Sad to say, but the troubling issue of self-hatred in the African-American community is rearing its ugly head yet again.
The internet has been aflame with chatter about the facial features of Blue Ivy, Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby girl and the release of Eric Benet’s provocative new song, “Redbone Girl.”
After a recent picture of baby Blue Ivy circulated on the web, numerous Facebook and Twitter posts, some from black folks, attacked her for having "big lips” and the potential for her developing a “wide nose” like her father…hmm.
Then there’s Eric Benet’s recent release of “Redbone Girl” featuring Lil Wayne in which a light-skinned female is celebrated in the song.
Though Benet doesn’t say the woman is superior because of her skin tone, many feel that the fact that he personally secured Lil Wayne for the tune, the target of a recent boycott for derogatory statements on dark-skinned sisters, is a thinly-veiled attempt to move record sales by creating a color controversy.
Two things need to be said. First, attacking a baby for her beautiful God-given features is insane. I’ve rarely, if ever, heard of any other group of people consistently attacking their own racial or ethnic characteristics, especially those of their children.
Secondly, how we address the issue is significant. As several journalists recently pointed out, it’s insincere for Mr. Benet to suggest it’s a positive thing that we are having this discussion on color after provoking a controversy that he is simultaneously benefiting from…
Many of you’ve heard me say that we need to deal with and heal from the unfortunate skin tone issues in our community. However, we need to do so sincerely and honestly, rather than through some gimmick to sell records.
We need to question how we see ourselves, and what our current standards of beauty are.
We need to celebrate who we are and teach our children to do the same so that they don’t grow up hatin’ on a beautiful baby with features like themselves.
It’s time we free ourselves from this tired mentality that has us looking in the mirror and hating who we see.
Fortunately, there are groups out there, like the Community Healing Network, committed to building a movement for psychological freedom for black people. You can see what they’re doing at communityhealingnet.com.
Let us know what you think about this issue.
I’ll close with a quote from writer Akiba Solomon who, in a recent Colorlines piece on Blue Ivy, offered this:
“I hope, in our media-saturated, appearance-obsessed society that is still so wounded by white supremacist aesthetics, baby Blue will find peace and joy in the simple act of living, no matter what she looks like.”
Until next time, this is Stephanie in love and hope.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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