Saturday, September 10, 2016

Can we all give Kanye a break...

Fashion week is here with the usual confusion and hullabaloo that real world people could care less about. 

But something that actually did strike a nerve recently happened in an unexpected fashion line. 

Formerly woke, supposedly turned broke rapper Kanye West recently released his casting requirements for his upcoming fashion show, requesting "multiracial models". This, of course, was a huge shock and what some would consider a step back for models of color, especially deeper shades. In the past, it seemed that Kanye would go to great lengths to include models of color. This season, it appears that he has changed his, ahem, aesthetic tastes.

There of course was the usual backlash and fall out. Writers within and outside of fashion noting that this thinly veiled excuse for creativity was nothing more than a cover (see through at best) for Kanye's desire to have fairer toned models. 

However, I see this as a teachable moment.

First off, we cannot be mad at Kanye for being colorist:

We cannot expect a guy like Kanye to see the beauty in our shades. Remember, people, this is the same rapper who once said " And when he get on, he'll leave yo' ass for a white girl." And then did exactly that. We cannot expect Kanye to see the beauty of a culture of women whom he has long since abandoned. 

But even with all of that, his Yeezy Season 4 was STILL an all Black show, (which I am sure we will get a very Kanye answer about in the coming weeks).

What I am saying is that Kanye is obviously a colorist and obviously it has impeded his own views about his own people... 

And that's fine. 

It is his show after all and he is entitled to do what he wants in his show...

But just because Kanye cannot see the beauty in you, Black woman, doesn't mean that (a) there is no beauty to see or (b) that others don't see it too. 

And its not his job, or anyone else's for that matter to see the beauty in Black women. 

That's our job. We need to see out own beauty. We need to fall in love with our own features and people. We cannot expect celebrities to take the charge of the responsibility of self love that we as a culture are responsible for.

I mean can we, as a people be the same group who are angry at Kanye for initially wanting fairer skinned models AND simultaneously make mean comments about Blue Ivy's Africanized features? 

No. We can't, at least not while being taken seriously. 

But this is ultimately a crime we are as a race guilty of. We live in the dichotomy of wanting Black to be beautiful, but only if that brand of Black favors White features. And while we are proud that our people are a literal walking rainbow, we cannot forsake the darker shades in favor of the fair ones.

We cannot simultaneously hate our features and then be mad for those in our community to not see the beauty in our features.

We as a people need to make a choice, either continue down the path of self hatred and culture pollution that we are currently on, or stand for the beauty that we all know that we possess.  

It's not Kanye's responsibility, it's ours. Make a choice.
(Photos from Pinterest)