I did not intend to post today; rather I was going to wait until tomorrow. But then I read something that made me so agitated that I couldn’t put off writing today and ran to my computer to pound away my angry words.
While surfing Facebook, I came across a post by my Soror, Dr. Katrina Sparks shouting out another Soror, Anowa Adjah. I myself had shared the post when it came out but I had no idea that it was my Soror. Soror Adjah was featured on the Facebook page belonging to www.blackdoctors.org. Keeping it real, Soror Adjah looks amazing. She looks so amazing that it is hard to believe that she is over 200lbs. So what is the problem? The problem is some of the responses that Soror Sparks post garnered.
And here is the responses to said picture by a man who shall remain nameless,
Although, that response had me seeing red I calmly asked. “Who is she teasing?” His ignorant response was
He went on to say more gibberish but I stopped reading and started getting angrier and angrier. As a black woman, it always amazes me how our bodies continuously sexualized even when we are not trying to be sexy. Here is a beautiful black woman showing the world that you can be 200+ pounds and still have a FANTABULOUS body yet, all this man could conceive is that she was trying to “tease” the masses. Blackdoctors.org, used Soror Adjah to promote their article, While I did not get a chance to ask this man personally, I do wonder whether he would have had the same commentary had she been a “white woman” in any of the countless fitness magazines. I mean let us look at Tara, editor-in-chief of Shape Magazine and her bikini pose.
Is she teasing people too? Or is she showcasing a body that with hard work and perseverance can be had by some woman too? Repeatedly blackwomen are sexualized through no fault of their own. Even when we are at our worse, or what we think is our worse we are being catcalled. What makes these comments cause me to burn even more is that the commenter is a man of color. Is it not enough that we are objectified by “white america?” Do we have to be objectified by “black america” too?
It is this type of behavior that continues to perpetuate “white privilege” and all that comes along with it. We criticize our own race for the same things that “white america” gets away with. I for one am tired of it. I am tired of being sexualized. I am tired of being objectified. I am tired of hearing statements like, “You should know I liked you…don’t you see your lips and breast.” I am tired of it all. Yes, I look sexy. Yes, I appreciate compliments but there is a way it can be done where I do not feel guilty for looking sexy. It is not elaborate. It is not complicated. It is actually quite simple.
Blackdoctors.org had a reason for displaying Soror Adjah the way they did. They were not trying to display how sexy she was
she really is. Rather they were proving a point…ditch the scales because sometimes it interferes with one’s weight loss goals. You can check out that post here. I salute my Soror for just having twin boys and maintaining a fabulous body. I want that body and I will be doing my damnest to get it. Check out her blog to see how you too can get that body. Here is to being healthy and being able to display that healthy, sexy body without being called a tease.
Words of wisdom: Women who love themselves are threatening; but men who love real women, more so.” ~Naoimi Wolf
Pictures courtesy of:
Dr. Katrina Sparks
Well said, Soror.
First of all, you should not write when you are angry. It is certainly OK to write passionately; but, not angrily. Just my views on blogging and other forms of human communication. What happened to “Black is Beautiful?” What happened to women are beautiful? When I see my wife in our room getting dressed, it remains a breathless moment for me. There are many wonderful reasons to be married and seeing my wife in various stages of presentation counts high on my list. Am I sexualizing her? You bet! And, she still likes to be looked at even in her mid-fifties. She also carries a philosophy that she can take care of herself and that some people “live to be offended” and she is not going to live in that state of mind. I call her; “She Who Must Be Obeyed!” She even has a coffee cup with that saying printed on it.
First, lets not take me being angry literally. Second, Black is beautiful. I know this. You know this. The whole world knows this even though many refuse to accept it as being fact. Third, while I can appreciate you sexualizing your wife here’s the thing….she’s YOUR wife. If anyone should be sexualizing her, it should be you. As a black woman, I do not want to be the next Saarjite Baartman AKAThe Hottentot Venus. While there may be things that I do that are sexy, does not mean that I am intentionally out to tease you. Why should I be accused of purposely trying to tease you?
Would you mind much being sexualized (or whatever that really means) if it made you a living such as an entertainer or supermodel? If you earned $1000+ an hour to expose ankle and thigh and things on high, would you be so infuriated? If someone says; “you look great in that dress;” would you be offended or flattered that you selected well when you went shopping for just the right thing to wear that evening? If you walk into a room at a social event and men stop their conversations in mid-sentence because they gazed upon you and were so stunned, they could not talk and even breathing becomes a major effort to keep from passing out. Even other women look at you with envy and slap their dates (husbands) on the arm for staring! Do you feel sexualized and objectified or what? I suspect that deep in your heart, you feel the or what!
