Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bitter and Big-Bodied: who are you listening to?

Women really put each other through hell. When a woman has a problem with the way she looks, she may have a tendency to attack another woman through gossip, vindictive words and insults. I'm tired of having to withstand lame and unwarranted remarks, hostility and rudeness from other women when all I've ever done is address them with respect. Of course when a person's nasty side is revealed it becomes hard to be amiable. So the mode of conduct changes. That doesn't mean the person you insulted is the 'skinny bitch' you always suspected she was, it means that you need to stop projecting your body insecurity onto other people and focus on improving your life. It's always the same superficial nonsense about looks. I think of my own life and how some notice the tiniest fluctuations in my weight and make open remarks about it. With glee they'll say "Ha, you've gained some weight I see." I'll just smile dismissively and walk on. Who gives a damn? I swear they perceive me as a mannequin sometimes. I've heard people comment about my body size in my presence while I'm right there just rambling on with incredible stupidity. It's bizarre this obsession women especially have when it comes to comparing their bodies with those of other women. Thin women often bear the brunt of big girl's bitter emotions at struggling with weight issues. I'm not even that thin. I couldn't care less whether I am the "right" size. My emphasis is on health not how good I look to men. I mean what? Why live for male approval? I have different aims. Yet I'm villified often as a way of trying to put me down by telling me I'm not a proper anyway because I don't seek attention from men or act in a way that is gender conforming. It's as if I have insecurities that don't belong to me projected and in putting a thinner woman down, one who is not happy with their size can feel better about herself.

Don't get me wrong. I have a thick skin but being human, I guess I have enough of it sometimes. Enough of awful words from people who don't know me but assume life is rosy because I an a thin young woman. Why does this myth exist? That life is sufficiently easier for a woman when she is thin. This is not true. It's not easier or worse. It's all relative to circumstance not body size. Even in the dating arena. It's not any easier trying to find someone if you're skinny. I've been living the life of a hermit for so long. You can't tell me being thin helps you find someone. In thinking that you can insult a person and expect that it is okay because they are thin is a fallacy. It's just ridiculous. In trying to level themselves against other women thinking that they big size makes them less superior, these women only end up creating animosity and what does that help. This is exactly why I don't conform to western society's ideas about female behaviour and appearance. It's the strife and complication trying to fulfill these standards brings. Here I am getting regularly dissed by big girls that have a hard time accepting themselves for who they are because fashion mags keep talking diet fads and praising the skinny look. The annoying thing about it. I have fucking noting to do with it. I just happen to be thin myself. It's all just a great big circus I tell you.

Entitlement, Ownership and Boundaries

I just finished reading the blog entry at swpd by writer Los Angelista about her encounter with a white woman who got angry and revealed her racism after a request to touch her hair was turned down. Like many of the commenters I've had such an experience. With me however as is usually the case, the person didn't ask. They just went ahead and touched it. Funny enough it was the same hair I had on at the time. In both cases I pulled away before the gesture was perceived as welcome. The people were involved also like the white woman in the above account expressed disdain at my withdrawal. What's wrong with touching someone's hair when this is prohibited. Everything. How dare someone come out of nowhere and feel entitled to try to touch another's hair without even asking? I see it was racism because hey presto, the dummies were both white. If you recognised a common humanity with someone else you would treat them in a manner you yourself would like to be treated. Respectfully and with the correct decency and dignity.

I try to put myself in their position. If I were a person who has been told all my life that I am superior. That I am entitled to do as I please as those who share my ethnicity often do and consequently get away with. Wouldn't I feel it alright to approach a complete stranger, a person of colour who I know nothing of aside from the fact that they happen to be in my immediate vicinity and touch their hair without any permission given on their part. What stupidity! There is nothing harmless about this. Yes touching a person period is an intimate act. To try to reach a level of non-consensual emotional intimacy with a stranger who does not welcome your advances is harassing.

I rarely personalise these events. There people's perceptions are quite obviously jaded by their cloak of white privilege. I maintain my dignity and use these as noted results from experiments in social study. It's the stance I take in order to survive. They like to treat me as their objects why not use them as my own guinea pigs upon which observations can be made. Haha. If I had to dwell on all the things that racists articulate and gesture toward me daily. Here on the African continent even. Probably worse because they picture themselves as beacons of civilisation against the backdrop of a black "savage" population. Yet it is the racism itself that is savage and heinous. I witness acts of sheer hilarity. The ignorant white person's condition of believing that he can do all he or she wants is something I'll never truly fathom in my mind. I just can't. I'm not being self-righteous but what does it really take to get to the point where you on longer see another human as human. What they are. Simply what they are. Equal and human as you are.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy

All I could muster in my mind after hearing former US President Jimmy Carter's opinion about the Health Care Plan fallout is "thank you, someone has finally said it". That it is not a person of colour so he will not be called out on racial anxiety as white people often say we do. Jokes have always been made of this. I remember a string of "it's because i'm black" commercials (can't remember which product was being endorsed) where the black person was taken the mickey out of for "seeing" racism even where it may not exist. There are a pile of anonymous commenters at Macon D's stuff white people do blog who make there similar remarks. It's a quintessential case of denial and it just doesn't help. Dr Robin Smith often makes the analogy of "putting a plaster over a tumor" and them hoping it will in away with respect to psychological wounds. Unless the cancer is treated accordingly, it's not going to heal. That's what nations such as the Uganda, Rwanda, Liberia, USA, South Africa need. Healing. Healing which may only emerge from open discussion about issues of race and not juvenile insults and rants toward the nation's leaders and their plans to make the nation better for all.

I'm of the notion that one who tries to deny racism or avert speaking of it is just as worse as the racist himself. When a person is not critically aware of the world around them, they are easily prone to absorbing ideas about race and gender that the majority upholds. In the US, it is the white capitalist male-dominant ideology that reigns supreme and if you couldn't be bothered to apply proper critique. You might end ur riding along the wave and standing firm for belief systems that have reinforced social division and not facilitated fair treatment of all human beings as equals.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Tempers Flaring

What a month it's been. Americans losing their minds left right and centre. People, what's up? Is the recession having this effect on you? Lunacy. Let's being with the twat I've always known to be narcissistic. To those in the know, Kanye's disrupted many an award show and spilled many an obtuse statement publicly. So now, a big deal because it the victim of his unthinking conduct is a innocuous teenage country songstress. He seems always on a mission to grab attention and he'll get it any way he can. That's the sadness of it. He fails to look beyond his intentions to examine the likely repurcussions of his actions. I agree with the Diary of an Anxious Black Woman blog writer, this act contained traces of sexism and misogyny. Better you steal a woman's limelight and attempt to speak on behalf of another woman as if she has on voice of her own. Defamatory.

In relation to the US president's comment which no one would have otherwise heard of had it not been for in insolent journalist who knows not his boundaries. He's right, and it's good to know the president is not alienated from the pop culture of the nation he's leading. Hopeless minded individuals may think that they are privy to every detail of the President's private conversations. How so? Are they telepathic? What part of "leaked audio" do they fail to understand. Part of a President's job is to remain diplomatic and cool in the face of heat. Who knows what he could have been thinking standing on that podium glancing at ignoramus Wilson after that lame comment. Easily have been cursing him out in his mind but dare he say it knowing his position.

As for Kanye's Mtv stunt. The bully explanation is worth considering. Would he have stepped up to Slim Shady in the hip hop category? If so we would have witnessed an onstage brawl and not a passive acquiescence the likes of Taylor. She is resilient. Give her credit for that. The twitter republic is more offended than she is. What does that say of how much of a role the public makes in blowing an event to an disproportionate size?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Faithful Proteges of La Grace: or not?

From the beginning it was clear that Lady Gaga was somewhat of a modern-day blonde version of the iconic Grace Jones. The pantless outfits, the outrageous designs courtesy of 'Haus of Gaga' and the sexually uninhibited nature of the Konvict music artist known as Lady Gaga. She caught my attention from the start and although her songs may be repetitive, weak and lacking in real substance she is exciting and fresh - a

I am a huge Grace Jones fan but I have an objection to those that just outright emulate her without adding a touch of their own individuality. Yes, Rihanna I'm talking to you. Showing up at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week this year dressed the exact same way Grace Jones was last year at the same event may I add. What copycat-ism.
Black Snob posted some images from the Couture Supplement of Vogue Italia a while back. It was then we came full circle to realising who she really and truly is inspired by.
However, the comparisons are ill-placed. Ri-ri may be able to dress and make herself up as La Jones but will she ever acquire that Hurricane-like ferocity that she commanded in her music and videos. She's not convincing me. No, Madame. You need to tighten up on the eccentric maneuvers and try acting a little less cute.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Final Straw

Her actions are "indefensible" says John Macenroe about Serena's outburst at this year's US Open semifinal. It was suprising to see her acting that way. I'd never imagined Serena to have such a violent nature but knowing what it's like to be on the receiving end of racism, I can somewhat empathise. The Williams have had to put up with racism from tennis crowds to umpires favouring white opponents over Venus and Serena. Maybe that lineswoman who made the foot fault call was in Serena's eyes lobbying for Clijsters to take it and not making warranted calls. So Serena became irate. In doing so, she provoked the cowardly woman to run to the umpire with her tail between her legs to file a complaint of disorderly conduct - racket smash. This is what caused the point penalty that made her lose. Well, well, well.

