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Why We’re Not Feeling the ‘Respectability Memes’ Trend

Avatar • Sep 2, 2015

You’ve seen them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook — memes that divide black women up by respectable vs ratchet, heaping praise on the former and disgust on the latter. They dictate how black women should act and mercilessly shame those who don’t fit the mold, concluding that black women are wholly to blame for the consequences of undignified behavior, including physical and sexual abuse. Black men are, of course, never implicated in these memes and it’s worth noting that many are created by black men.

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respectability meme

photo Rihanna women

actlikeaqueen

too-busy-twerking

Recently, actress Tia Mowry uploaded a meme to her Instagram account that raised some eyebrows. While it likely wasn’t mal‐intended, some felt it reinforced the respectable vs ratchet dichotomy that reigns in black social media.

tiadmowry screenshot

Of course, Nicki Minaj’s fans went in on Mowry for what they felt was a dig. The backlash was so great that Mowry made a statement before deleting the photo from her account altogether.

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Some feel the concept of ‘black respectability’ is actually a positive thing, and would praise the above memes. But in an essay on Hoodfeminism, Loryn C Wilson breaks down why respectability doesn’t really help things, culturally speaking.

Respectability politics is divisive. Point blank.

Everyone remembers that classic scene in School Daze where the Jiggaboos faced off against the Wannabes. That scene demonstrates one of the biggest problems with respectability politics – it’s divisive nature. It further divides Black people into the Bourgeoise versus “them n*ggas over there,” setting a stage where middle and upper class Black people can look at their low‐income brethren–and somehow think they are better than them. If a way of thinking makes me treat one of my own with anything less than love and compassion, then I don’t want to subscribe to it. We need approaches that bring us closer together, that can lift us up as we climb. If it doesn’t unify us, we don’t need it.

Respectability politics dehumanizes Black people, especially women.

As it’s been noted before, if a white woman proudly and publicly embraces her sexuality, white people praise her as an example of sexual empowerment and body positivity. However, when a Black woman does the same, those people treat her as though she is less of a woman. People are quick to police our bodies and tell us that we are ugly, fat, unlovable bitches.

Saartjie Baartman is an early example of this. She was an African woman held in captivity like a circus animal, made to perform for white people on account of her voluptuous body. For a small fee, whites could watch her perform and even touch the “Hottentot Venus.” And this was simply because of the way her body is shaped – a characteristic that she had no control over. There are countless modern‐day examples of this – from Beyonce getting her ass smacked by a fan during a performance to Nicki Minaj having the same thing done to her by Regis Philbin on national TV.

Respectability politics suggests that only certain Black people are even worthy of respect to begin with.

Implicit in telling black men to “pull up their pants” or a black women to “keep their legs closed” is the idea that if they do not do these things, then they can’t or shouldn’t be respected. Oftentimes on Facebook, I see the meme of young black men with sagging pants alongside a picture of young black men dressed in suits from the 1960s with the caption “Back then men were real men.” But here’s the problem with that: During the Civil Rights Movement (and even before), Black people wore suits, pressed their hair, and were still beaten and killed – so why even compare? The way one wears their hair or clothes, the way they express themselves, the choices they make—none of these things should be used as a litmus test for respect given or denied.”

How do you feel about respectability memes?

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About Rinny

Texan by birth, Los Angeleno by situation. Lover of Tame Impala and Shoegaze music. Comedian by trade. Macaroni and Cheese connoisseur by appetite.

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Yabbyrella
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Yabbyrella

I can’t get mad at these memes. I see how divisive they are, but everyday I get on instagram and see so many displays of exhibitionism from women. I find it so disheartening how common this has become. Bodies are sacred, not to be paraded around for ‘likes’ and attention.

Gemma OB
Guest
Gemma OB

Keep on corrupting people … this is a generation where absolutely everything is ok for you to do and nobody has the right to say no. Do people not have a right to believe in modesty and dignity? Believing in modesty and self‐respect is not always equivalent to ‘slut‐shaming’. Don’t force your opinions on others just because nakedness is the new trend.

Alevi Cross
Guest
Alevi Cross

I couldn’t agree more.. there’s a fine line between “It’s your body, do what you want” and “inappropriate and trashy” yet if you say someone is being inappropriate and trashy when they really are you are “slut shaming”. We live in a society where everything is excused. Heck I would never believe a lot of people support pedophilia (or in their case “age is just a number”) I’m sick of it. There are absolutely no rules anymore, luckily there are still a couple of people with their minds straight. What next bestiality? “Oh it’s just 2 species :)”

SKEEWEE
Guest
SKEEWEE

That’s what I’m screaming! Pedophilia will be accepted in increasing numbers and next, bestiality. There is already a “respected” professor at Harvard who is preaching that there are “safe” and “harmless” ways that ppl can have sex with animals. We live in such a gross society, smh.

india?
Guest
india?

self respect is called SELF respect for a reason.
Just because they don’t “respect” themselves they way you do does not mean they don’t respect themselves. It is a very subjective and self defined.

