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Hip Hop Hedonism In the “P” Power Era

A few years back I started making Andy Warhol homages to Lil Kim. Not because I liked Lil Kim or her music. Not because she was some epitome of manufactured beauty. But because of what she’d become, because of what Christopher Wallace, Notorious B.I.G., created her to be, the one thing she had to sell and sold greatly.

Lil Kim is a commodity like so many other things in the post-Shiny Suit Era of the Hip Hop Industry. A time when female MCs were really damaged girls on the come up willing to become glammed up, exalted strippers spitting rhymes they did not write. Flaunting game that was coached and coaxed. Male producers boosting them like hot cars. Flipping them like refurbished homes. They were ample, eager, hungry enough to get down on all fours and become profane provocateurs who could provide money based on “Pussy Power.”

Pussy Power is not feminism. It is not womanism. It is about your worth being reduced to your private parts. Your parts being the only thing you can sell. Tits. Ass. Vagina. Marginal face with exemplary chassis. Girls getting bodied for talents they never possessed, but paraded about as the supreme because they fulfill male fantasy. This is not the same as an attractive woman with brains who uses her charm and guile and beauty to advance like an axiomatic Goddess. A success story who glides amongst us and gains the longing stares of men and women alike. This is the aspirational woman. The dream.

The likes of Lil Kim, Trina, Remy Ma and Foxy Brown fresh from prison are not.

It’s amazing that any woman, girl, child could look at this coterie of cunts and find their dreams. That they could learn their sad origin tales of sexual abuse and abandonment leading them to paths of decadence and destruction and want to cosign to a testosterone fueled world where a credit card in the crack of an ass crudely demonstrates the vulgar truths.

Pussy Power is a distortion; A liberation fantasy of pulsating pornography where women become fuck dolls, a bang, throwaway thing. They are the jump off draped in cheap chinchilla and bedazzled cubic zirconia while their impresarios prance about barking, “Skeet, skeet, skeet.”

Pussy Power is fleeting. Just like how every stripper and porn star has an expiration date, so do these crass exhibitionists/hedonists. In their male written, fantasy lyrics they call their perversions the downest of down, the hardest of hard while engaging in celebratory acts of sexual anarchy. These behaviors binding them to the sexist rules of glittering genitalia and mesmerizing mammary glands. Talentless hulls their worth is in their mechanics, a return to the slave auction of old.

“Fifteen hundred dollars,” cried the auctioneer and the maiden was struck for that sum. This was a Southern auction at which the bones, muscles, sinews, blood and nerves of a young lady of sixteen were sold for five hundred dollars; her moral character for two hundred; her improved intellect for one hundred; her Christianity for three hundred ; and her chastity and virtue for four hundred dollars more.

— “Clotel or The President’s Daughter,” by William Wells Brown

Unlike the young, innocent Clotel of Brown’s novel, these Pussy Power proprietors are twisted in their own game, knowing this is what it takes to push record label weight. To get the MAC makeup ads, the VIBE covers and the Apple Bottom Jeans. This is what they want by any means. Damn dignity ’til it’s dead if wealth you can bed. Can you tongue kiss Cartier or fuck a $3000 pure white Prada coat? Can the finest of leather and gold and luxury goods give you that Everlasting Gobstopper of orgasms?

Some are too young to know they are selling themselves when it happens. Some know exactly what they’re doing. And some become pathetic caricatures of gapped mouthed blow-up dolls being fondled by a tipsy Motown diva live on television, without thinking. It was so primal, she had to reach out and touch it to see if such ignorance was real, if shame had been murdered in a back alley by Col. Mustard with the candlestick. Or was it because it was out there as an advertisement. The exposed breast and the pastie were product meant to be sampled and enjoyed like 250-count Wamsutta sheets and teddy bears from the Build-A-Bear Workshop. Maybe Diana Ross just wanted to check out the merchandise.

Pussy Power tells a young girl a blow job is the emancipation proclamation. That an STD is an occupational hazard. That “I’m not a whore because whores work street corners, turn tricks, get smacked by pimps and fucked by johns.” They don’t rock a stage next to 50 Cent where even he has no respect as you bounce beside. Where he treats you like fading stock. Like you’re Enron.

Crash, bitch. Crash.

The American woman at her best in hi-tone commercial imagery is represent as either openly, joyously brazen and whorish, begging to take it in any orifice, or unconsciously wanton and bursting with fresh, childish, as-yet-undiscovered virginal whorishnesss, such as the fifteen-year-old girl in the Calvin Klein ads who looks like she just got punched in the face.

