Have you ever Google "Black women"? I have. Sometimes I Google images of black women to get inspiration on style. The first images that appear on my screen are all related to hair, then come pictures of curvy black women, and finally pictures of women wearing almost nothing, in sexy poses. At the very end of the search, you can find pictures of famous black people, celebrities like Halle Berry or Oprah or the latest darling of Hollywood, Lupita N'yongo.
Is that it? Are all black women across the world about hair, being curvy and posing provocatively? Is it how we are perceived? Are we falling yet into another stereotype? Because I can tell you right now, I am a black woman but I am not about hair, being curvy or posing butt naked.
What brought on this, is the fact that I barely see someone who resembles me on the Internet. I gave up a long time ago trying to find someone who looks like me on TV. As a matter of fact, I grew up watching people who had nothing in common with me, even Ashley on the Fresh Prince or the girls on Cosby Show because they were American. I am very happy for characters like Olivia Pope but at the end of the day, she is also nothing like me. When it comes to the Internet, I go on Pinterest, which I love but all I see are white women, with skinny bodies (unless I refine my search which is also another tricky process). Although I love their style, I cannot relate because they do not look like me.
It would be nice to see myself being represented from time to time in a positive way on TV, social media and such. When you watch TV nowadays (and by TV, I mean the mainstream American TV that has invaded the entire world), black women are either cheating with the President, getting away with murder, rotting in a jail, brawling over silly dramas, or performing lap dances and such. Black women are much more than hair, big butts and being sexy. Black women are also more than being angry or bossy. They are of all shapes and all sizes, even of different skin tones. They believe in different religions, they have different personalities and aspire for far more greater things than what the Media and Internet will let you to believe.
I am a black woman, I am an African woman, I am also a Muslim. All these mean is that I am a minority that is often ignored in the world. I do not have much of a voice. And I definitely do not get a say. My situation gets worse because I live abroad. I am not at home where I have the chance to be surrounded by women who like me are Black and Muslim. I live in places where for most of the time I may be the only Black Muslim around. It never bothered me before. I always joked that it made me "exotic". But it can be lonely sometimes. It can also be stressful because you always have to be good, always have to be on your best behavior. You do not want to be caught doing something bad because the locals will see it and think that everyone who is Black and Muslim or from Africa behaves that way.
What I am trying to say is that I am not a stereotype. I maybe black, African and Muslim but I do not behave the way you would expect them to behave. I am not about hair. Truth be told I cannot do a thing to my hair because I am not good at it and I am lazy. I do not have the time to sit and twist my hair before going to bed so that it becomes all curly the following morning. As a matter of fact, I am very happy that I cover my hair because it is one less thing to worry about. I do straighten it also because it is easier to style when it is silky smooth.
I am not about curves either. Do not get me wrong, I have nothing against curvy women. I think that they are beautiful from the bottom to the top. But as someone who has always been curvy, and is now bigger, I am not into that. I hate having a big butt and big hips. I hate having to always look for extra extra large while I shop. Sometimes I am dying to slip into that dress and not struggle to make it pass my breast and stomach. I do not want to be skinny. I have been and I did not like it either. I just want to have a flat stomach and smaller hips.
I am not about posing sexy with almost nothing on. As a Muslim girl, I believe in modesty. You want to wear sexy clothes, I will not judge you. All I am saying is that it is no who I am now, and it is not who I want to be. I would wear skinny jeans and expose my neck and arms but that is as much skin as you would see from me.
I have a character that is just me, a mixture of my Dad and my Mom, my extended family and my friends, my husband and my kids, experiences and life events that forge me into the woman I am today. I may be looking for someone who resembles me out there but I know for a fact that no one else is.
Blazer - Max
Dress - Cupid
Pants - Brandmart
Shoes - Shimamura
I absolutely love this dress and wear it often to"dress" up a bit. If it had sleeves it would have been the perfect little dress
A touch of masculinity with the Oxford