My Melanin is NOT your makeup

The Kardashian phenomenon in the rise of the social media hits the peak of white civilization wanting to inject their bodies and darken their skin. In the grand scheme these characterizations assemble the natural elements of an African-American woman. Though these women may want to appear as an African-American, they do not want to be labeled as being “black”. Once labeled the crisis is to lose their white privilege, their superiority, and the component that gives them the ability to be at an advantage in America’s society. 

This image is desensitized to a younger audience that this is the way you want to look, this is sexy and this is “cool”. Youth should not experience struggles with body image or any woman. Social media has begun a spiral of this classified image. Young women have begun utilizing photo shop and other methods to form their bodies to have thicker hips and fuller lips.

Women would rather spends thousands of dollars reconstructing their face, frying their hair, and dying their skin then love themselves for who they are within. With money comes freedom to look however you want in today’s society.

Many say they get surgery because it makes them happy, because they feel better about themselves. But there’s the underlying issue that these women do not want to be called black, because once you have been established as being black you’re rights to being white are thrown out the window. 

What if black women were to bleach their skin, and lessen their buttocks or decrease their lip size? She then would be trying to identify as a white woman, and this would generate an issue. 

“Look, I’m almost as dark as you!” 

This phrase has been said to me throughout my whole life. Because there’s humor in looking like an African American, but there’s no empathy with the everyday components of having melanin. 

I was questioned, “You’re black and you’re a woman. Hard, huh?” I answered, “Yes and no.” Being a biracial woman in today’s society puts me at an advantage of open mindedness and diversity, but disadvantages me in the common clause that “I am different.” Which leads me to believe that these women are mocks of what they wish to be. But is that black?

“Can I touch your hair?”

Mesmerized by the thick texture, the way the hair zigzags and kinks up at the end, everyone has reached out before even asking to feel my hair. Truthfully, it’s compelling and hysterical at times, especially since they want it. They do not know the everyday struggle putting a comb through this hair or fixing it just right.  

Statistics show that White Americans are the racial majority in the United States. And according to the World Population Review 93.5 % of the population in West Virginia are Caucasian. So being biracial and a woman in Appalachia isn’t uncommon but it is unseen especially in the media and it has broadened my perspective on both races. No matter if my mom was white, I was always looked at as black, there was no in between. I’ve seen both sides of my family reaction to race and even me. Growing up not knowing where to fit in was my life, but now that ignorance is my wisdom.

So as an Affrilachian woman seeing images of women across the Internet trying to identify under these characteristics doesn’t make me angry but upset that women are held to such standards in 2018 and are insensitive to what they are doing. 

Women should love themselves the way they are and not subject to the stereotype of what makes a woman sexy. Because what makes a woman sexy? Social media has increased self-image issues upon women and brought out such insecurities that create this need to be something they are not. 

Put the phone down and your money away because this façade will soon pass, but race will always be an element in society. Instead of comparing yourself to something you’re genetically never going to be, love your uniqueness and differences. 

My Melanin is not your makeup and your white privilege is not mine.

Lillie Bodie can be contacted at bodie2@marshall.edu.

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