– “A Massive Swelling,” by Cintra Wilson

I, obviously, am filled with a disgust for this pornography masquerading as empowerment. I can still remember hip hop filled with female MCs who were not created as male playthings but were organic beings of intellect and talent. The respected pioneers and purveyors gynocentric ryhmes like MC Lyte, Queen Latifa, Monie Love, Salt N’ Pepa, Bahamadia, Left Eye and Lauryn Hill. I remembered songs to party to and songs that made me think. From drugs to feminism to AIDS to emotional loss, love and abandonment. These were women w
ith talents. These were not modern Hottentot Venuses, perfecting freshly fucked faces while drenched wet down Korean weaves.

In our anything for a dollar world, people will say we’re all grown. If Foxy Brown wants to act a fool, if she wants to pose naked because that is all she has if Jay doesn’t write the lyrics, so be it. This a business and sex has sold since there were men willing to pay for it.

But I worry about the image it sends to girls who still absorb this Pussy Power propaganda. It tells girls, especially black girls who don’t know the history of our sexualization, that only the superficial matters. Sex and consumerism are the only true American faiths. These girls do not know the history of how our parts were dissected, embalmed and preserved, then displayed as recently as 1974 in France. How we were measured and partitioned. How there was a balkanization of our sexual beings that is still remains to this day.

It is healthy and normal for young girls to explore their sexuality within the confides of their teenage world. It should not be influenced or encouraged by entertainers who are dressed like an army of Eliot Spitzer’s seven diamond whores. These women are dressed to sell. Not for love. Not for respect. They are reconstructed cattle, plastic show ponies. A little tit for tat. A little ass for cash. But this should not be paragon.

We shouldn’t have this.

The market has spoken and the industry wants these haggard-faced rough riders. We must hold tight to their daughters, love them and educate them early. We cannot wait for the world to teach them these venereal, heart break-laced horrors. We can not stand idly by as real sexuality is forgotten and becomes a victim to Pussy Power and machismo driven mythology about women crafted as a utility tool of stimulation. Sex, in its true form, should be a beautiful, healthy expression of joy, love, recreation, self-discovery and procreation. It should not be a commodity. It should not be taught as a product. It should be explained honestly, every question answered for your sons and daughters. Don’t allow them to learn true love from BET. Don’t allow them to wander into the wilderness without your wisdom and protection.

And for those who fear teaching their children about sex will turn them to promiscuous fiends, let me be a witness. My mother started to teach me about sex, gradually, from the third grade through the eight grade. She explained to me the changes happening in my body and why. She explained the feelings. She explained what was happening to my male classmates. She explained the slang and corrected the misinformation. She taught me the proper terms and the consequences, but she did not preach. She did not demand that I stay a virgin. But strangely none of The Snob Girls got pregnant in high school or college. All The Snob Girls are determined to have a ring on their finger before a baby pops out.

This doesn’t mean that I remained chaste forever. But I didn’t do it when I was young and dumb either, drunken with some SOB telling me that the cream from his “magic stick” is good for my complexion.

Education is the only way to combat the Pussy Power era. Teach your daughters self respect. Teach your sons to respect women. Teach true feminism and womanism. Teach true self-worth and love.

Because like cockroaches and taxes, Lil Kim isn’t going anywhere.

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32 thoughts on “Hip Hop Hedonism In the “P” Power Era

  1. Daaaammmnnn.Education is the only way to combat the Pussy Power era. Teach your daughters self respect. Teach your sons to respect women. Teach true feminism and womanism. Teach true self-worth and love.Because like cockroaches and taxes, Lil Kim isn’t going anywhere.There isn’t a damn thing to add to that. What triggered your post on this subject? Was it the sad report you embeded of the girl so brainwashed by staying up to watch BET Uncut and the like that she thought wearing something that a prostitute would find distasteful ok to wear to a school function?I saw that report and had to restrain myself from destroying my tv.And of course the SOBs who run CNN had to actually show the girl in the dress.Because it’s all about accurate reporting right?

