Black Women And The Black Women We Hate

posted by LJ Knight on October 11th, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Black Women4 350x155 Black Women And The Black Women We Hate I recently read an article that described the various reasons why alot of sistas do not like Solange. The main focus of the article was the fact that Solange is the epitome of the anti-Black girl. In other words she is the essence of what alot of Black females are not. She does not try to fit in and wear the same fashion, she walks around with colorful feathers and platform shoes, shaves her head damn near bald when hair is an important key to beauty in the African American community. I am an African American women who has also been ostracized during different periods in my lifetime for my being different so I am aware that uniqueness is something that is not always embraced by other African American women. Why is that? Why do we as Black women attack each other for not fitting into the boxes with limits that we often times create for ourselves? It is as if a sista being different from you is cause for anger. “She is always TRYING to be weird. She makes me sick!”. How does someone try to be weird? Why is it not possible that she is being herself, and that self is something different from what you are accustomed to from a peer? Especially when, in all actuality, her life would be much easier if she assimilated in with her peers. She would more than likely be accepted and free from judgment or ridicule.

There are a few reasons why a unique sister could be considered villainous. One being is what I previously mentioned earlier. Other sistas feel that she is being “weird” on purpose in order to draw attention to herself. Women hate to see other women purposely acting out to garner more attention their way. Some women compete over attention. It is natural to them and is a concept that is not new and is one that will go on until the end of time. Another reason is that people in general hate things that they cannot figure out. People like to place things and people into categories. By itemizing things/people it helps us to understand them. If something or someone does not fit into the box you prepare for them or what you perceive to be “normal” then that causes confusion for us. Think about how the first Europeans viewed the Africans when they first encountered them. They were confused by their differences in features, complexion, and language. They were something they had never experienced before. Immediately they saw them as a threat. Why is this person acting this way? I cannot figure them out. Now I’m mad and annoyed with them. Lastly, when a sista is being different from the majority then somehow it is assumed that she thinks she is better or more “special” than others. She obviously must think that she is special in some way if she insists on dressing differently from us, acting differently, wearing her hair differently from the majority.

I personally have spent years of my younger life, crying, trying to completely fit in. Feeling lonely and misunderstood by the same people that I yearned for acceptance from. My fellow sistas. Wondering what I was doing that made me be ostracized by my peers/family. Why was I being called weird by my own cousins? For years I have tried to alter my clothes, feelings, and artistic behavior in the hopes of fitting in with the majority to no avail. I grew up in an urban environment and being unique and artistic was not cool. It seemed that no matter what I did or how much I tried to alter my behavior I never completely fit in. When I finally did start to feel as though I belonged, something inside me never allowed me to be settled. I could be myself, but only to an extent. I had to hold back some of my likes and or dislikes to assure that I kept my place within my peers. I had to assimilate. I could not say certain things because for sure they would laugh at some of my thoughts. Would they get my off kilter sense of humor? My sarcasm? My artistic behavior? When I did allow parts of my true self to squeeze out it immediately was picked apart and never fully understood, which made me shut down. I spent the majority of my highschool years and early 20′s, fitting in to an extent but never completely being myself. It seems as if sista’s more so than brothas have a problem with other sistas expressing themselves uniquely. Women are harder on other women and quicker to judge and pick apart each other.

This brings me to my adult life, where I try my damnedest to be myself in every capacity. To not give a damn about the opinions of others. To do what makes me happy as long as I am not hurting those around me. Even if it sometimes ostracizes me from my present peers. Those sistas who get me, I appreciate them and in return try to understand them as well. Those sistas who do not get me and rather refer to me as weird or being too different or artistic for their tastes, I accept them as well. I also keep it moving with a smile on my face. I say all this to bring my point back to Solange. Perhaps this is what Solange and sistas like her have learned for themselves as well. To be happy with oneself. Even if no one else is. So the next time you come across a sista with Solange-esque qualities and you feel that she is too different for words, reserve your judgment and hostility. Different does not always equal bad.

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By: LJ Knight

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27 Comments

  1. In my opinion, it’s not just Black women. Some MEN AND WOMEN of every race try to tear another down. My father was military so, I grew up traveling all around the world and because of it, I have close friends of every background you can think of. I’ve spent time w/ their families and enough time with them to know that it’s factual that if ppl just aren’t accustom to something in particular or are feeling insecure… they feel a need to smash someone elses confidence.

    We Black women aren’t the only ones to talk about other females of our race, I can assure you and basically, I think when women (& men) do talk about another chick (or guy), it’s just a matter of difference of opinion or low self-esteem.

    I believe almost everyone goes through a period of not belonging or being talked about for standing out or not fitting in. The person doing the trash talking is not necessarily “hatin” on you but in actuality… “hatin” themselves. One just has to pay them no mind and/or pray for them, that find peace within themselves.

