Listen. We joke about NeNe Leakes’ lacefront every Sunday night but if we told the truth and shamed the devil, we would have a handful of girlfriends on Instagram whose hair looks just the same, if not worse. Once every two weeks, a photo (with 320 likes) will make its way onto my timeline of a plus size woman with a baby Gap tee on, bent to the side with her hands on her hip in all her fishnet glory. Or there’s always the one with a pregnant woman with a straw-ber-rita in her right hand and a blunt in her left that gets 250 likes. It’ll get retweeted over 5,000 times with a ton of LOL’s, LMAO’s, and nah son, nah‘s behind it. Excuse my language, but people entertain this bullshit too much on social media and if we aren’t giggling and “hollering” at the photos, we’re condemning the women “who should know better”.
But for as long as there are people sitting behind a cell phone or computer who double-tap away at the foolishness or say nothing at all, the people we poke fun of or condemn won’t think there is anything wrong with what they’re presenting to the world. I’ll never forget going on Instagram one morning en route to work and coming across a selfie of a close friend. While she’s an attractive woman, her pink weave, highlighted by her HDR filter, exposed her peeling sheer lace base. Her foundation was two shades too light for her natural skin complexion and her lipgloss was nowhere near poppin’, yet she fed off of the statements from the men who laid prostrate in her comments waiting for her to Fedex her number over in an InstaDM. I slid my way into her iMessages and let her know that I in no way wanted to offend her but her makeup was all types of wrong and she was a beautiful girl just as she was. If she wanted to enhance her beauty with cosmetics, I suggested she find someone who could help her with the right products that would improve, not diminish, her features.
And she respected that. I’ll look back at photos and ask myself, what the hell were you thinking wearing that but more importantly, where were my friends to be honest with me? I get it, I get it: you don’t want to knock someone and kill their confidence but a real friend will at least let you know if you look/smell/sound ridiculous. One of my best friend’s has offered me gum when saying flat out that my breath smelled like one too many Cool Ranch Doritos or suggested I try another size dress because the one I wanted didn’t flatter me and show off my best assets and how could I not appreciate that? I was sure in who I was but I also had to be receptive to hearing what other people had to say. Maybe it would better me. Maybe they were right. Maybe I didn’t have the answers.
In the critical world we live in, folks don’t want to see you doing or looking better than them and will fill your head up with fallacies and put up a façade that they really care, when they don’t, as long as they can say they have one up on you in some aspect in life and have something to pick at. Your flaw is someone else’s entertainment.
Women, we have to do more in supporting one another. We have to do a better job in taking someone else’s advice as constructive criticism instead of receiving it as, “a b- just hating on our shine.” Maybe your pants are too small and no one really wants to see the crack of your behind. Perhaps that bright blue lipstick really doesn’t look right and there is a possibility no one (men included) interested in seeing your kitty-cat in a sheer dress (that actually looks like you’re wearing a pair of nude stockings over your body). I understand you’re doing it for the Vine and showing off for the ‘gram, but do it for your integrity and show off your dignity.While you soak up the attention and the double-taps, please don’t forget to take some of the feedback from someone who knows you and legitimately cares about you. It may be what you really need in the long run.