  2. baltogeek: This was something that was simmering in me for some time. It just ENRAGES ME that so many girls think this is appropriate behavior. It was like how MTV did a special on Freaknik when I was in high school before Atlanta said hell no and ended it. All the girls were trashing and letting strange dudes fondle their boobs. Then later a mob of men grabbed a girl and began ripping off her clothes and groping her and even though she was screaming for help no one did anything.Then there were the music videos, and Foxy Brown getting out of prison and the desperation of Lil Kim and then finally that po’ chile in that HORRENDOUS hooker prom dress and I was like THAT’S IT! This is WRONG!So it was an accumulation of years of pissed off-ness at the sexualization of young girls, no-talent female rappers basically pimping themselves for tracks and the push that the only things that should matter to a black woman are money and using sexy to manipulate men to get money out of them.Oh, and dressing like a slut to attract the men.It’s DESTROYING LIVES!!!!So, I just snapped. It was 3 a.m. in the morning when I wrote it and I was trying to write a “Dereliction of Duty” on the black church but instead I chose to rant on this. I don’t know what triggered it. But that prom dress DID NOT HELP!

  3. 1. It’s not just using sex to get men.One of the things that pisses me off the most is when women dumb themselves down to get a man.Seriously, from the time I was a little girl watching my friends take their IQs down a few scores to catch the eye of some fool who couldn’t remember their name anyway, I’ve always been irritated to no end by women who do that.Because it’s one thing to flash your tits/ass/pundenda etc…it’s another thing entirely to purposely suppress your own intelligence.I guess in each case there are women who play the sexual or intellectual fool to outsmart men and the system but so many of us cut our own selves down so easily.It makes me want to scream too.2. You referenced this era of hip hop as the “shiny suit” era. I’ve always thought of it as hip-hop’s hair metal period.Lots of cash, drinking, cars and strippers.There is no area of comsumption or female debasement rappers are going over that wasn’t already done by Motley Crue, et. al. years ago.All we are missing are the spate of drug overdoses.Where is hip-hop’s Nikki Six who could hit a strip club, drink bottle after bottle of vodka, o.d. on heroin, die, get revived, and then leave the hospital to score some more H and shoot up again all in the same night?!

  4. baltogeek: The dumbing down also irritates me too. It makes me want to walk around with a stereo blasting Lupe Fiasco’s “Dumb It Down” where ever I see young people.That happens SOOO much and often coincides with the dressing half-nekkid.And we do have some ODing in hip hop. Like that dude from UGK who died from sizzurp/purple drank. And Foxy had an ecstasy problem.Then there’s all the special problems that only hip hop has, like getting murdered OR getting caught with weapons charges OR getting caught with sexual assault charges OR getting in trouble with drug charges. We always have to take it up a notch with actual violence to back up the lyrics.

  5. Robyn says:

    I am a new reader of your blog. Last night I read Die, Strong Black Woman, Die and it brought me to tears. This morning I read this article and am again amazed.Through this primary election cycle, black women (earlier more than later)have been asked are you going to go with the woman or with the black guy. Many have said this is a throwback to the Suffrage battles. But for me and for many sistas , I think, it sparked a reveiw of what feminism means to the black woman.I say all that to say, this article is one of the discussions to be had to determine what feminism means to us and how we can begin to reclaim it. What I love about this article is that it doesn’t blame Da Man or Men; it asks us to first look at our own behavior. That is always the first step, but many times overlooked.While we as black folk or Black women haven’t quite made it to the mountiantop yet, we are further along the path than ever before. And along with the increased opportunity comes increased responsiblity. But what we see is less many times. As you stated, when we as a people had less we had the likes of Latifah and MC Lyte. Before them we had strong women like Sojourner & Fannie Lou. All women able to embrace their feminine ideals, raise others up and all on their own terms. As you pointed out, not only are the role models of today pushing forth a perverted version of sexual freedom (similar to that of the Girls Gone Wildversion); but it’s not even their own. How can you claim to be expressing sexual freedom when your image, your words and actions are dictated by someone else?!Again, you bring the responsibility back home. We have the power and ability to protect our upcomign generations from this trap thru education. We have to take responsibility for our kids. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. “coterie of cunts.” Black snob are you an English major? I truly enjoyed the symbolism and the alliteration. Unfortunately you were a little too accurate in your descriptions. I have two little girls, and you don’t have to worry about me having deriliction of my duties to my girls. I am not raising hoes, hoodrats, or video vixen’s. I am raising strong intelligent black women… that is when I am not wiping behinds, and burping babies. Thanks for the food for thought. This was one of the most poignant posts I have read in a while.

