Facebook has become friend and enemy to some who use it to record thoughts and daily activities. It is a great way to keep up with the daily news, gossip, and entertainment. It also allows you to stay connected to people that you would otherwise have no access to. Like any other public platform, Facebook has its darker side. It’s the side that plays on people’s concept of self and their ability to analyze and synthesize real life. What was once a place for college students to engage has now become a very large space for people to use their cyber voices to drag others to the ground in a competition for attention and validation. In this post I want to particularly address my beautiful black sisters that I disgustingly find more often than not berating another black woman for what she lacks, her past, or whatever else someone believes is good “tea” in heat of gossiping.
As a beautiful Black woman I write this post in love in hopes that it can create a dialogue and space for each of us to look inward (including myself) when we become a little to critical of others. It is important that we ALL know that no matter how light or how dark, we are beautiful; no matter how long or short our hair is (real or not), we are beautiful; no matter how big boned, fat, curvy athletic, thin or uncharted our bodies are, we are beautiful; Ph.D bound to high school drop out, single mom, single woman, childless woman, married, reserved, single, and whatever else, WE ALL DESERVE to be loved and respected for who we are in this world.
The problem I have with Facebook sometimes is that it produces a platform for people who simply put, have self esteem issues and find ways to validate themselves. Most of the time I see this being at the expense of another person. Now there is never a problem with speaking your mind or offering a suggestion. The issue comes when people joke carelessly about other people to make themselves feel better about whatever they may be lacking at that point in time. The truth is how we treat others is no indictment on someone else. We treat people according to how we feel about ourselves. A woman who is happy with her life and content with the portion that God gave her will not be interested in “enlightening” the public about the short comings of another woman. So when we type these statuses or share post of pictures of other women who we think are lesser for whatever reason, lets make sure we ask ourselves a few questions which shouldn’t be limited to the following;
- Why am I posting this?
- What type of reaction from my audience am I looking for?
- How does this improve my brand or the image that I am portraying to others?
- How would I feel if I was the “butt” of this joke?
- What is it that I am trying to cover about me that I feel it is necessary to shed light on this person?
- Would this person be humiliated if they saw what I wrote.
As black women we already live in a world that tries its best to reduce us to nothing more than sexual beings with no capacity to learn or build our communities. We are constantly told that we have ceilings and that our physical features look better on everyone else but us. It’s so important that we congratulate one another, say hi to one another, offer a compliment, and to just be nice to one another.
Believe it or not we are responsible for for our sisters. When a woman puts up a picture of an overweight black woman girl kissing her boyfriend and captions it “and I am single…” that woman is saying that their is something wrong with that woman and that she is undeserving of what the photo is illustrating. She is also saying that she is insecure and what she has should be sufficient to attract what is illustrated. Subsequently the overweight girl on her timeline or girl that may have some body issues on her page doesn’t feel like she’s worth someone who actually can show her genuine affection (which builds a cycle of its own). See we are all connected and have the power to influence the emotion in other people. It is irresponsible and selfish to ever think that your words don’t affect another human being, especially one you share a space with (even through social media). It is also irresponsible to sit back and encourage or turn a blind eye to women who participate in tearing down women in their own community.
At this moment, I challenge whoever is reading this post to be mindful of the words that they speak. I challenge you all to uplift and encourage other women. Lastly, I challenge my readers to look in the mirror and ask whatever is necessary to bring you to a point where you can honestly say you are enough and that you love yourself. You will not ever be able to be happy for someone else if you dealing with envious demons on the inside.
Working in human service has taught me a few things over the years,
- Praise in public, correct in private.
- We all have things internal,external, or both that we may not be proud of.
- It’s going to take all of our hands to build positive outcomes within our community.
Always remember that life is good, YOU are beautiful, and that another black woman’s happiness does matter.