*It may be rare for a white girl to put “her own” on blast in support of a black girl, but that’s exactly what one blogger did, when haters of #BlackGirlsRock took to social media to show their distaste for the hashtag.
Responding to this tweet in particular: “It’s funny that if this hashtag was #WhiteGirlsRock instead of #BlackGirlsRock it would be considered RACIST,” Huffington Post blogger Olivia Cole wrote in a scathing rebuttal that cites tangible examples of how the media uses Caucasian features as THE standard of beauty that she admits are “…reinforcements of your identity that you take for granted.”
Delving into the lack of diversity in television, film and other media platforms, Cole tells detractors they should take the blinders off.
Here is her eloquent rebuttal.
Let me tell you something, white folks. From one white person to another.
You are in everything. 99 percent of Hollywood movies feature your faces. 99 percent of magazine covers are covered in you. The Emmy Awards and Oscars are almost entirelyyou. If you Google “beautiful people” the screen is covered in white faces. Black girls (and boys) are taught from birth that there is one version of beauty, and it is you. Many black girls go their entire lives thinking they are ugly, thinking they need to be lighter, straighter, whiter in order to have value. Everything that you see every day that reaffirms your whiteness; every commercial that has a nice white lady embodying the perfect “mom;” every magazine that has blue eyes and bone-straight hair; every Hollywood blockbuster that has a leading lady with skin never darker than Halle Berry… all of these things are reinforcements of your identity that you take for granted.
You may be fat. You may have hair that curls up at the ends. You may even have acne. But your face is everywhere. Your people are everywhere. What in your heart recoils when you see Black Girls Rock? What bone in your body sees empowerment for black girls and thinks “that’s not fair”? Where is your bitterness rooted? What do you think has been taken from you when women of color are uplifted?
All of the things you take for granted are what you’re protecting when you shout down Black Girls Rock: your whiteness, the system that upholds your face as the supreme standard of beauty, your place in the center of a culture that demands people of color remain hidden in the margins, present but only barely and never overshadowing the white hero/heroine. Your discomfort with black girls who rock tells me that you prefer the status quo: you prefer for black faces to remain hidden, you prefer for America’s heroes to have white faces, you prefer for black actresses to wear aprons and chains.
This is not to say that white girls don’t rock. I’m white. I kind of rock. But this conversation isn’t about you, it isn’t about us. Why must everything always be about us? It doesn’t have to be. And it shouldn’t be.
From one white person to another… please sit down. Queen Latifah is on and you’re blocking the screen.
BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. is 501(c)3 non-profit youth empowerment and mentoring organization established to promote the arts for young women of color, as well as to encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media. Their annual awards show recently aired on BET. Watch it below.