  7. robyn: I’m so glad you were able to take away so much from the posts. Both were very personal to me about issues I (obviously) feel passionate about. I think there is plenty of blame to go around for this perversion in Hip Hop. We just need to be more vigilant about what our children see.rorysmomma: I’m actually an English minor, but I love peppering the prose. I’m glad you found it both informative and a good read. I tried to prove that I did attend a college every once and a while.Thanks.

  8. baltogeek: I agree totally. if hip hop never turned this corner, there was already this element in our American culture.Blacksnob: Girl, you did it again! You took me back to college, where it was thought of as funny that I was a virgin. I remembering wondering where my classmates grew up, where being a virgin at 17 and 18 was something to poke fun. This was 4 years before lil kim. But those folks did have uncle luke. We (this country) have been heading in this direction for a long time. I remember wanting to start an abstinence group when I was in college, but I gave into the pressures of wanting to be a “bad bitch” before I could do it. It was so in your face. I thought that I was missing something. But, my experience taught me that it is not enough to talk to girls about this, if the boys aren’t on the same level, then who is a 18 year virgin to date. My options were FEW. As recently as a few years ago, this guy told me that making a guy wait to be intimate was jsut my way of playing a game. Here I was thinking it is called the getting to know you stage, but I was obviously mistaken. Both sides need more education.I said all that to say, that we each should take time to encourage a young girl or boy to view there sexuality as a treasure not a commodity. Thanks for the post! I hope that you revisit this issue.

  9. Good post.I’d be careful about romanticizing the early days of women in hip hop. Then the pressure was to be tom boyish. Being xtra femminine wasn’t going to get you a lot of respect. Also Salt N Pepa had their own Jay-Z. Their producer wrote their lyrics up until the very end of their career. So they were as much a product of male fantasy as Kim and Foxy.@Baltogeek Smart women don’t get men. Intelligence is much further down the list on what men desire in women then what it is for what women desire in men. Any survey/study done on the topic shows the same thing.Men want pretty and pliable. Girls realize this early on and behave accordingly. May not be fair or right but it is..is.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I have to say, I have been reading your blog for a while and have never commented…but this post…wow! A really good read – you write really well! Keep up the good work!

  11. Natoya says:

    I dont neccesarily agree that all gusy want dumb women.Yes I meet a lot of guys who do liek dumb ass girls, and I admit i’ve been tempted….but my man is not liek that when I make comments that seem a bit shallowh e gives me an eye like ‘y do u need to say that’.Although he find it cute when I say out of the blue silyl comments, but overall i’d say my intelligence was part of the attraction. Although I’d like to see what ahppens when we get a job after uni, finishing this month, whether if i do better than him he’ll like that…….BTW I’ve always despised Lil Kim and Foxy Brown and those video girls who just make me feel uglier each day lolits just so over saturated now its silly. and when I speak to guys about i they’re like ‘ but those girls get paid a lot of money and they like doing it’ .hum……money. its just paper isnt it?

  12. Natoya says:

    One thing I dislike the most is when girls who dress like that and act like that are the first to call another woman ‘a ho’ or ‘bitch’when i was growing up and I saw other girls hoistign up their skirt for a bit of attention, then when another gir ldid it they would start shouting and screaming ‘shes such a whore’ ? this seems to be a problem

  13. Dig says:

    Okay I do find the images disturbing as well as the attitude and disposition it represnts but I must tell you that we as Balck women need not be be only one type of woman. By that I mean we come in all shapes, sizes,colors, and personalities. Not all of us are strong and not all of us are niave. We are human at the end of the day and we make mistakes like that next race of woman. I can’t believe that we do not have various images of us in the media yet. It’s either an Oprah or a Lil’Kim, there is no in between well rounded woman. I like listening to Jill Scott and Anita Baker and I also jam to some Remy Ma and Queen Bee. I am not going to be everyone’s role model at the end of the day because I live for me. Does anyone else understand that we need more characters of ourselves depicted not just one or the other.

  14. dewfish says:

    I agree with t.s. johnson up to a point, but I would also like to add that women can be just as superficial as men when it comes to dating. The thing that made this article so great was that it wasn’t just another “black man bad, black woman good” diatribe. As robyn said, it all begins with personal responsibility.

