1 hour or more each way commute is just not for me. I can do 40-45 minutes tops. Call it psychological but that 15 minutes makes a difference to me.
My final reason is my neighborhood. I want to be within walking distance to nice shops and restaurants and I like a sense of class in my surroundings. I like to take long walks in my neighborhood and not be honked at by cars (including buses!), have men pull up to me in their cars like I’m a street prostitute (okay, come on women can walk the streets without being street walkers especially b/c I’m wearing workout gear!), be glared at by unfriendly faces for reasons unknown (exercising while black, haters, whatever) or see the following odd sights:

Man with kid in shopping cart with no groceries, going away from the grocery store

Man in overalls with no shirt and a top hat taking pictures

Mexican food truck (it’s too hot for all that , where is the ice cream man?)

Cat’s everywhere. I see them on the roof of the apartments, coming out from under cars and gutters, jumping out of bushes. Whose cats are these, why are they roaming free? Unless they are going to kill the impending stink bug invasion, somebody needs to round these felines up and take them somewhere!

So, yes I’ve got to move, I will be notifying my leasing office that I won’t renew. Sorry but I’m heading to new places and hopefully, I can stay put there for a couple of years until I buy. Here’s to hoping I find a place that’s not noisy, is bug free, not ghetto, near shops, and won’t make me apartment poor! A gal can dream can't she

P.S. I'm going to be offline for a couple of weeks but when I get back I'll have lots to share and will tell you all about it.

picture from http://www.centennialmoving.ca/

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Music I Catch In Commercials

May 5, 2011

As a writer music always inspires me as I've posted before. I get scenes in my head for my novels just by hearing a song or it puts me in a mellow mood to focus on my writing.

Here are a few songs I've caught in commercials that I really like out right now.

Rock Mafia (The Big Bang) (heard in Mob Wives intro)

Aloe Blacc- (I Need Dollars) (heard in Boost Mobile Commercials)

Florence and The Machines  (heard in the Water for Elephants movie promo)

Any commerical/TV show songs that you like? Look out for an all time favorites posting!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

We Look Too

May 1, 2011

A friend recently sent an email out taking an informal survey regarding whether women could determine if someone is attractive simply by looking at them. I’ve heard time and again (and may have said this myself) that women can’t determine whether a man is attractive just by looking. That we need to know them a bit first. This is not totally true. See , I think women can clearly look at a picture of a Flava Flav and say, hmm, not for me. Or a picture of a Laz Alonso or a Bradley Cooper and say- that there is a hot man. What we can’t say (well not all of us) is “I want to get with that man”.

For most women we need to get a sense of their personality (even if fictional) or see them in action to get an idea of whether we are attracted to them. This is why so many “okay” looking musicians, comedians, athletes and politicians get a lot more attention from women than their physical attributes would predict. Women place looks in contexts. Hardly anybody was saying Robert Pattison was hot when he was in Harry Potter but all of sudden he’s hot because of Twilight? I’m not into him at all but I thought he looked more attractive in the Potter movie and even his new movie Water for Elephants (and he wasn’t pale and sparkly, seriously a sparkly man is hot?) The thing is, vampires are apparently hot and therefore, Robert Pattison as a vampire is hot.

Context, get it?

Teen girls hang pictures of the Jonas Brothers or Justin Bieber on their walls because the boys are allegedly cute celebrities whom they have seen in action (say in an MTV music video). Teen boys might hang a picture of a video vixen or play mate they just saw in a male magazine simply on the hotness factor alone. Not to say it’s impossible for a girl to put up a picture of a hot unknown guy on their bedroom wall but if she’s daydreaming about a guy, it’s someone she knows or has seen in action (acting, singing, playing a sport) not Mr. February in last month’s issue of Cosmo magazine.

I suspect that a man can look at a woman and say “I’m attracted to her, I want to get with that” and not know a darn thing about her (it’s the basis of how many movies?). This is why I've heard guys say women who are stuck up or mean can get a lot of guys to put up with their drama even at the early stages of dating if they are hot enough. Whereas a woman won’t put up with that crap even if he’s hot (but she might if she was desperate for a man or wanted his status/money).

Now I know many a guy just wants us to admit that looks matter to us just like it does to men and it does, but not to the same degree. Our make-up isn’t programmed like that and it makes sense. Historically, men wanted a pretty face to help take their minds off the world’s troubles and women wanted a provider to make them comfortable so that they had time to keep themselves looking good to help said men take their minds off the world’s troubles. Now as the gender roles are changing, I think looks are becoming more of a focus with women but still not as much as men think because the desire for marriage and love overpowers the pettiness of wanting a man with a chiseled body. But the key remains that women still want someone they are physically attracted to. I just think women have different standards of what’s attractive based on other influences than what the eye sees alone.