First, what is a WBW you may be asking, or maybe you are not because you know I have a tendency to be a bit eccentric. In short, ‘WBW’ is an acronym I made up to describe those of us in this mysterious position. It means ‘weird black woman.’ This is where the rant begins…
What we are taught…
In our childhood, we are taught, hell, drilled to be unique. To be the ‘talented tenth’ W.E.B. DuBois wrote so passionately about. “Be U!” “Be Unique!” were supposed to be our mantras and our banners. So we did, we were bold, unique… the problem: being unique meant you were trying not to be black. If I chose to wear my hair natural, I was being too militant to live up to the long locks of Keisha Night Pullum, Jada Pinkett or Sanaa Lathan. That meant I wasn’t trying to fit in or get a man because I would not conform. If I chose to wear my hair in the long tresses, the militant black women would be like: “what’s wrong with your natural hair? Don’t give in to the man.” What do I have now? a faux hawk. Damn the militants and the wanna be cover models, and anyone else. I like it because it is me, it is who I am, and just wait until I get it dyed red and perhaps violet highlights. That makes me unique. That also apparently means that I’m ashamed of my blackness. Why are you trying to be something you are not? This perhaps coming from someone who has left more horses without hair so their tresses can be laid and looking like you stepped out of a magazine? It’s like India.Arie said, I’m not my hair. I choose my hairstyle not based on my skin tone, but how it makes me feel…
The hair debacle is a decades long argument that can go either way, and the truth of the matter is, it’s a stupid argument. If I dye my hair platinum and wore it down to my ass like a mermaid, it shouldn’t matter to you. If I burned down your house and said the hair made me do it, then yes you can make an argument about my hair.
Hair and Race at Hooters (<— Click – Ex-Hooters waitress sues over hairstyle) You can’t apparently work at Hooters with curly hair, or a blonde highlight if you are black.
So I had an extremely difficult time as a young adult, but you would think the more you learn, the more you grow, this type of stuff would just die. It doesn’t.
The Here and Now
My music tastes can range from Usher, Eminem, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Creed, AWOLNATION, Three Doors Down, Tupac, Biggie, Wu-Tang, Redman, and Jay-Z. I can even hum Lady Antebellum and have been known to know the words to a Lady Gaga or a Bonnie Rait song. I like good music. Liking good music apparently makes me weird or not black enough to be in the blackest of black circles. Andre 3000 from Outkast has almost every Metallica album and no one was trying to revoke his black card. Don’t give me a side-eye because I know Jason Mraz and Michel Buble. Either expand your tastes, or don’t say anything. Don’t tread on me or my mp3 player.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not upset, I’m not mad. I’m yelling for everyone to embrace their uniqueness and weirdness. The point of this post is to be a catalyst to take off whatever glasses we are using to see the world, and view it from a fresh perspective that has not been clouded by jack-hole stereotypes. I’m unique, yes. Unfortunately, for me, being black, being unique means you are trying to be everything but black. Since when did blackness and individuality go hand in hand?
My skin color should have absolutely nothing to do with what I wear, how I speak or whom I speak to. It is 2013 people, knock it off. I stand outside with my handsome-as- hell mate, I have cougars looking at him up and down like they want to make off with him to their lair, I really don’t need the drama from some black old man telling me I sold out. I sold out because I don’t want to date a 40-year-old guy with his pants around his ankles, a starter cap and a dew rag? Advice to that particular fogey, I can read four different languages, I can effectively cuss you out in three. Get on my level before you try to criticize my level, mmmm k? I’m an author, I can deal with a negative review. I can’t deal with negativity born and bred out of ignorance.
I’m tired of seeing the same old news reports and articles… Has this person sold out because they cut their hair? Has this person sold out because they dated this person? Its getting old, and actually so are we. We’ve grown the hell up. We are not defined by our skin color, our hair, our parents, or what we eat. I like McDonald’s fries but does that mean I’m a sloth? No, it doesn’t people. We are all different and unique. Whether you are white, black, brown, yellow, blue or green, embrace that part about you that sets you apart from the rest. Only sheep are sheep, we are not sheep. My eyes are not your eyes, my hair is not your hair. Be proud of whatever, whomever you are.
I’ve embraced my weirdness. I relish it. I’ve come to love the fact that people look at me and can’t figure me out. I’m not here to break down walls of stereotypes; I’m here to annihilate stereotypes with TNT, C4, furry boots and red hair.
Sincerely, uniquely yours,
Nevea Lane aka Weird Black Woman