  15. b says:

    That piece of info about the hottentot venuses is unreal! I am the person who usually comments anonymously from Europe. That story is a case in point for me about the major stuff from the colonial legacy that Western Europeans have not worked through and need to. An African woman’s vagina on display in a museum until 1974… Can you dominate a people more than that? And now they are getting West African women trafficked up here as sex slaves… and I voluntarily moved to this corner of the world!

  16. What a thought-provoking post. The issue of sexuality, feminism and body image as it relates to Black women is such a complex, thorny issue. By examining the likes of female entertainers (not artists) like Lil Kim (who aspires to look like a white Barbie doll) and Foxy Brown (who is just trying to be one of the boys), you really hit on the extremes at which Black women are portrayed in the MSM. What frightens me about their prominence is not only what it is doing to young Black girls who see them, but also what it means to the dominant culture who sees BET and thinks that all women of color do, act, think and look like these women. It’s all just glorified prostitution with men benefiting from the bottom line.

  17. Sandra77 says:

    It is a shame how right you are with this post. Black people can do so much better, but so many of us don’t want to do the work it takes to hold ourselves to a higher standard. Reminds me of Effie White in Dreamgirls – she wanted all the privileges but none of the responsibilities, and look where that got her – until she decided to change her life, take responsibility for her behavior and hold herself to a higher standard.

  18. anonymous: Well! Well! I think you just gave me the vapors! You put me in my place! I was just heading to Abortions R Us to kill a fetus right now. Yup. For the 123rd time. That’s just CRAZY talk that if you educate your kids they’ll make better decisions about sex.Crazy, I tell you! Obviously you saw right through my lies of good parenting and healthy living. So, ahem, … *HATER* … cough, cough. Ahem! Excuse me. I don’t know where that came from!Thank you! Come again!

  19. I enjoyed reading this, but I have to say – it’s a bit simplistic.I grew up with a mom who told me repeatedly that I was beautiful, but I was in middle school before the advent of Lil Kim and Foxy Brown then eventually Beyonce, so I didn’t see it. Yes – all of them are cheap and talentless, but for a black girl growing up in southern Indiana, these women were the first black sex symbols I’d ever seen.Since then, I’ve found that finding a balance is difficult. I’m reminded of the chapter in When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost where Joan Morgan talks about the challenge of chickenhead envy. I don’t want my sexuality to define me…but it has to be both ways. And right now, as a society and as a black community, we have found a way to say that it’s okay to be smart, beautiful, sexual and a myriad of other traits. If you’re too overtly sexy, you’re one thing, if you’re not, then you’re another. And the judgment is flying around terribly from every direction.It’s a huge challenge for us young black ladies. It’s a challenge that is so big, and honestly I don’t feel that many of the older women around us are equipped to give us the guidance we need. If you look at it from the point of view of first, second and third wave feminism, I think we’re just now (in general and as black women) finding a reconciliation of the 2nd and third waves. That I can be smart and strong and independent and have a fulfilling career and be vulnerable and scared and weak and (to paraphrase Joan Morgan) want him to hold me because the past was tough and the future is too uncertain and be sexy all at the same time. Yes, there are days when trying to juggle all this is hard. Yes – we need education. But we need an education that says that there are many ways to be a black woman.

  20. Dayum Gracie B.You don’t have to like her music but since win is Beyonce cheap AND talentless. Is she cheap because when she is on stage or in a video she has on sexy clothes? Does that make you cheap? Is every model therefore cheap? Any preformer male or female that wears revealing clothes or for men open shirt or tight pants cheap? You never see her walking the streets halfed dressed. Ever. It is costume. Should Tina Turner cover up her legs, since she is over 60? Is Tina a low level sell-out for showing off her beautiful legs?Little Ms. Beyonce can sing, dance and act a little. She writes, arranges and producers a lot of her music. Geez, it is so hard to please black people. Do you have to be overweight or sing barefoot to be talented? What gives?

