“The sky is falling, the wind is calling,
Stand for something or die in the morning…”
-Kendrick Lamar from the Grammy winning song “I”.
Today’s woman is more insecure now than anyone you or I know can remember before. It’s true, there are more influential women in power than ever before yet the majority of their insecurities that have grown, instead are based on areas that have nothing to do with their intelligence, aggressive ambition, their natural beauty, necessity for equal respect and strong work ethics. Don’t get me wrong I’m not turning this into a female bashing moment by any means at all, I’m simply trying to bring attention to a issue growing among our young women today that may be detrimental to their future if we don’t address it now. I was born into a generation that encouraged women to be more independent, fierce and successful bread winners among being beautiful, even as there was an overwhelming emphasis placed specifically on the need to be considered “Beautiful & Aggressive”. As time passed on and I got older, the evolution of the female ambition grew as well as they began to take on roles definitive to their past accomplishments. We started to see women become as bankable, as dependable, if not more, than their male counterparts. However something changed in the context women that actually became a trend that grew into a phenomenon that could possibly damage the credibility of taking women seriously. In magazines you might see pictures of women looking amazing from head to toe. You will look at the interviews and see that they have become rich and successful through being ambitious and knowing their worth. You start to think “Okay, I can respect this. She obviously built an empire for herself”, so you start to wonder how she got started. Then you begin to back track her beginnings and see that she looks completely different from the woman she is today. Now not everyone starts off from humble beginnings and by all means do what you have to do to change your circumstances but, I’m not talking about that. What I mean is when you notice things that literally jump off the page at you today in her pictures that were not originally there in their older photos. Her lips appear thinner back then. Her nose is wider back then. Her breast size is smaller and you notice that her waist line, hips and butt has obviously become another person since then as well. You begin to ask yourself “Who is this Avatar walking around stuffed inside of her skin today?” It’s like I want to walk up to any one of the adult (Tyga…) Kardashian sisters, gently gripping my hands around the back of their neck and head just to look them deeply in the eyes and say “I would have loved to have known you back when you were really you. Before you became such a bitchy version of a random, slack jaw, toad-face frump.” You see things that some of these “successful” woman participated in before becoming famous like sex tapes and scripted “reality” shows where she fought half of the cast, the crew, bragged about her sexual exploits with other celebrities of both sexes and yet today she has the nerve to lie to herself and other little girls that look up to her about wanting to be an inspiration for young women everywhere. “Excuse me but an inspiration to do what exactly? Become a human Build-A-Bear?”
Look, I can’t help it if I’m uncomfortable with this as common normality in society. I understand plastic surgery has been around for many years but at some point this has become more than just a “Nip/Tuck & Pluck”, this is more like “Create A Player” for your XBOX/Sony PS4 video game. It’s ridiculous what these women believe they need to put their bodies through in order to gain some form of attention they can spin into something else later. It’s as if there is a message being passed down to our young women that being yourself is no longer enough to make it big in this society. People don’t even find it odd that talented rapper, that is also a woman from Australia, purposely acts and sounds like she is mocking an entire race and culture in order to sell records and yet everyone that mentions this blatant attempt of ignorance is being labeled as jealous. Seriously, Grammy winning, multi-platinum artists/actresses like Jill Scott & Eve are actually being considered jealous for speaking on how uncomfortable they are with an Australian born woman rapping and mimicking black southern women on records when the whole world knows Iggy Azalea does not talk like that. I have heard other Australian born rappers kick better flows and lyrics in their own dialect and represent where they come from yet, Iggy gets perform hit songs off her albums that are actually just regurgitated samples of music already done a decade ago by artists like Eve, Trina, Khia, Gangsta Boo, Mia-X, Lil’ Kim, Da Brat, & Missy (not to mention, many others) while flopping around on stage like some kind of syrupy, transvestite donkey witch with no idea what to do with the rest of her body while she attempts to twerk along with a bunch black backup dancing women she is being paid to impersonate.