Explain the paradox of a woman who spends hours to make herself stunning and then when the stunned audience react to that radiance, the woman wants to hold up her hand and say; “Oh no, you don’t!” I see celebrities act the same way; they seek fame and instant recognition; but, as soon as the public stares at them and takes pictures of them and approaches them for an autograph, those same celebrities who dreamed of fame then act offended that people are admiring them in public. Geez! Make up your minds, girls!
Dr. Michael W. Popejoy
Dr. Popejoy, I had to read your comments several times because I am sleepy and wanted to make sure that I was reading right.
1) My post was not talking about entertainers or supermodels. My post specifically focused on black women. One black woman in particular who happens to be an excercise guru and her attire. It focused on how because of the way that she dressed people (mostly men) conjured that she was trying to tease them.
2) I don’t earn money to expose my body so that inference doesn’t make any sense.
3) When I go out, I look good for guess what…ME. I don’t wear make-up for anyone but myself. My self-esteem is that high. I don’t require anyone to tell me that I look good. My mirror does that before I close my eyes and when I open them.
4) I am not talking about a simple compliment. There is nothing wrong with someone be it man/woman telling a woman that she is beautiful. But we are not talking about a simple compliment. We are talking excessive. Not everyone is looking beautiful for you. So again I say stop sexualizing us and blaming us for your behavior.
I suppose my point was if you made your living as a model, would you take this position on women and how they dress and why. I suppose that the woman you were referring to, like you, dresses in a way that satisfies her self-esteem. You are both just different. And, your reference to my behavior; well, my behavior is always as gentlemanly as possible and I do not whistle or cat-call or whatever you would want to call it when men get out of control. You say you dress to suit yourself. I can agree with that motive; however, if you got a lot of negative comments would you change your style? Ummm! That is possible. We do dress for acceptance and that is a sociological reality as we follow certain norms today. I dress to satisfy myself certainly but also if someone said; “where did you get that coat? What were you thinking?” Then based on how important that person was to me, I suppose that coat is headed for Good Will for sure!
Anyway, maybe we should not criticize other people so much about things that we all seem to be working on ourselves.
Dr. Michael W. Popejoy
I know what women want but just won’t tell. They want to enter a room at a club, a bar, a party, or the apartment of a friend who is having a social event; and, you want to have heads turn, yes, but more than that, you want to walk past that one man you notice and as you pass, just touch his hand, very briefly in passing, and he feels you, smells your expensive perfume you spent a fortune for, looks at your Prada shoes; and as you pass, you want him to come as close to cardiac arrest as possible without actually having to call paramedics. You want his heart rate to uptick, his breathing to become labored and catching in his throat, you want his skin to flush as his blood pressure heads dangerously high; you want him to try to find a seat nearby because his leg muscles are weak and his knees are shaking. You want him totally devastated by being in the same room with him. Maybe a blessing from the Gods will happen and you will circle back with a drink in your hand just to talk to him a bit and he will desperately attempt to hold a conversation, but it won’t be easy because there you are in that dress with that perfume destroying his manhood.
So, girls, please give me a break!! My heart has been broken way too many times by women who do it just because they can.
Dr. Michael W. Popejoy
This is ridiculous, i do not understand how women get angry for being sexualized and angry for not being sexualized.. wtf?….lmao … look when men see women they also see their shape, which mind you WAS DESIGNED TO LOOK SEXY AND SEXUAL SO THAT THE MEN CAN HAVE SEX WITH THE WOMAN AND REPRODUCE…… hell thats where we all come from… get over it already…
I think you are confusing being thought as sexy with sexualization. They are two things. I have NEVER heard of a woman being upset over not being sexualized. Please give an example?
The natural order of things has nothing to do with the blatant disrespect that some women receive. We are more than tits and ass. We are more than our voluptuous bodies. WE ARE MORE!
Really? … Well then the way women dress, today especially begs to differ with what you have “not heard” versus what women do.
Yes you are more that’s in the simplest sense the truth. But if women are more why is it that they make it a point to advertise their fits and ass in public, online or wherever the hell they please ? Can you please answer me that because maybe I don’t get it….. Women say they are more but their own actions beg serious questions.
yes i agree fully with you,women are more than tits and ass. But if they continuously play towards that (tits and ass), by dressing in such a manner as to exhibit their “assets” carelessly and at times without any restraint or consideration for how it might cause discomfort to others, then whatever disrespect they earn is bordering on earned…. if i dressed like a hobo and i get treated like a hobo, no disrespect there.. so if a woman dresses in a “sluttish” or inappropriate manner….. I rest my case….