  21. I don’t know how to put into words how I feel about Beyonce. Especially around people who feel the need to congratulate her for having the same level of skill as say…Jessica Simpson, but most would agree the Jess is pretty cheap and talentless.But here goes:Beyonce refuses to accept the degree of noblesse oblige that faces her. In a discussion of black female role models (good or bad), I think she should be included, though I’m usually the odd one out. In this particular discussion – of P-Power and the female rappers who proclaim it – I think Beyonce is very relevant. No, she doesn’t rap about sex or how special what she has is. But she writes very few of her songs (and most of the co-writing credit is for adding a word here and there) and has questionable singing skills. And yes – I do find those hideous outfits that Mama Tina puts her in to be EXTREMELY cheap – and I question any parent who dresses their (even adult) child in stuff like that.You’re right in the sense of this – if Beyonce was white, she’d mildly get on my nerves but wouldn’t completely irk me the way she does.But she isn’t white.She’s a black woman who has the potential to be an…ambassador of sorts. She’s one of the few consistent black sex symbols in mainstream publications. People seem to think she has talent. But yet, unlike Lil Kim who is blatantly uselss, Beyonce seems content in squandering the opportunity to show black girls that we can be super stars and beautiful and smart. I’m yet to hear anything articulate or interesting coming from her mouth. I’m yet to see her show more than a passing interest in playing a greater role in serving the black or world community. C’mon. Even Jessica Simpson does USO shows. My point is – would it kill Beyonce to have an interesting thought now and then? Or to wear a brown weave instead of blond? Or to come out about the regular liposculpture that she has? I’m not saying she has to cover up – be sexy. But be about something other than your glamorous lifestyle.In full disclosure, I don’t own a television and rarely listen to commercial radio. If I’m missing some sort of vital point or redeeming quality about Ms Knowles, I’ll cop to it. But in my eyes – she’s the black equivalent of Britney (pre meltdown), Jessica, and all those other pop-songbirds who really aren’t that great.

  22. I think my point was muddled.If we’re asking our young women to aspire to a higher level of beauty, grace, and life, then we need to consider all of the women who can be influences. So yes, since 8 times out of 10 what Beyonce wears is tasteless (not just costumes, either, just her general look. And most of the time, she’s not saying anything valuable or helpful. What exempts her from the same scorn and questioning as Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, or any number of performers?I don’t see a difference.

  23. Gracie,Why can’t singers just sing and stay out of trouble? If our daughters, nieces and cousins half to look for r&b singers to be then end all and be all for what they can aspire to be then we have a larger issue. There are thousands of other women to fill the role of which you speak. I am not Beyonces agent so this is not about her. The young woman has be a responsible, mature woman. She has not been all over town with tom, dick and raheem. And since you don’t keep up with the “what’s happening now” you only see her on stage or at an award show red carpet. She is one of the most photo graphed women on this planet and everytime I see her in her daily life she looks like a classy woman. Stylish yes, but very decent.As for the not really writing her songs. She been awarded the highest honor, which is song writer of the year. And ASCAP does not give that award to pretenders. She is not good at making speeches. Okay, so why can’t young woman look at her as a successful 26 year old that worked hard since she was 9 years old and achieved the goals that she set for herself?Dedication and hard work is what I see when I look at her. And Jessica Simpson can’t not hold a candle to Beyonces voice.Please you tube the video for “Beyonce Speechless”.

  24. Gracie bI meant to say if our young sisters have to not half. I did not proof my last comment.And puleese forgive me, I meant to say you tube “dangerously in love” not speechless.One more thing, many celebrated artist don’t write their own music. Not that that includes Beyonce, but throughout music history their have been great song writers and great interpreters of song through their voice. Many of our most celebrated songs weren’t written by the singer/performer, but like I said, it is hard to please black folks.If someone is going to be in the spot light, they have to be absolutely freaking perfect, even though we the public are totally completely works in progress.

  25. I think we’re making the same point, but in different ways. My point is that if we’re critiquing one, then we need to critique all and set certain standards…which in my mind, Beyonce, Rhianna, and most bubble headed pop stars fail. But that’s just my opinion. Or we critique none. It’s a thin and blurry like (again my opinion) between Beyonce and Lil Kim. It’s 2 shades of blond, the use of a few different words, and often about 4 inches of fabric. Because yes, to be a black person in the limelight you have to have it together and you’re not going to please everyone all the time. Some one is going to get mad that Alicia Keyes AND Jill Scott AND angie stone started straightening their hair. Someone isn’t goign to like that Beyonce is a bubble headed pop star. Others will be fine with her being bubble headed because they like her voice. Others will want her to actually say something. So no – you’re not going to please everyone. For me – this is why I don’t let Beyonce (or any of them) too far into my home and life. We all get to choose our influences. I respect your right to have that choice…but I still don’t see a difference.

  26. Vince T says:

    Thank you.As a male I’ve learned more from your blog and the comments than I have in 53 years of living. As a white man I now have a sliver of understanding of how hard it is to maintain respect of self and others when so many want to use black women for gain at so many levels.

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