Brandee Williams
Guest
Brandee Williams

Yeeeeeeeeessssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elowwole
Guest
Elowwole

I hate those things. I hate to see women sharing them even more. People deserve respect and the freedom to live their lives any way they choose as long it isn’t hurting someone else.

omfg
Guest
omfg

people deserve basic human rights and the type of respect that comes along with that. some of the people in these photos don’t necessarily deserve anything more.

OveR it
Guest
OveR it

So you feel OK in deciding what people do and don’t deserve. You see there are already people deciding what you do and don’t deserve simply because your skin has melanin. Who are you helpinghere?

Mrs0507
Guest
Mrs0507

I like the “shaming”.

Lovelyevenstar
Guest
Lovelyevenstar

Sorry BGLH I can’t totally agree with this. I get the separation thing amongst ourselves. It is never ok to treat someone badly because of their differences. However having always been admittedly kind of old fashioned in my ideas as far as decency, manners and modesty (not to mention raised by devout parents) I can’t honestly say that the respectability memes are such a bad thing. Maybe its going about it in the wrong way but then again showing major contrasts tends to grab more attention. And I for one long to see more of that respectability in todays girls//ladies‐not… Read more »

Toniette
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Toniette

Well said.

Lovelyevenstar
Guest
Lovelyevenstar

Thank you Toniette 🙂

Tia
Guest
Tia

I feel like you are correct in saying you are incredibly old fashioned in your ideas. Valuing oneself is not attached to sexuality. A prostitute can have high value for herself and demand respect from her clients in many countries where her rights are protected and legalization has made her job safer. Respecting and loving your body doesn’t mean you have to cover it up. It definitely doesn’t mean that because a girl dresses one way she intends to be disrespected. What do you mean explicit any way? At one point explicit meant showing your ankle. Nudity is only taboo… Read more »

Lovelyevenstar
Guest
Lovelyevenstar

Hi Tia, I would disagree about the ‘incredibly’ part of my old fashioned when it seems many of the other commenters agree about modesty and respecting ones body. Dressing a certain way may not have that intention but I think we all know how its interpreted usually hence why it puts forth the wrong measage. And Im not referring to back in the past when it meant showing your ankle obviously. Nor did I say anything about the human body being shameful. I do not believe that. Only that value is something that has to be shown and displayed whether… Read more »

Elowwole
Guest
Elowwole

You better say that Tia! Respectability is only a way of determining that some people are inherently worth freedom and protection while deeming anyone who falls short of the ever changing rules of respectability are unworthy.

Saying a woman should dress or act only in certain ways in order to be treated like a person is EXACTLY like saying police won’t kill Black people if they dress and act only in certain ways. It’s all a lie.

Tia
Guest
Tia

I feel like you are correct in saying you are incredibly old fashioned in your ideas. Valuing oneself is not attached to sexuality. A prostitute can have high value for herself and demand respect from her clients in many countries where her rights are protected and legalization has made her job safer. Respecting and loving your body doesn’t mean you have to cover it up. It definitely doesn’t mean that because a girl dresses one way she intends to be disrespected. What do you mean explicit any way? At one point explicit meant showing your ankle. Nudity is only taboo… Read more »

Askia 'Ski' Ahmad Smith
Guest
Askia 'Ski' Ahmad Smith

C’mon Tia, go to worldstar and tell me what you see is self‐respect. Really? Stop it. Just stop…lol You talking about other countries? What country have you been to? It’s about PROPAGANDA, it’s about IMAGE…What other culture in the WORLD (since you want to tell us what’s going on overseas) constantly puts out the same image of it’s people over and over. What other race of people out there have the image that they try to portray us as? Like I said just stop. I get that women should own their own sexuality, but you reaching hun..seriously…

Askia 'Ski' Ahmad Smith
Guest
Askia 'Ski' Ahmad Smith

Ok, Tia..I didn’t mean to disrespect you..After re‐reading your comments once again I get it. Women should OWN their own bodies. But where is the line? Is there a line? Does self‐respect mean nothing to today’s generations? What are we to do? Help me with ideas..Yeah these memes may rub some the wrong way, but how do we get this message across without offending anyone?

