I can recall reading Charing Ball’s very deep MN piece on today’s beauty standards of black women and thinking to myself: “Let the church say AMEN!” It’s hard being a sistah in these streets with a less than bountiful booty when that seems to be the gold standard. You can squat, eat like a swimmer or do the Beyoncé booty dance in the mirror as long as you want, but if you weren’t meant to have it, it probably isn’t going to pop up on your backside. However, it’s definitely just as difficult to be blessed with a lot of booty and in other places too, which can provide a lot of thirsty eyes from men (and possibly judgmental eyes from women). It sucks if that’s not the kind of attention you are looking for. Yep, it’s hard being an everyday woman with your features being ogled and commented on. But I can’t imagine what it must be like to be an everyday woman with the same body issues, but thrust into the spotlight, where hundreds of people can critique and ridicule you. Especially other women.
While surfing a gossip blog not too long ago, I came across a picture of New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and his girlfriend/mother of his child, Elaina, at a New Jersey Nets basketball game. When I saw the photo of the two of them, him cheesing and waving at his many fans, she looking as though she would have preferred to be in the house, and my first thought was–”Damn, he’s got a girlfriend???” My second thought though was, her outfit is cute! Bright yellow blazer, black jeans, some high fashion black and yellow boots and a white T-shirt. She wasn’t doing the most like some chicks on a baller’s arm, she just seemed content being with him and being with him in public at that (take notes Fabolous). It was cute. But when I scrolled to the comments, the commentary of readers wasn’t cute in the least.
Women conveniently hiding behind avatars on the site said everything from, she looked like “a basic looking black girl,” and that she was “mad regular looking,” to saying she needed to put on some Spanx, she had a “pop” belly, was “busted,” and all in all, was “basic.” Now, on this particular site, commentators tend to be especially over-the-top at times, but they tore girlfriend up from head to toe for absolutely no reason. It was almost like she was receiving shade for NOT being a Kim Kardashian wannabe, and for not opting for fake boobs, a plastic behind, a weave down her back and a face full of makeup. Someone made a point of pointing out that now that she’s decided to step out with her man, she’s pretty much fair game and needs to look her absolute best when the cameras are around. This very passionate discussion about the girl’s face, hair, attire and stomach (she had a baby right before the Super Bowl) made me think of Charing’s piece about beauty standards and self-esteem, and it made me ponder the thought: are we way too hard on each other?