“When Black Girls Rock, stuff happens…”
Young girls, especially young black girls need to be empowered, plain and simple. I grew up during a time where I looked up to video vixens as the woman I wanted to become. There were very little positive female influences that looked like me in the media and on TV. Every day, I would turn to BET and watch these beautiful and exotic women in music videos, with assets you could envy, collecting cash from rappers and shaking their butts in the camera. I thought they represented the ideal; the type of women guys wanted. The type of women who could get anything they wanted, just by being beautiful. I believe this type of representation had a huge effect on me and my perception of black womanhood. My behavior as soon as I was able to enter a club was evidence of this. I had a skewed sense of what it took to get the attention of a man. I had a skewed sense of what it took to keep a man. I had a skewed sense of feeling like I was never enough or never doing enough. I had a skewed sense of what it meant to be a woman of integrity.
Black women are plagued with HIV/AIDS, STDS, drugs, eating disorders, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, prostitution, stripping, sexual abuse, poor choices in men, self-esteem issues among other things. Sometimes we fall victim to these things because we are not shown an alternate route. We are fed misconceptions about womanhood and end up with diminished self-esteem and a series of poor choices. I am so proud that there is an award show that highlights the brave women who have made a difference in the world. Our girls need to be uplifted, our girls need an education, our girls need a chance and Black Girls Rock sees that we need to take action now.
This year’s award show was iconic. The first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, was in attendance and stayed throughout the whole award show. She is literally an air of class and grace. She left us with powerful words, putting grave emphasis on the importance of education. It was very brave of her to take a stance for us black girls and women all over the world by attending the ceremony, as she is receiving backlash from those people who just don’t understand and will never understand why Black Girls Rock is necessary. It’s not meant to marginalize, it’s meant to uplift a group that is not only misunderstood and underrepresented but after years of fighting is getting noticed. Jada Pinkett Smith and her hubby Will Smith also stole the show. To be honest, I am not that much of a fan of their relationship, probably the only person in America that would say something like that, but I do believe there is love, strong black love and I am all for that.
Some of my other takeaways included Ciara, who makes the best songs post-breakup. Her performance was probably my favorite. Although I noticed some critics question if the song was appropriate for the occasion, I was impressed with how amazing she looked and just how classy of a woman she is. In the midst of all her troubles with her ex. fiancée, it seems like she’s taken the high road and chooses to ignore it all. Janelle Mone also looked amazing. She is beautiful and I am so happy she’s letting those darn black and white tuxedos fade away. As for Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross, they are a ball of fun. I love them as hosts, they have such great chemistry.