Camille
Guest
Camille

If someone truly valued their body, then it wouldn’t be for sale and constantly exposed to whatever STD’s her clients may have. Anyone can say they respect themselves but actions speak louder than words. There is more evidence that prostitutes are treated worse in countries where it is legal.

Also, it’s not just the nudity and skimpy clothes, it’s associating with men who devalue (and make money off of) nude women with skimpy clothes. What other women think of them is the least of their problems.

Felina Femenina
Guest
Felina Femenina

Another question none of these women seems to ask herself is, how come men don’t wear skimpy, revealing clothes? Does the fact that men rarely publicly show of their body mean that men don’t own their bodies and their sexuality, suffer internalized sexism and are ashamed of their manhood?? The argument just does not make logical sense. How ridiculous. These women call it “pride,” “feminism,” owning their bodies and sexuality when they are half‐naked and renting their bodies out to men to perform sex acts on. How convenient for men that these women’s “feminism” so perfectly aligns with what certain… Read more »

Camille
Guest
Camille

Keeping company with men who openly disrespect them while profiting off of their bodies is the real reason why these women are not respected. I know they are often sexual abuse survivors but as long as they continue to let men publicly exploit them, their status won’t change in most people’s eyes. There are many women who are comfortable with their sexuality/sensuality and even nudity who don’t have men around calling them names. I didn’t see any of those women in these memes or being called names in general and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I would be curious… Read more »

omfg
Guest
omfg

your argument is the kind that so annoys me. it’s the argument that likes to ignore the realities of life. i have a pre‐teen girl in my family with breasts large enough that she has a lot of cleavage. she wears low cut tank tops. by your logic, and that of so many of people who agree with you, it’s nothing for her to be spilling out of her shirt so that grown men can stare at her. because, you know, they should be responsible for their stupid actions. we shouldn’t “body shame” a growing 12 year old girl into… Read more »

SKEEWEE
Guest
SKEEWEE

You don’t keep your treasure out for all to see and take from it. What is valued is kept sacred, not freely shared.

Askia 'Ski' Ahmad Smith
Guest
Askia 'Ski' Ahmad Smith

you said exactly what i said, but more eloquently, and less profanity…lol

Elle P.
Guest
Elle P.

Again, we will have find ways to shame one another as black people. I am guilty of having this mentality too. Judging by the memes, Tia Mowry’s in particular I can relate to. She is not judging the other girls by their clothing or life choices. I think she was basically saying that she relates more to Denise Huxtable/Lisa Bonet, in terms of style and mannerisms. I could definitely relate to that because I don’t wear tight form‐fitting clothing, I listen to ALL kinds of music, and I have two college degrees (and a ton of student loan debt!). The… Read more »

bri
Guest
bri

LOL I cannot at the faux outrage from the writer of this article. The part that especially makes me laugh is the idea that telling people what they probably need to hear (but won’t accept anyway) is “divisive”, like there was ever a chance that many of the type of women depicted in these memes were ever going to unite with anyone or any cause that didn’t serve their personal interests. It’s kind of amazing that people still don’t realize that different goals, interests, upbringings and POVs will always ensure that any ethnic group will pretty much NEVER “unite”. You… Read more »

Camille
Guest
Camille

I think it’s equally damaging to send young girls the message that strippertainment is respectable. I honestly wouldn’t care if I never saw another black woman in booty shorts or a non‐swimming bikini again.

SKEEWEE
Guest
SKEEWEE

Thank you! I completely agree!

Hgoud
Guest
Hgoud

But it’s not disrespectful either and that’s the point of this post. And do you find Black bodies that disgusting?

Camille
Guest
Camille

There is nothing wrong with the bodies themselves or the women, but the idea that it’s ok to associate with men who degrade women that look and dress like you if that’s your preferred look. You can’t dress like that, date men who call you degrading names, and appear in videos with lyrics that put you down without appearing to cosign on what is being said about you. The price is high in that exchange. Our bodies are priceless. There are women who showcase their bodies in beautiful non‐degrading ways and I don’t have a problem with them. Have ANY… Read more »

cryssi
Guest
cryssi

The reason why I agree with this article is not that I support young girls idolizing strippers or Nicki.

It’s that I don’t believe we should raise young men who believe that those women are good and these women are bad. It sets a precedent that you can treat these women however you see fit. They’re not worth more than the amount of clothes that they wear.

Askia 'Ski' Ahmad Smith
Guest
Askia 'Ski' Ahmad Smith

For clarification purposes, I must say I don’t agree with ‘shaming’ ANY of our people in a public format such as online. I went off the cuff emotionally on my last post because this article is saying that self respect is a BAD thing, which is what we’ve been hearing for years. But unfortunately this is the best way to get information out on a mass scale. NO I don’t want ANY of our men/women to feel less than, but it’s like damn what the hell am I supposed to do? I just saw a video on worldstar that had… Read more »

india?
Guest
india?