As an afterthought, I wonder if the person having that outburst were white, the Asian lineswoman would have reacted in a similar fashion. Black people are often perceived in a negative light even with accordance to the mildest forms of fervour and irritation. Bigots often associate black people with negatively abstract ideas. For instance, an assertive black person is either angry or bitter. But a white who displays assertiveness is viewed as a symbol of strength and power - a dominating force who is most likely to succeed in life for owning these very qualities. A double standard brought about by white privilege.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More to Love

Mika sang it well - "Big girls, you are beautiful". It's wonderful to see such a strong emergence of non-skinny women on the entertainment scene. The standards must erode away until they're gone. Not every woman out there is super-thin. Big girls usually have the most powerful voices anyway.

Gabourey Sidibe who acts in the movie Precious. The movie has not come out yet so can't say much but I'm anxious to see it.

Beth Ditto, lead singer of the group gossip who's impressed everyone with her unique vocals. What a diva.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Joe Wilson the Ignoramus

Wow, Nancy Pelosi's face said it all. She took a double look and creased her eyebrows in bemusement. What was Joe Wilson thinking shouting "You lie" to the President after making a statement about illegals not being included in the new Health Care program. What kind of sense of entitlement causes a person to yell out something that profane during a President's address. White Republicans and Conservatives are really having a hard time eating their humble pie and just accepting the President of the US for who he is. Not just another black man who they're so used to looking down upon and infantilizing but the most important and powerful man in the land.

Shame on them!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Caster's Verdict-Intersex

So the truth is out. While most were on the "She's a man" bandwagon. There were some less exaggerative ones speculating that she has a biologically androgynous nature. So what are they going to do about her career now? This case may raise some questions about how to classify hermaphroditic individuals in sports. Those who fall outside of the gender binary have always been shunned and pushed to the margins of society. Perhaps stories such as that of Caster Semenya will force the world to rethink the way it approaches gender issues within sporting tournaments.
As for the 'YOU' magazine spread. It appears to me as a desperate last ditch effort to prove to everyone that she is just a regular 18 year old woman.

The Black Snob referred to YOU as a "tabloid" magazine. Haha. Props to Danielle's sense of humour. Never thought of it that way. Just one of those long standing locally produced cheap mag with creepy articles sometimes. Come to think of it, it's a kind of paper mix of gossip, local stories, fashion articles for teens, cartoons, a short story, a TV guide, a centrefold porter, more articles. It's loaded with things . That anyone would find it necessary to buy regularly is beyond me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

District 9: Finally Seen It

Two days ago, I satisfied my curiosity and went ahead to check it out. Funny incident. A man resembling JM Coetzee became impatient whilst waiting in the ticket queue about 30 minutes before the movie was scheduled to begin because there was only one till operating. He angrily tried to nudge me forward, it was ridiculous. I was the only one in front of him and the line was short. Patience is something so many must make a habit. Since I love watching people get mad in public, it was really hilarious.

So let's get to the movie. It's really on surprise to me that it turned out the way it did. Hollywood can't help but revert to stereotypes in relation to people of colour. Once again, the main protagonist is white. We are forced to view people of colour, in this case Nigerians, as somewhat subhuman or a deviation from normality. We perceive the story through an intrinsically white lens and thus empathise with the protagonist and his life. So I can certainly agree now that I've seen it with the critiques made at racialicious. It may not be an allegorical reference to apartheid entirely but it did deal wad of offensive racial stereotypes. My question is was the Nigerian aspect really needed. What part did it play within the main plot other than that of attempting to provide comical relief in somewhat of a heavy movie. In that case, it seems Neil Blomkamp and his people found it quite appropriate to 'bamboozle' these caricatured characters. Typical Hollywood style.

As far as the movie being an apartheid allegory, I beg to differ. If the prawns are somewhat of a representation of blacks during the time of National Party rule, why is it that they come from a different planet. Remember who the original inhabitants were. This movie does not come across as allegorical. It was a worthy attempt at science fiction within an incongruous context. But some aspects of it were just plain egregious. Either way, I'm glad to see more blockbuster-scale movies being shot on the continent. Let's just hope the writers and directors will attempt to do a wiser job at portraying characters in a less prejudiced and more progressive light.