I don’t feed into negative generalizations regarding us–women that is. Instead of cosigning arguments that we all have lip-smacking attitudes, we’re pitifully insecure and we try to claw each other down for fear of losing our top spot; I challenge those stereotypes with examples of how we are kindhearted, confident and supportive, often personifying my claims with celeb examples like Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Kerry Washington.
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Sometimes I get irritated and disturbed by our behaviors to the point where I feel the need to address them. Recently I read an article on supermodel and mogul Tyra Banks and her recent disclosure to Harper’s Bazzar Singapore on how she strongly desires to be a mother. It was a short and sweet post that made mention of Tyra’s monumental strides in the entertainment industry, highlighted a few quotes from her interview and featured a beautiful photo of her smizing and oozing fierceness on the mag’s cover.
Some readers weighed in to express their thoughts on how she waited too late and how she should adopt. While I don’t think Tyra’s decision to wait is anyone’s business, and I don’t agree that she should be obligated to adopt as if it’s some type of civic responsibility, I can respect their opinions. What irritated me though, were the comments made regarding her nose. First of all, her nose had absolutely nothing to do with the context of the article. Secondly, why? Why was it even worth mentioning?
Here we have an icon who’s created historic moments in entertainment for not just women of color, but women in general. She’s considered one of the most successful supermodels of all time; she’s the first Black woman to be featured on the cover of GQ, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and Victoria’s Secret Catalogue; she founded her own production company, Bankable Productions; she won two Daytime Emmy Awards for The Tyra Banks Show; she authored a New York Times best seller novel, Modelland; and ANTM is currently casting for its 20th season. And to think these are only a fraction of the bullet points on Ms. Banks’ resume.
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Still, however, with all of that, someone searched high and low to find the smallest con and comment:
“Hate to be negative but her nose is so distracting. I can’t stand it.”
It seems like it pains us to see our fellow chicks in charge doing their thing and making chief moves, so we do anything to sabotage their glory or refocus attention away from their feats. I see and hear it often while working in this not-so-glamorous-inside-but-seems-glamorous-from-the-outside industry.
I often think how miserable a person must be to constantly find the minor bad in people who’ve undeniably accomplished so much and even opened doors for those behind them, including their harshest critics. I rarely pay ignorance any mind, but for whatever reason, this really bothered me–saddened me even. I guess it was just built up frustration from similar personal situations and the countless others I’ve witnessed.
As cliché and elementary as it sounds, if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything at all. Bottom line. A downer comment isn’t always needed, especially if it is in no way, shape or form constructive. I know that we’re all entitled to form and express our own opinions, but we really need to master the ability to genuinely celebrate each other and our successes. As women, we’ve come so far and accomplished so much; we’re better than playground comments. Stop and do a mental series of questions before you speak if needed: Does what I’m about to say have anything to do with the subject at hand? Is it positive or negative? If negative, is saying it necessary and what will it accomplish?
I have a dream, that one day, I’ll read through the comments of an online mag or blog, and there will be nothing but positive validations.
What’s up with Debbie Downers? Why do you think some of us have an issue with just giving a sincere compliment to each other? Share your take on this with your fellow beauties!
Let’s keep in touch! Follow me on Twitter: @VerityReign
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