Sometimes women are empowered by showing off their attributes. And some women are empowered by covering them up. Both women should be respected.

Summer
Guest
Summer

Amen

Laddidi
Guest
Laddidi

Nah!

Fix it
Guest
Fix it

Yea ummm no …don’t see anything wrong with telling someone to value themselves and get there life together

Elle P.
Guest
Elle P.

Here is a question/thought: Who created those memes? I have a feeling it was probably a dude…

draleighr
Guest
draleighr

how many memes about men have you seen ?

Happy
Guest
Happy

I do believe it’s important to educate women of their worth and how they don’t necessarily need to do certain acts on social media for attention and/or maintain a sense of decency. However, I don’t think these memes are being used to genuinely teach the difference. It is a form of shaming because the memes are emplying that the women who are “Instagram models” etc are not worthy of equal respect which is untrue and unfair because they are women too. And if you really want to get technical, based on my college days, there were plenty of women who… Read more »

lis
Guest
lis

Sucks teeth”.…..I bet most if not all were created by Black males.…which makes me laugh and gag considering the state of Black manhood everywhere in this world …yet they think they can stand in judgement over Black women and Black women pay attention to these __________ and then internalize this and police other Black women.…who do they think they are and when will Black women woman up and tell them to f off?.…and yes I do believe in self respect and human dignity.…that’s self evident not respectability politics.…

LC
Guest

I don’t see any problem with any of these memes. If one knows she is not the woman that are badly portrayed by these memes she shouldn’t feel targeted. I don’t see the correlation between embracing our bodies/sexuality and posing half naked on the street or on social media. I do see the correlation between this type of behavior, the media pushing that “fake‐feminism” to justify that the least a female celebrity wears clothes the better, and the fact that with social media people feel as though they are somewhat famous as well so they can imitate what’s done in… Read more »

Hgoud
Guest
Hgoud

What you consider inappropriate is not considered inappropriate by everyone. Dressing a certain can’t shame bodies; that’s not a thing.

LC
Guest

Well TG some people share my vision of what’s appropriate or not. What I call inappropriate is not wearing a mini skirt, heels, or form‐fitting high waisted jeans. But would you sincerely see a girl dressed like a funky Yung Thug video model on the street and not look at her funny? There’s a line and the lack of originality won’t change that. Funny because the other day I asked myself what other species doesn’t need clothes and the and the answer is animals. And I never saw a man half naked on the street. I’m not sure what you… Read more »

SKEEWEE
Guest
SKEEWEE

I don’t agree with all aspects of this post; I feel that from the beginning of time, you have to give respect to get it. Everyone does NOT deserve respect. Kevin Gates does not deserve respect because of the way he kicked an 18 year old girl in the chest after she merely reached out to touch him, Dr. Dre does not deserve respect due to his abuse toward women, and how can a young man whose pants are halfway past his knees demand respect, or be taken seriously? The way one behaves or presents themselves usually determines if they… Read more »

draleighr
Guest
draleighr

most of them started being aimed at black males , and no one had a problem , but as soon as memes come out geared towards the lost flock of our women , then it’s a problem ? then you have to ask yourself where are the many many memes geared towards men in this post ? stop trying to do or compare to white women , and use them as the staple we have to much of that already .

lis
Guest
lis

@dra…SHUT UP!.……and GO AWAY!.….and “our women”.…do you own “us”.…With the state of Black manhood you males have no right to berate and sit in judgement of ANYONE.….who do you all think you all are?.…

MaatMachina
Guest
MaatMachina

Just know this.…MEDIA about us IS NOT controlled by us beyond the blog le vel.. and sometimes not even that.
Na k in the day there were hussies,fast girls loose women. Come on. Just realize they didnt have social media or cell phones

ladydulayne
Guest
ladydulayne

My issue with memes like this is that is very likely black men are creating them and I feel that black people as a whole receive enough judgement, criticism and hatred from everywhere else; we need to love, respect and embrace each other more, not less, no matter the class we perceive. I see these kind of memes a lot on Facebook, usually posted by black men and it saddens me that some are so quick to berate black women. Where are the memes about how wonderful, loving, beautiful and successful we are? Also interesting to me is that I… Read more »

Jane Doe
Guest
Jane Doe

They shame the college/professional type too — just last evening I watched a video with professional, in‐shape, attractive black women and was shocked at all the hateful comments from black men. Mainly they were saying that these women were only good to be used and left so they could grow old alone with their degrees. They berated the women who expressed that they would like to have a college educated husband as well — they thought that they were too full of themselves for wanting that. Mind you, these women were beauties as well as educated so that was not… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Guest

Those black men with the list of putting black women last in terms of value, on a video about black college educated women is the epitome of self‐hate. These types of self‐hating black men are a dime a dozen now, and they proudly express their self‐hate any chance they get.