  2. GREAT POST AND POINT!
    everyone doesn’t have to be like you(fill in blank) in order to be respected.

  3. Excellent post! I wouldn’t say I had trouble fitting in/trying to look like the other girls. I have always been the one to look different. Even a male friend of mine in high school asked me one day “how come you don’t dress like the other girls?”. Poor me i ddin’t even realize that I dressed different. So long I was covered i was happy. I basically told him “Because I dress the way I want to”, and that was that.

    Even now I won’t dress like the other girls and guess what…it sets me apart from them. I’m the girl w/ the “unique clothes”. And I prefer it that way. I guess it also had to do w/ my up brining, my mother always told me “dare to be different, dare to be a daniel, dare to stand alone”. And that’s what I did. Couldn’t be happier. I set my own pace, my own rules for fashion, and I look good doing it. =D

  4. This is soooo not a black woman’s issue.gosh. black women need to get over themselves. every race, and tribe of this world gets the same amount of hate from their own people. like you stated people are sometimes uncomfortable to see someone else on top. or maybe sometimes its not even always about hate. people are entitled to their own opinions and sometimes may see things that people are completely oblivious to.

  5. First, I commend Brown Sister for opening up intelligent dialogue about issues that affect us of all!

    @NNE…completely states how I feel…

    BS, keep it flowing…the blogs are affecting how we view and respond to each other…it’s cool to see what celebrities are doing, but so important to tap into our own individual lives and feelings!

  6. Unfortunately for solange I think the hesitancy to embrace her has more to do with her attitude toward media types and her family connection. We all could have done without that viral video of her jumping down the throat of a middle-aged black female reporter for no reason; or the Bey was robbed campaign during Jennifer Hudson’s Academy award win. I think many of us judge people based on looks and actions; Yes there are haters amongst us but, sometimes people should check their own attitude before resorting to the “they hate me “ defense.

  7. @ cakegirl
    that was i believe the golden globes lol just thought id throw that in there

  8. I totally agree that not trying to fit into the what is acceptable mold is the best thing in the world. It prevents you from a lot of insecurity and hopelessness when you realize that no matter how hard you try to fit in, you can’t maintain that for too long. You will burn out. Being different is the best thing that could ever happen to anyone. Being average should be outlawed, which is what we are when we try to fit in. Great article.

  9. I peronally applaud women like Solange who don’t fit the norm like Beyonce..I thought that was pretty damn bold of her to shave her head and not care what people think..I think women like Solange, Amber Rose,Rihanna are very refreshing, women who are not afraid to be different, stand out and create their own unique style, and don’t need a head full of weave to feel beautiful..If Solange tried to pattern herself after Beyonce people would accuse her of riding Beyonce’s coat tail, so basically she’s damed if she do and damed if she don’t.

  10. Solange’s actions visual or no will always seem contrived as she is a member of Celebrity-dom. Every change they make will be questioned. If she was a friend down the street and she cut off all her hair, I’d think nothing of it…most likely many would think nothing of it. But she’s elevated to Hollyweird-status and everything they do, every change they make is talked about and not only by other Black women but by all.

    A few commenters posted something I’d like to agree with; it’s not just Black women who hate on each other. It’s this way in all races. Maybe we don’t see it because we don’t visit the blogs for Latinas or Asian women as oft as they do their own.

  11. I have a different view on this. I think the issue is more in line with whole “crabs in a barrel” idea. People who are afraid to color outside of the lines and express their own individuality are afraid of people like Solange. It is self hate that people direct onto those who are not afraid to take chances with their attire and in their lives. I have been there and done everything these young ladies are doing…shaved my long locks down to a Ceasar cut, bleached it about a dozen different colors, wore outfits that were waaaaay over the top. Sometime when I look at pictures I say…hmmm that was probably not the best look for me…but so what. I did what I wanted to do and so many people who are wrapped up in the status quo and are by choice keeping themselves in bondage and want others to join them. If being true to you means wearing 10 inch platform heels and shaving one side of your head then do it. If discovering who you are means going against what society has decided should define you then do it. This is the only life you have so you need live it to the fullest without appology to anyone.

  12. @ CAKEGIRL

    I agree completely!!

    I did comment on the post about Solange, but my issue with her is her attitude! I know a lot of indifferent “PEOPLE” (not just black women)who dont follow the norm and they dont come off as hostile and angry as Solange! I think most would be lenient to her style, music, etc if she wasnt so haughty & aggressive about it! (It’s not what she says (or who she is), but how she says it (and displays it)!

  13. The article had so much potential, but lacked the key element of ENVY.

  14. The “hating” is a but one result of disrespect and we tend to find fault with others when things aren’t going right in our own lives. People are envious of Solange’s style because they really envy her freedom. It is very liberating when you decide you’re going to just be yourself and choose to look a certain way without feeling like you have to.

