Willow Smith & Amandla Stenberg Continue to Usher in Black Girl Future
[embed]https://instagram.com/p/t3uoOevNop/[/embed] by Cynthia Francillon
"You have to DECIDE who you are, and force the world to deal with you, not with its idea of you."
DEAR YOUNG BLACK GIRLS RISING UP,
Be carefree. When I say that, I mean exactly that. Be the person you want to be, whoever she is.
Patriarchy and sexism forces you to see yourself as an object, as someone who obeys, as someone who doesn’t make decisions, and to be intimidated by being in control of yourself, and it’s all crap. You're shamed if you actually like sex and don’t only see it as a means of reproduction. Called a ho, a THOT, a bitch etc. for not wanting anything more than pleasure from more than one person. Killed, raped, and humiliated for turning down the advances of men who think they own you. Told what to do with your body when with child, having regular bodily functions such as your menstrual cycle made a joke out of… You’re so much more than that.
Racism forces you to see yourself as a person who isn’t respected because your skin isn’t light, your hair isn’t straight, your nose isn’t narrow, your lips aren’t thin, the way you talk isn’t “proper,” your fathers are deadbeats and your mothers are whores, and you’ll end up living a life just like them. You’re meant to grow up strong and unable to feel pain, meant to be the backbone to the men in your life, meant to cry behind closed doors so no one can call you weak, meant to take the spit that’s spat at you, the hurt that’s inflicted on you, and the abuse you endure just to keep on living. You are forced to be seen as anything but human…
And that is bullshit.
They’ll call you angry, but won’t ask you why.
They’ll say you give too much attitude, but won’t wonder where it stems from.
They’ll say you’re a grown woman just because puberty brought you hips and breasts.
They’ll call you ghetto (like it’s a personality and not a lifestyle) because of your doorknocker earrings and pink hair and edges swirled around the perimeter of your face.
They’ll say you’re “pretty for a Black girl,” as if that’s a compliment. As if Black girls aren’t meant to be pretty and you’re an exception.
They’ll say not to trust the next girl, because there is only one spot.
IT’S. ALL. BULLSHIT.
You don’t have to like or be anything other than yourself because people aren’t comfortable with you being anything other than what the world has forced you to believe you should be. The great thing about being human is that we are all different. No carbon copies needed.
Willow Smith has been called so many things because at her age, her mother gave her the CHOICE to be whoever she wants to be. Hipster. Negligent. Reckless. Wild. Weird. Freak. Crazy… You name it, she’s been called it. AND YET… She makes music consistently, music that isn’t created with the intent to make money off of it by people who don’t care about representation or everyday struggles. It’s free falling, eclectic, dreamy, unhinged, and true. She can’t stop making it because she loves it, and the mind it comes from. Her own. Willow Smith is so in love with herself, that she shares herself with us. She has her opinions, and stands up for them. Being Black, being a woman, and simply being a human with gifts is a blessing this Carefree Black Girl doesn’t take for granted.
Amandla Stenberg has been looking and searching for roles to portray on film and television that’s written for girls like you: A Black young woman who doesn’t stem into the stereotypes White people have and continue to written for you. And it’s disheartening to her that she hasn’t been able to find any. That didn’t stop her from creating. She’s now working on a comic book featuring a Black girl by the name of Niobe from the comic series “The Untamed.” She uses social media to talk about certain Black Girl problems, like the fact that people still ask her questions like how she gets her hair to be curly. And from this success, we can only assume more works will branch from this Carefree Black Girl.
You don’t have to be like Willow or Amandla to be Carefree. Just … live. Live in your truth. Do not be ashamed of what you love, even if it goes against the stereotype. Let no one create you. You create yourself. Unlearn what has been force-fed to you by the same people who don’t include you in their TV shows, their films, their magazines, their young adult fiction series, their make-up, their clothing…
Your reflection is the dopest thing there is. Don’t compete with the next Carefree Black Girl. Don’t be jealous of her. Join that movement. Be your own version of carefree. Be you.
Live your life and tell the tale of the Carefree Black Girl.
Black Girl Fly Magazine (BGF) is a revolutionary internet platform that commands a space for the authentic experiences of Black Women; serving as a digital nexus for lifestyle and cultural news for contemporary, urbane Black women. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.