Seeing how this was done under such a video, should make this level of self‐hate that these black men were expressing (under the guise of “valuable women”), even more apparent.

Self‐hating black men are a lost cause.

lis
Guest
lis

Unfortunately(for them).…they hate themselves (oh well).…they are jealous of and compete with Black women and are trying to demoralize Black women(like they themselves feel).….Black women need to realize and SEE this so they can free themselves and look out for themselves…put themselves as women first.…and get away from anyone who devalues them whether family, friends or so called ‘brothers’.

DLB
Guest
DLB

It is the Black American man that is mostly doing this & Black American men are not denouncing it. It is unfortunate to say ladies, but we are on our own to change this.

Beatrice
Guest
Beatrice

The real problem with these memes is that they are designed to make modest girls feel better about themselves by making the immodest ones feel worse. If the aim is to encourage girls to cover up, they have failed miserably. The targeted people would probably dress even worse just to make a point. Also, as much as I would prefer all women to be fashionably modest, I HATE the policing of female dressing.

Oratilwe
Guest
Oratilwe

I hate these kind of memes x_x goodness. I wish we could all realise that your sexuality and your sexyness doesn’t lessen the amount of respect you deserve. You could mess with twenty guys and seventeen girls as a woman and still get that PhD. You could sit home and wait for marriage before you give it up and still be president. It doesn’t matter what you do with that boots as long as you’re making a positive difference and NOT OBJECTIFYING YOURSELF. I really wish people would get that and stop slut shaming and hypersexualising everything found on the… Read more »

Happywife Taylor
Guest
Happywife Taylor

I understand this article. We all say that we want a real man. A real man wouldn’t go after women who act and dress like this. You are how u present yourself to the world. Keep it classy. Just because u can dress like a hoe doesn’t mean u should.

Jane Doe
Guest
Jane Doe

Is it the norm? Does the average black woman in the US dress in boy shorts and twerk on the train? I am not even American and I know it cannot be true — so why even bother to portray it?
In fact, the girl with the diploma is more reflective of black women in the US according to the figures — they have overtaken every other female demographic in rate of college attendance.

lis
Guest
lis

Exactly.……most if not all Black women I know, see, interact with are nothing like this…who are these women they are talking about.…I’ve never even seen Black women twerking in real life or any of the other crap.…maybe on youtube.

Flash Cloud
Guest
Flash Cloud

There are plenty of ones dividing black men too. The pants sagging vs king marching comes to mind.

Kelli Lomas Roberts
Guest
Kelli Lomas Roberts

Perhaps the bigger issue at hand is the objectification of women in general. Historically women, black, Latin, white etc. have been treated as objects as opposed to individuals whose opinions and views should be considered and respected. Perhaps we (women, especially) should begin to teach our girls high self‐esteem (mentally, spiritually and physically). Perhaps, we should rear our girls in such a way that they have a choice in EVERY aspect of their lives, including what they want to embrace about themselves. Perhaps, we can teach them they don’t exist to please others or for the attention of others, but… Read more »

Raven Archer
Guest
Raven Archer

To accept and love your own body down to every last patch of skin to the point of being proud and confident in showing it shows that one values themselves. It is the OTHER PERSON LOOKING that tends to decide that “this half‐naked woman is worthless” but who the hell are you to determine someone ELSE’s worth? Sounds like oppressive pecking‐order BULLSHIT that still lets women discriminate amongst women, black women against black women, but the point is UNITY to overcome, not divisiveness. OH and I’m an adult model married to a black man who is a retired Army Private… Read more »

Chevanne
Guest

Social media tends to portray this rose‐colored visage of the past as if women back then didn’t get down. Everything is online now and while some kept their freak on the low, the hypocrisy in shaming someone else for having fun gets to be rampant. I can twerk at the auditorium with my master degree. I can wear short shorts in the summer and still be a positive example to my daughter. People like to create this acceptability line and throw a lot of people over it just for having a little fun. Really, why do you care so much?… Read more »

Cassa Blanca
Guest
Cassa Blanca

Truth just needs to be told sometimes…

Hgoud
Guest
Hgoud

It wasn’t told in this instance.

marsha
Guest
marsha

All the memes just make me sad and I don’t fit either side. women are too quick to shame and look down on each other. like it or not whether we think we are in the respectable category we are actually in the stripper category. the name we give to those other chicks are actually the name we are giving to ourselves. As blacks we should be aware of the divide and conquer. when I see these pictures all I see are black women. I am being told that my sisters are a bunch of losers that just cant seem… Read more »

india?
Guest
india?

