I wrote this post to generate comments, so, please comment freely: When I started this blog, I decided to be a kinder, gentler blogger than I was in a previous life.
I blogged for another company about beauty and all the related stuff that went along with it. I really enjoyed chopping celebrities up and bashing women for their lack of style and grace. And I kinda miss it. But I have
had a new attitude. I need to rant today.
I’m a BROWN GIRL. As such I have big hips, big lips and a natural tan. Those qualities are intrinsically mine and ubiquitous to a whole lot of other women of color I know. What gets my goat is that when it comes to moving up the ladder in the “Beauty” industry of Corporate America, I have been categorically denied passage to the next rung because of my physicality. Yet, those traits that identify me as a brown girl, is the stuff that is generating gazillions of dollars for those same companies. And that whole scenario just kind of makes me mad.
Let me break it down for you.
1. Big Lips
I remember shopping for a red lipstick many years ago, and the perky girl behind the counter told me my lips were too big for red. That had me seeing red. I picked out the boldest, brightest red she had and bought a few. So what, now big lips are en vogue because of Angelina Jolie? Every magazine editor is waxing poetic over “bee stung lips.’ What? Bee stung lips are not cute. What about Angie Stone, Jennifer Hudson, and other women with naturally plump lips? Since when did a fair skin woman win in the category of best lips? Gimme a break.
One of the best selling cosmetic products is lip plumper. Yup. The stuff stings like the dickens and it only work temporarily. But every cosmetic line has a lip plumper of some sort — lip gloss, lipstick, serum. And what about the plastic surgery? You can always tell fake lips — the upper lip curls out from inside. It looks so weird and unnatural. Check out Lisa Rinna. EWWWWWWW. (more EWWWWWWW here. I mean really ewwwwww)
2. Big Hips
I have had big hips all my life. For years I had to buy jeans too big in the waist to accommodate my hips. Except for Gloria Vanderbilt jeans back in the day….I did everything to get rid of these hips. But then I had children and I was thanking God for those child bearing hips. I had minimal labor; as a matter of fact I barely made it to the hospital before I spit my last one out. J Lo made a splash with her gluteous maximus, so did Beyonce’, but this latest chick, Kim Kardashian shows up with her big hips and whooaaaaa, let’s get on the big hip trip. What happened to the liposuction frenzy? Gimme a break. So what makes Kim’s hips better? The air brushing? Keep reading and check her out. You tell me.
3. Fake Tans
I follow all sorts of folks on Twitter, one being Lindsay Lohan. So she has this new spray on tan product Sevin Nyne . And she is not the only one. Every self-respecting cosmetic line has a plethora of self tannners and bronzers for a sexier, more golden, BROWNER you! Ummm hmmmm. That same brown I wake up with everyday. The one that I don’t have to pay for. I read in Allure that Dancing With the Stars goes through 37 gallons of spray tanner. What? Does brown look better on the dance floor? snicker snicker.
Did you know that the top designers send interns into culturally black neighborhoods and clubs to get inspiration for their designs? Why is that after Nelly made Apple Bottoms and Beyonce’ introduced Dereon jeans that mainstream jeans makers decided to make “curvy jeans”? HUH? I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
Okay, I feel better. I think I made my point. And if I didn’t, I still feel better. What do you think? Do you think that the traits that have been criticized and stigmatized black women over the years are now acceptable? Are they acceptable for all, or just for a select few? Come on, speak your piece! Let ‘er rip!