Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'll Take Good Advice and Information Regardless of Race

Already from reading this blog you can tell that I have no problem looking at women of other ethnicities for examples of femininity. I think that I would be doing myself a disservice to limit myself only to Black influences especially if they are not as prevalent due to their scarcity in films, media, and pop culture. There are also very few Black women who blog about femininity while there are many White and Asian bloggers who write about the topic and are super girly on their blogs. I look at it like cross-cultural studies or travelling because it lets me see that there are other ways of doing things that I might actually prefer and that there are actually options. It just so happens sometimes that the thing that fits perfectly with your sensibilities and tastes comes from another culture.

Some people have a problem with this and actually think there is something "disturbing" and "sick" about having role models who are not Black (yes, this is the craziness and pressure that Black women have to deal with). Something as natural and understandable as taking in knowledge and good advice from someone regardless or race is though to be "crazy" by some people. They envision that Black femininity has to be different from the femininity of every other woman on earth and I don't know why. Why do you have to be so different? Why does your version of femininity have to be a protest while other women can "just be"? Why does the Black version have to be harder, angrier, and tougher than everyone else's? Is this really benefiting you or is it highlighting your "otherness" so that people think you are less of a woman? Anyways, I take what I can get and use it to my advantage especially if it's something as benign as information about fashion, hobbies, and how to get along with others.

In fact, sometimes if information or products are directed specifically to Black people I'm a bit suspicious that it is of inferior quality because the producers have low standards for Black people, don't really care about us, or know that no one (of power) will care if we complain (e.g., many Black hair products are pretty inferior compared to White hair products in terms of fragrance, texture etc. because their producers don't care enough to make sure the products aren't greasy or stinky). So, I would actually expect things produced for the masses or by White people for White people to be of better quality. For instance, I would rather buy a dating, relationship, health, or finance book meant for White people! This is because those books are written for people who have middle class standards and values who are trying to fit "the norm" and they will be held to a higher standard. In contrast, some Black media cater to lower values that I do not believe in and to people who are not middle class and educated (e.g., endorsing dating down, hustling to make money, using slang, devaluing formal education, or written by comedians instead of Ph.D.'s based on research etc.). So why would I read materials directed towards people with different values and goals? Also, when materials are made for the masses they face more scrutiny if they are inferior (e.g., few tests have been done to determine the safety of relaxers but MANY tests have been done examining perms and products for naturally straight hair). On the other hand, sometimes Black products and media get a pass just because "they're Black" even though they are inferior or harmful (e.g., misogynist/violent/garbage rap music, slang and unprofessional conduct in media, ex-cons used as spokespeople etc.). I hope you understand what I'm saying...some of you will not of course :)

I have my own version of femininity. Some people again will argue that they have a different version of femininity that includes things I consider masculine and they may even point out that masculinity and femininity are social constructs and are not real. Okay, then I am operating with a stereotypical, old fashioned social construct of femininity because there are things about the modern version that I don't like. I'm referring mainly to appearance and mannerisms not the whole equal rights idea that I do support. I write about the version of femininity I like and others are free to write or read about something different. Fortunately, I've recently found some Tumblr sites that are very feminine and I love looking at the photos (but I could do without the nudity, piercings, and tattoos thanks).

These are some very feminine/girly Tumblr sites that I like:

Vintage Black Glamour
Sweeten with Love (17 years old lol!)
Behind Blue Eyes (19...noticing a theme here...)

I also have to make a special mention of a blog that I recently found called Victoria's Vintage! This is the most girly blog I have ever seen! It's by a 21 year old woman in the UK who works in a little cake shop (adorable)!!! She wears somewhat vintage style dresses and I would wear most of them. She writes in a cutesy way and I love all the girly things she loves. My first thought was that men are going to LOVE this woman. And of course, she does bake cupcakes! She wears bows on her shoes the way I do too. Only 21 and I can learn so much about being a woman from her lol! It may be to girly for some but it is pretty much exactly the type of femininity I'm going for :)

Anyways, if anyone knows of other great femininity blogs by Black or non-Black women please let me know. I tend to shy away from the religious ones though because I have different motivations and I'm very agnostic :) There is one called Thoughts on Black Femininity that I was excited to see but it's no longer being updated so I'll have to read through the old posts.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. I totally agree. As a biracial person, I think the notion of applying a racial filter to ideas and aspirations is meaningless. Cultures change over time, often the result of someone deciding that something someone is doing is a good idea. It's a good thing, and to deny the influence of innovation and imitation disrespects the culture. People who want black women to only accept advice from certain sources and alleged tradition basically want their people to go on living frozen in time, like some sort of historical theme park. Ideas from everywhere should be evaluated on their own merits and benefit to one's life.