Yes. I really hope you aren’t a woman. Nothing is worse then internalized misogyny.

lis
Guest
lis

ITS THE CULTURE!!!!.…These comments.… people are full of it…Blacks accepted rap hiphop even though imo it’s trash and hate music and it’s killing us because blacks do imitate this rap hiphop culture and now want to scream and cry about what these young people have become and or doing?..When have these young women ever heard from Black ADULTS that this rap hiphop crap is sick and wrong?…what kind of people, so called community would have ever accepted such garbage.…and NOW wants to wring it’s hands after this has been going on for decades?…really?

andrea
Guest
andrea

I don’t see how being respectful of yourself and others is a bad thing. A woman’s sexuality is her own business, but does that business have to be on display for everyone to see? People should push boundaries, true, but there also needs to be a thoughtful stop in place for pushing boundaries. Public nudity is not everyone’s cup of tea, so why force people to be uncomfortable with your behavior? Now, certain races aren’t everyone’s cup of tea either but a person’s DNA is non‐negotiable. A person’s behavior is absolutely negotiable. I won’t wear a low cut top in… Read more »

Hgoud
Guest
Hgoud

Dressing a certain way can’t be disrespectful or respectful to one’s self; that’s not a thing. How one chooses to decorate her body is her choice. Why can’t you accept that people are not created to make you comfortable? If you feel uncomfortable, simply get over it and move the hell on. When a person censors how they choose to decorate their bodies to make others feel comfortable, they deny themselves the basic freedom of dressing how they would like. If you feel like they are disrespecting themselves even though they are completely satisfied with their wardrobe, that says more… Read more »

CommonVillage
Guest
CommonVillage

And that’s the attitude that is permeating this country and making women argue against decency. SMH.

Lee
Guest
Lee

So do I. If your actions/dress is shameful, you should
be shamed and ashamed!

Ms. Vee
Guest
Ms. Vee

I’m down for dividing black women of substance vs the ratchets. Do what you want with your body but do not demand respect for choosing to use it as a public utility.

Antonia
Guest
Antonia

Amen.

Hgoud
Guest
Hgoud

If you choose to disrespect or respect women based off clothing, you’re the one with the problem.

Ms. Vee
Guest
Ms. Vee

Of course. Because being dressed like a prostitute is just so inspiring…

Ms. Vee
Guest
Ms. Vee

Ok…because I would prefer young black girls aspire not look like hookers. But I’m the problem…right.

nik
Guest
nik

So only certain people deserve respect based on what they’re wearing? I can be a terrible person, but so long as I cover my legs its okay? And to simplify it to “substance” vs” ratchet” is ignorant and reductive.

Ms. Vee
Guest
Ms. Vee

Get real. If you conduct yourself like a hoe you will get viewed as such. Don’t be mad because no one looks up to she who shows her private parts to the world.

nik
Guest
nik

Got it, only people you deem worthy by your ridiculous, substance‐less standards deserve respect.

Ms. Vee
Guest
Ms. Vee

Correction: it’s the standard of a respectable society. Hopefully you join one. Now excuse me while I admire the black female doctor and not the pornstar.

nik
Guest
nik

lol. alright. keep being bitter and judgmental in your “respectable society”.

Ms. Vee
Guest
Ms. Vee

I will 🙂

Now return to wonderland and revere the honourable strippers. Cheers.

Janella Dixon
Guest
Janella Dixon

I’m Laughing out loud at these replies. Yes! Being naked for everyone to see is WRONG! If u wanna take it there, it goes back to the beginning of existence when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and realized that they were naked and ran and hid because they then knew what was right and wrong. And being naked was WRONG!

peaches
Guest
peaches

Black girls are everything. In Nigeria in the Yoruba myth of creation, two hundred male Gods (Orisas), along with one female God (Orisa), called Osun, were delegated from the spiritual realm to come and build the earth. The men laboured physically and tirelessly for a long time ignoring Osun who they considered the weaker sex, but they could not achieve their task. Frustrated and exhausted, they returned to the spirit realm to confess that nothing was working for them. They were asked why they did not join their physical efforts with the Ase of the female God (Orisa). That it… Read more »

lis
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lis

LOVE THIS!.…THANK YOU.

