Twitter has erupted with the new discovery of Cosmopolitan’s “21 Beauty Trends That Need to Die in 2015” due to the fact that all the black women included in the article are featured in the “R.I.P.” category or trends that need to go. Such categorization has some publicly encouraging the boycotting of the magazine, while others have taken to the social media site with hashtags like #whatitsliketobeablackgirl. Yet my problem isn’t with the topic of categorization but why it exists to begin with, so in response to Cosmopolitan and all those crying wolf over this “problem” here’s my list of Attitudes That Need to Die in 2015.
1. Playing the victim: While racism in this world does still exist, it is important to know how to choose your battles. Sure there are 4 women in this article who are black, and all of them are in the “R.I.P.” category, but what about the remaining 17 who are either White or Hispanic who are also in this category? They aren’t taking to social media and hashtagging their lives away because it doesn’t matter. Sure as a community we have been dealt some dirty hands, but does this article really compare to the Trayvon Martins of this world? I think not. I mean sure Cosmopolitan has apologized, wonderful, but what about the apologies for all the deaths and injustice? Hmmm…crickets. So take a step back, reevaluate the seriousness of situations, and wonder why you’re worrying about the opinions of shrimp if you consider yourself a shark.
2. Discounting people because of race, features, etc.: One important thing I noticed about the Huffington Post article– which brought my attention to this outrage in the first place– is that they continually discount Nicole Richie’s inclusion in the Cosmo list because she is mixed. The same thing occurred when President Obama first took office as the world continually referred to his Hawaiian/White descent and began to discount him as a black man. However this isn’t just a problem in the media but also in our everyday lives. Just look on social media and you’ll see team light skins and team dark skins, team relaxed, natural, texlaxed, Hatian, Jamaican and everything in between. The constant segregation of our community from the inside needs to stop, and we need to learn to embrace and learn from each others strengths and weaknesses.
3. Instigating: Along with those who play the victim every time a horn sounds are those who add flame to the fire by supporting the ignorance whether knowledgeable or not. Take for instance all those who have retweeted others post on the Cosmo article, and of all those retweets all the incorrect information that was spread. Think of all the individuals who may not have taken the time to view the article themselves, but still tweeted about it just because it was trending.
4. Boxing: Now I don’t mean boxing as in self-defense. By all means if you feel the need to learn to protect yourself, as I feel we all should, do so and have fun while doing it. Feel empowered by doing it, but when you’re boxing people into a stereotype, look or any other aspect of someone’s life just because you think it’s not okay I have to stop you. The whole article is based on styles that some secluded group of people says is out of style. Changing my hair color from ombre to some fancy new dying trick should not be something I’m told needs to “R.I.P.” and it definitely shouldn’t be something I’m put down for. Last time I checked, my capability to shave one side of my head did not become more difficult just because a new year rolled around. Therefore I’d appreciate it if Cosmo and everyone other “fashion magazine” could learn that they have no right to tell me how to dress or do my hair. I understand that it’s all a part of the game, but if that’s the case then change the rules because you have a big enough audience to do so. If you refuse to change the rules, then stop acting like you’re trying to help empower women when every other season you’re telling them that they’re doing “it” wrong: from hair, to love, to smiling, to friending, to posting, to moisturizing, to sex, to family…how is you discounting my judgment suppose to empower me? It’s simply going to conform and destroy me.