  15. I loved this post. i too, have tried to fit in with other black girls by suppressing my true personality. After High school I had a total “fuck it” view on friendship with people and trying to fit in. I was going to be me! what i agree with most, that this is an issue probably all races deal with, but i feel with black women too often there can be this unnecessary amount of hate. Just because i talk differently, dress differently, or like different things, doesn’t give you a the right to straight up disrespect me. But then i realize i dont need your approval or for you to like me, my life will go on, and you need to do the same with yours.

  16. Blame it on tha Rain

    Good post. But IMO it isn’t just Black women, but the Black community as whole. I see a lot of my fellow brothas & sistas who are afraid to embrace, let alone try NEW & different things. Whether it be food, music, or fashion, travel, & etc. MY personal experience of this lack of open mind always came in the form of music. I luv ALL kinds of music. As long as it has a great beat & great lyrics I don’t care what genere it is. BUT many of my friends could never see past the categories of Hip Hop, R&B/soul, & Gospel, which dominant the Black community. When I would tell them what I was listening to, they would give me a crazy look. I actually just had a friend ask me about a group that was out of her comfort zone. She liked some of their songs & wanted to know if I had the album & was it good. As I told her they were pretty good, she couldn’t go wrong. She STILL had that resisted look w/ the idea of purchasing something foreign to her. True this type of thing stretches across the board of humanity, but I think in SOME cultures it is stronger than in others. But in the end you have to do what’s best for you & w/ that you can’t hide your TRUE self b/c of what others thing. You have 1 life to be happy, so just do it.

  17. Blame it on tha Rain

    typo:

    THINK*

  18. fantastic , you should go back and get those old piers for their lack of understanding and cultural insensitivity

  19. Black women Need to stop thinking that every one “hates” them because they are so “unique, Beautiful,Light skinned,Coke bottled shapped, Long haired, Rich, Swaggerred up” That’s some ghetto -ss mentality and i cannot believe that grown women, Mothers still have their imaginations working over time thinking people “Hate” them for being such and such, I feel like A.A women need someone to hate on them to feel validated what kind of weakness is that? I’m done

  20. As for solange i adore her, Just like i love many other sisters for having their own style, But i am sick and tired of A.A , Do you understand what the word “hate” mean? I’m sick of this sh-!

  21. Good post!

  22. This article made NO SENSE no black woman is created equal! We are the most diverse in terms of hair style and everything in bt so “hating” on Solange for daring to be different is the dumbest thing ever! She not different she wears wigs extentions and everything else like the rest of us! I usually like your articles but this one is a huge FAIL!

  23. For having friends of different ethnicities, I can say (like some others have already posted) that it’s not a Black women problem but a WOMEN problem. Women are very jealous of each other and not that supportive (just like when a man cheats it’s always the other woman’s fault) UNLIKE men.

  24. I agree with all the women who said, it’s not a Black woman’s problem, but a woman’s problem of all races.

    Why does evey negative characteristic that’s a womans issue, has to be directed as a Black woman problem?

  25. Solange just has a nasty attitude and it’s very forced-fake, which make her annoying. Plain and simple. Being real obnoxious is not being real.

  26. Hate is such a strong word and from what I see on a lot of these blogs it is just that, pure hatred, envy and jealousy. Why, I’ll never know, maybe it’s the anonymity of technology where some women can write personal insults and criticism at others? What’s written harshly about others is just like as if an individual is speaking those words, what’s in the heart comes out on the computer screen. And from what I’ve read in the last few years, there’s a lot of hatred going on between BW, especially younger BW.Self-identity is key to finding out who you are as an individual. As many of you get older and stumble a few times, you will find out that there is freedom by living your life for something higher than you and MAN is not it! If people would stop trying to impress others to boost their own egos, they would in turn care less about what others think. You don’t have to put someone else down on your way up in order to make yourself feel better and I see this a on a lot of blogs and in my daily interactions with other BW.Hurt people atttempt to bring the same misery they feel to others. People who self-define wear what they want to for themselves, it’s all about their style and not one uniform in which everyone else wears. It’s called living and thinking outside of the box. People don’t like people who are different than themselves because these type of people intimidate them. There are many people who don’t follow others, but instead create their own trails and those are the people I most identify with and admire, criticism from others comes with the territory. I learned a very long time ago, why should I try to fit in when I already stand out? It’s not me with the problem, it’s the people who sit in judgement of others who do this just because we are not letting others dictate our future or the paths we’ll take in life. Free your minds from what other’s may think of you, you’ll be better off when you do. Stop wishing for and comparing your life to where you are now and create the life you want to live. Step out of the self-imposed boxes, cages and labels that you have allowed others to place many of you in. It’s all about opening up your minds to new experiences and possibilities, because life is way too short to waste it on people and things that do not matter. The very people that many of you hate are living their lives and you are watching them while they live it. Live Yours…

  27. Stop being so quick to pull the race card…this is not a black women’s issue. Solange’s attitude hasn’t always been the best. I can’t forget the video of her throwing her mic stand into the crowd when she played the House of Blues…not a good look, kid.