Akua
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Akua

This article really made me think. This argument over accepting your sexuality and woman power is all cool. But I would like to point out first that these type of memes don’t apply to only black women, there are many made for white women a well. MILEY CYRUS. Second of all what demands respect is a choice made by individuals. I know and believe that many women who are strippers or are deemed strippers are quite intelligent women. And I respect them for their intelligence and their drive. The men who make these memes are entitled to their own choices.… Read more »

Rachel
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Rachel

Sometimes I feel like I live in an alternate universe with all of this throwing around of terms like body shaming and such. Look we all have common sense. I’m about done with this blog because of this foolishness. The standard has gone down the drain. This next generation being raised up by people who agree with this blog are brain washed. I won’t even go in anymore because I don’t want comment on this anymore.

Persephone Jones
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Persephone Jones

Sandra Bland was not dressed like a stripper when the police arrested her. Respectability and modest dress WILL NOT save Black women from racism, sexism or violence.

Cherie Jtm
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Cherie Jtm

I’m against the whole me & them, and looking down and judging other women because you respect yourself “kind‐of‐thing”. I’m a young woman who respect myself and keep myself from certain things but I will never ever judge any other women or man because I’ve been there before and it was only by the grace of God and the name of Jesus that I found myself in Him when I repented and accepted Jesus into my heart, that my life got turned around and I saw how valuable I am in Him. A daughter of the Most High God, a… Read more »

Toyin Mbachu
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Toyin Mbachu

I see nothing wrong with Tia’s post…I don’t even think that she was making that point.

Jacky
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Jacky

No one is talking about how females who cover up are shamed for being ‘boring’, ‘outdated’ and ‘old‐fashioned’. The pendulum swings the other way as well.. and most times, the shaming is being done by these women who feel the need to expose their bodies. A tear came to my eye when I saw the picture that was posted by ‘Elle P.’ because it describes my life in a nutshell. I’m tired of having my blackness being judged because I dress decently, act responsibly and actually value my education. I was once told, BY MY FELLOW BLACK SCHOOLMATES!, that I’m… Read more »

nik
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nik

But why judge an entire group of people when it was only a few that said those ridiculous things to you? There are plenty of people who dress and act all kinds of ways that wouldn’t be bothered or offended by the things you do and the way you present yourself and there are also plenty of people from both “sides” who will shame others, but there’s no reason to blame and write off someone because people that looked or dressed like them were mean to you. If you applied that to everyone, there’d be no one left to talk… Read more »

Jacky
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Jacky

Thanks for your reply and I’m glad that it all worked out for you.

Sharon Powell
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Sharon Powell

I agree 100%! I face the same ridicule from my family and friends because I don’t eat “black food” (this one makes my blood boil!!). I shop in thrift stores and wear platform shoes (creepers) so I’m weird. I don’t relax my hair anymore so I think I’m African (???) . My favorite is because I prefer Tabasco sauce over hot sauce, I’m not black enough.. it’s hard to agree with those who say “why judge an entire group” when the I get snickering and stares from blacks because I don’t follow along with the trends. What defines being black… Read more »

Ms. A
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Ms. A

These memes are really dividing women against themselves and its highlighting a negative mindset. You have one woman in a bikini versus the First Lady? Black queens versus BLACK SLAVES? No, neither side is right for judging people based on photographs.

Michelle Freeman
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Michelle Freeman

Agreed, these memes seem to be following the old adage of divide and conquer as if they’re trying to breakdown the unity of black females the world over by having us back‐bite and back‐stab each other. There’s no ‘respectability’ in that … just pettiness and jealousy.

Lee
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Lee

lis, thank you for capitalizing ‘Black’ (denoting ethnicity) in your comments; you are a learned person and your knowledge is appreciated.

lis
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lis

I appreciate that…really.…I know I might come off as intense.

Leah
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Leah

I saw nothing wrong with Tea’s post .

Danielle
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Danielle

“…setting a stage where middle and upper class Black people can look at their low‐income brethren–and somehow think they are better than them.” Please. Nikki M. is NOT low‐income. I agree with the meme. As much as some would like to blame the men in our culture for the way our less‐than‐classy women behave, I have to put the ball in our court. They do what we let them do. Those images and dances didn’t create themselves, either. From a personal perspective, I don’t post sexually provocative pictures online, or dress and dance(?) in a way meant to stir up… Read more »

SKEEWEE
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SKEEWEE

You can have high income and still be low class; similarly, one can have low income and be totally classy.

CommonVillage
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CommonVillage

Thank you. I’m so sick of writers trying to say that this is divisive and *poor* black women are being picked on because they can’t afford fancy clothes. No one said anything about fancy. Just clothes with some fabric would be acceptable. I see lots of clothes when I’m in the mall at stores that aren’t high end and those clothes are not all skanky attire.