It’s like the Superman Factor. You see other superheroes in either the Marvel or DC Universe live two separate lives. They are regular people that adopt an alternate persona based on their powers or hero characteristics. Bruce Wayne, Tony Starks, Peter Parker, Hal Jordan to name a few are who they are when they are without their crime fighting attire or space trinkets. When they have to save the world they change from a regular everyday person to the embodiment of what a hero should be, but Superman is different. By him being from another planet, he is Superman. That is his regular life in this world, to be superhuman. His Clark Kent name and persona is adopted once he comes to earth and is adopted. He assimilates to what he views the human race to be. He portrays us as weak, cowards, and soft spoken and insecure. Don’t believe me look up the early comics of him. Now I said all this not to suggest that Iggy is Superman but I feel like she assimilates everything hip-hop is already stereotyped to be. But that’s not because she’s white, it’s because the image isn’t right. When Gwen Stefani and the rest of No Doubt would do their Ska-Rhythm music, she never change her voice and speech to sound like a Jamaican, she sung the songs as herself and did the same when she appeared on Rap songs, too. When you look at Eminem he represents the Hip-Hop cultures beginnings and how it began only because he lived in it but he doesn’t change his speech or slang to be anybody other than himself. He grew up in the thick of it and in an era where people made sure you knew better not to do things like that. She just grew up on it and admired it from afar and to a lot of us it looks like when she finally had her chance to be in it, she just hopped into whatever character the radio DJs and record execs needed her to be in order to make everybody a lot of money. It’s even stranger because multi-platinum rapper/actor and habitual felon, T.I. is the one endorsing this girl to do this and a lot of us don’t know how we feel about it… Seriously it’s like watching the guy you always root for be given a free license to pimp a European white girl around in black face to stay relevant in the music industry. There’s just way too much going on here to even deal so you just shake your head and walk away disappointed in what could have or should have been.
But honestly, can you even blame her when you see the way they portray our women in ads as well as when you listen to the music now. It’s like the expectation is so predictable before you go out to a club because you know you will hear songs that contain messages approved from huge billion dollar record labels encouraging women that you have to be a “bad bitch” in order to get who you want and what you want in life. Hell when you think about it, it even took Nicki Minaj a few years to take the colors out of her hair and just be herself for a change even though she’s still peddling that same little girl lost image to the masses while seemingly trying not to follow the image she pushes in her own music. It’s just too bad that those butt injections can’t be undone, but we still have to appreciate her attempt to turn all that extra mess off and just focus on the message you’re giving out. You see, it’s the artist that ultimately comes under fire while the record executives sit back continues signing checks and scheduling the next tour dates. These same aspects apply to those that work in politics, business and even Hollywood itself. Image is everything and all those people in charge and in fancy suits running your career understand that even as times have changed the perception of women can be dictated by women for women, thus making them the most powerful weapon today in society. Mainly because women are the biggest consumers on the planet and everything is marketed in the sense of what appeals to women more than men. That is why the music is sharply driven to be heavily dance club friendly because the clubs that attract the most women bring in the most men looking to spend the all of their cash on what women like to get attention. However this creates a divide due to the women that also spend their hard earned money to prove their independence and by this, stimulating the “Turn Up” era we currently reside in today. And we get so caught up in watching it all, whether we love it or hate it, while the ones that try to ignore these images are in fact ignored by everyone to the point they can’t help but give in to the venom seeping into their bloodstreams until our young women can’t help but give in to the fears of becoming the very thing she used to despise only to compromise who she is to get what she needs and where she feels she needs to be in life simply because that is where the most “successful women” are in life. With this imagery in place we keep causing a never ending chain of misrepresented morals that continue to corrupt one after another until the day they each wake up and realize they were in way over their heads trapped in a body and fabricated persona that was never theirs to begin with. That’s why we applauded when Missy Elliot returned to the spotlight and rocked the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show. That is why we stood up and cheered as Patricia Arquette eloquently and defiantly stood on stage, accepting her Oscar and demanded that women be recognized treated as equals in both pay and quality roles in the film industry. It was like a much needed breath of hope and fresh life given back into the lungs of our future female race and I swear for a single moment I could see Maya Angelou looking down from the Heavens above and I wanted to picture Zoe Saldana with tears in her eyes peaking from behind the curtains with her clasped against her heart pointing upwards to her while screaming at the top of her lungs “Eywa’s Heard You!!” It gave us hope that after J. Cole reminded us of the heavy unbalance between women we’ve grown up admiring compared to the women today that escape their realities with chants like “Don’t Save Her. She Don’t Wanna Be Saved”; That maybe, just maybe our women of today finally realized before anyone attempts to save them, maybe she needs to start by saving herself.