… Macc E-Money references Drake’s “Young East African Girl” lyric, presenting black beauty in a limited way and privileging East Africans over other Africans while passing it off as an appreciation of African beauty.
The lines between acceptance, fetishism and exoticism are blurry. It would seem that the primary distinction between black (North American) men, East African men and white men exoticizing East African Girls is that for many white men and even some East African men, the exoticism is firmly rooted in a belief in the racial categories—a belief that race is biological when it is in fact social, and a fetishization and romanticism of our Arab World ties and colonial past. For a lot of black men like Drake, it’s way less insidious. At best, it’s a misguided reinscription of the white standard of beauty through acceptably black women. At worst it’s intra-racial discrimination. Usually, it’s a combination of all these things but if representing, hyping and esteeming women with acceptable blackness is good for all girls—Trickle Down Acceptability, if you will— then we’d probably live in a post-racial world where fairies and dragons and Tupac populated the earth. Sadly, we live in a racist, sexist world where black men and white people can hurt black women in the same ways. Black women hurt black women, too, but differently: we don’t have each other’s back. Those that see themselves represented in the lyrics and the videos, accept it without questioning it. And those who lament the overrepresentation of East African Girls, frequently fail to realize that the “Young East African Girl(s)” of Drake’s lyrics are like all women of color; they are objectified and male-gazed upon in hip-hop. These women are mythic, “exotic” generalized by rappers as the ambASSadors of their ethnicity or nationality. We are an idea rooted in a scant and skewed example— a token— from Drake’s own lived experience, mixed in with a little bit of mainstream imagery and a history that isn’t even our own."
Poetic Justice: Drake and East African Girls Safy-Hallan Farah
(Source: The Huffington Post)
“The monthly publication polled 2,000 women and men on the modern perception of aging attitudes and behaviors. The survey yielded interesting insights about sex (it gets better as you get older), the ideal age (everyone wants to be 31) and going gray (we’re not fans), to name a few. And when it comes to which ethnicity thinks they age the best? African Americans have that in the bag.
Eighty-six percent of the African-American survey takers thought that they aged the best, compared to 81 percent of Asians, 53 percent of Hispanics/Latinos and 46 percent of Whites/Caucasians. We clearly don’t lack self-esteem.
In addition, African-American women also believe that a woman stops looking sexy around the age of 64. That’s approximately 10 years past the sexy “expiration date” given by the rest of the survey participants.”
Haha at this “study” finding this … can I get some GIF responses?!
Dear Black Women Giving Me Hair Advice about My African Daughter: Please Stop - Nancy French
“What began as an artistic curiosity for Deborah Willis turned into a sociological discussion a decade later.
Willis is the curator of “Posing Beauty in African American Culture,” an exhibit opening today at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport.
“I’d been interested in looking at the history of beauty in African-American culture and how it has been basically ignored as a conversation in art,” Willis said from her office at New York University, where she is the chair of and a professor in the photography and imaging department.
“I decided to look at beauty from the aspect of empowering and segregation. During the civil rights movement, there was evidence of people trying to debase black people based on difference,” she continued. “So I wanted to look at beauty in a different way, look how both black and white photographers photographed the black community.”
Willis combed through the photos in the archives of museums throughout the country, including the University of Iowa.
“When I conducted the research, I was amazed at the array of images that were there but had never circulated in a collection,” she said.
She found photographs dating to the 1890s, such as a portrait called “Desert Queen” and a beauty pageant for black women.
“Not objectifying women in terms of objects, but finding a sense of self-worth in a 30-year period after slavery,” Willis said. “People were not looking at them as desirable.”
The traveling exhibit, which continues through Nov. 4, has been touring the country for four years and spawned a book of the same title.
Willis, who will appear at the Figge to discuss the exhibit Sept. 27, said that “idealized beauty” has always been viewed “through the lens of the white woman.”
“That’s the negotiating that causes the basic trouble of how they look at the body,” she said.
The response to the exhibit, she said, has been beyond what she imagined.
“I was thrilled about it, but people were amazed. They were shocked,” she said. “Some people, in terms of blacks, said, ‘I didn’t know we looked like that.’
“It was heartbreaking to hear that.” “