Hgoud
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Hgoud

How can you compare Dr. Dre and Kevin Gates to the hypothetical examples of men and women you used later on in the post. You judged Kevin Gates based on what he did, not how he dressed. Same with Dre. How a person dresses does not in any way, shape, or form determine whether or not they deserve respect. If YOU CHOOSE to respect or disrespect a person based on how they decorate their bodies + not by what they stand for or how they treat others, you are the one with the problem.

SKEEWEE
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SKEEWEE

My point is that not everyone deserves respect, just like I said. Ppl have to EARN respect. No, I don’t have a problem, bc I treat ppl accordingly, and I garner respect wherever I go bc I present myself in a respectable manner. I don’t disrespect ppl who carry themselves disrespectfully bc I don’t deal with them. The ones with the problem are those who carry themselves poorly and still expect to receive respect. Hopefully, that’s not you.…good day.

Hgoud
Guest
Hgoud

Because that’s the only power they feel they comfortably have. And many Black women subscribe to it as well, not realizing it’s misogyny, and it’s not benefiting them whatsoever.

Hgoud
Guest
Hgoud

How Martin Luther King, Jr dressed and acted, even his religious beliefs didn’t stop him from getting shot and killed. The Little Rock Nine students dressed modestly and still got spat on or cursed at. The victims of the Charleston shooting were at church and probably held the same beliefs, that b/c of the way one dresses, he/she should be treated a certain way, but that didn’t stop them from being shot and killed. In these instances no one gave a crap about what the other was wearing. The attackers didn’t consider wardrobe to be a determining factor on whether… Read more »

SKEEWEE
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SKEEWEE

What are the stats concerning ppl who are in church/well dressed and get shot looking like? Conversely, what are the stats concerning homicides/std/incarceration in ppl who sag their pants/dress like a prostitute? What you have pointed out are exceptions, not the norm.

Janella Dixon
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Janella Dixon

Actually they did consider wardrobe. The examples you named were modestly dressed people because They wanted to make an example out of people who may have had a “POSITIVE” influence on the black community. Not people who are probably already self destructing.

Hgoud
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Hgoud

I also find it interesting that Tia somewhat subscribes to this notion considering the flack she received a while back on the way she “should” style her son’s hair.

Tracienatural
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Tracienatural

Lis, I don’t know your age, but from the comment, it seems like you’re a younger person. Rap/Hip Hop was not always trash and hate music. For years, it was about young people having clean fun. Then, it got political/conscious; when this happened, the establishment decided to infiltrate it. This is when gangsta rap came to the forefront. Thereafter, things took a terrible turn for the worse. Growing up, most adults thought rap music was nonsense, and said so all the time. I’m assuming the adults you are mentioning are the ‘hip hop generation” that are in their 40s, like… Read more »

bellovely
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bellovely

Well this is tricky, I do try to look for information and support ideas that are inclusive. However the Meme is related to Public figures and Celebrities. The argument by Celebrities has been I am not a role model and I can do as I please. But that’s a conflicted perspective you want people to celebrate, admire you, purchase and support your art but don’t get to hold me accountable for what ever I portray as art?? Art is a tool to inform your culture. We present it to inform our people. If many images and videos are of these… Read more »

CommonVillage
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CommonVillage

Thank you!

rainbow
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rainbow

White people call those kinds of women “white trash” , black people don’t discriminate between our “trash” and the others. When white people show what they consider trash, then people look at the “good” white people to represent the white race.

Janella Dixon
Guest
Janella Dixon

I love the BGLH blog, but I have to disagree with this excerpt in particular. Those memes are meant to encourage our community to want better for ourselves and BE better. Unfortunately, displaying it in that manner is the only thing that some people respond to. And an image with a few words is much more receptive than a long drawn out passage. It’s all about breaking the mentality that they programmed into us, and quite frankly, I feel this excerpt is encouraging it. It’s not like they are shaming people for things they can’t control (light vs dark, rich… Read more »

Janella Dixon
Guest
Janella Dixon

And you referenced men in the 1960’s wearing suits and still being lynched. So because they were lynched, that doesn’t make them real men? Thats exactly why they were lynched. For being REAL MEN and challenging the white man and standing up for themselves and their loved ones.

Janella Dixon
Guest
Janella Dixon

I’m Laughing out loud at these replies. Yes! Being naked for everyone to see is WRONG! If u wanna take it there, it goes back to the beginning of existence when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and realized that they were naked and ran and hid because they then knew what was right and wrong. And being naked was WRONG! Why are people being shamed for saying that it is not acceptable? Encourage our Queens to WANT better and to BE better! Don’t give them a pat on the back and make excuses for the behavior! #TUFFLOVE

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