Feminism

Kelly Cutrone

Kelly Cutrone is a Badass.
Before I get into why, just repeat her name to yourself like a mantra and savour how empowered you feel.
Done? Cool.
Now..

Why is she a Badass, dear reader?
Because she says things like this:

“I learned quickly that people have strong conceptions about powerful women, and powerful women are not viewed the way powerful men are viewed. When people see a powerful woman, they start to attack them. And that’s fine with me. If you can hold your own and withstand all that firing, they celebrate you. It’s like a gladiator sport.”

“Even though I am sometimes perceived as a bitch or a witch, the office atmosphere I cultivate is nothing like the cultural stereotype of striving women clawing each other to death to get the queen bee’s job. Women have been taught that, in order to get ahead, we have to be secretive and plotting and manipulative, because a straightforward route to the top hasn’t always existed for us, and in many industries it still doesn’t. But I don’t believe in playing into these stereotypes. We don’t have to stab each other in the back, we don’t have to take things personally and break down when we’re criticized, and we don’t have to advance at each others’ expense.”

“Your dreams are ballbusters; they’re not the yellow brick road.”

“We’re constantly getting these messages to mind our own business and look the other way if we want to be well liked, to not tell the truth or speak our mind or say anything too intense. Well, I’m telling you here that this approach not only makes you party to other people’s crimes against themselves but is a prescription for mediocrity and delusion.”

“The whole book basically says that I think women have been programmed to be the prettiest, skinniest, best girl, to be really skinny and wear pretty clothes and go to college and get a great degree and then come out and get a great job, and then find a guy and get married, and get pregnant and have a baby, and sorta live happily ever after. And my take is that doesn’t really allow for a lot of freedom for them figure out like, is that who they really are. And so, this is the book for like the village girl who doesnt wanna do things in the order that their mother said, like first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage. This is for the person who wants to find themselves and be who they are, regardless of their gender, and make the most of their life.” -On “If You Have To Cry Go Outside”

She’s not known for being nice.

She’s know for making the hard decisions and telling the truth.
She’s known for building a Public Relations empire.
She’s known by some as “The tarot card reader from that one time.”
She’s known for writing two amazing ass books “If You Have To Cry Go Outside” and “Normal Gets You Nowhere”.
She’s the Mean Demon Lady whose been on The Hills, The City and America’s Next Top Model.

And she’s a mother, a boss and a being whose constantly completely honest with herself.
At the end of the day, she’s an inspiration.

Destiny’s Child: A Letter To Young Women

It takes strength, determination and commitment, as a young woman, to get up from under the thumb of Society’s expectations and burdens.  We’re raised to believe we need to put others before us in a way that goes beyond simple altruism. A woman is to carry her family, her friends, her neighbours and society at large on her back and do it gracefully. 

But who thinks of the woman’s needs?  Who thinks of her dreams and aspirations?

Society’s taken strides to encourage independence in women but I’ve found, whether in a bid to keep us realistic or simply because a lot of people still feel that way internally, their encouragement always has a limit. 

A glass ceiling. 

How many of our own parents have encouraged us as young women to truly be independent?

Destiny's Chils

No one seems to discuss the fact that a degree doesn’t guarantee that.  Nor does money or a car, although they might make your life a bit more comfortable. 

Independence starts from within.  It, like knowledge, is something no one can take away from you without your consent. 

As one grows, one experiences loss.  We lose friends, partners, family, mindsets and assets. In fact one might say the only constants in your life right now, truly, are yourself, and change. 

But when was the last time you thought about your goals and aspirations? Without the little voice in your head reminding you of what everyone else expects of you. 

When last? 

To quote the author  Paulo Coehlo  “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.” 

It sounds a bit unrealistic, granted, but the older you get, the more important this message will become.  There will never be a shortage of people who want you to do what they want you to do, and everyone seems to know what’s best for the next person while never taking their own advice.  

As much as I don’t know anyone else’s destiny, I can tell you this, it’s never to become somebody else’s project/puppet.  Your separate existence as an entity is so for a reason.  You have a life and you have choices. 

Destinys+Child+Survivor+Crop

Independence also requires a lot of self love.  

You need to love yourself enough to want the best for yourself, by your standards. But desire is not enough, you must also love yourself enough to seek it out.  This will mean endless hours of self actualization, some of which may be rather tedious. You may become the boring [read: focused] one, and you WILL face quite a few hurdles, but the adversity faced will seem rather minuscule once you achieve your goals. 

There is no specific mold to the perfect life.  No one has the blueprint and therefore, no one can truly tell you you’re wrong to follow your passions. 

A woman is capable of so much, far more than we can ever imagine.  

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Why not achieve it all? 

Put yourself first for a change. Put your dreams first. 

Put your Life first. 

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” 
― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist

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It’s no secret that the world is a rather unsafe place for women.  We’re basically walking targets.  I’m reminded of this fact every time I log onto Twitter.  I swear that place is Rape Apologist Central.  Or Facebook, where people seem to find any and every reason to justify violence against women. These are the voices and opinions of members of society. People we walk past everyday.

Whether in our homes or on the street, in a bar or a mosque, in a bikini or a suit a woman needs to constantly be vigilant.

See somewhere along the way we were dehumanized to the point where our mistreatment became the norm. It’s unfortunate but while we work on making the majority of people realize that women are in fact an important part of society, to be respected and treated well, the fact remains, a lot of us find ourselves in uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situations.

Understand that we have the right to protect ourselves in a world that constantly makes us targets. 

Protect yourself, by any means necessary.

Below is a list of everyday objects you can use to defend yourself should you need to.

I hope it’s helpful.

1. Pepper spray.

But if you don’t have it, body spray/hair spray could be sprayed in the attacker’s eyes.

2. A Nail file

Could be used to stab said assailant.

3. Pens 

This everyday writing tool can become a deadly weapon for self-defense moves when thrust into the soft tissue of the throat, under the jaw line or the eyes.

4. Your bag

Could be used as a shield should the attacker try to stab you.  If you have enough heavy shit in there, swing it.

5. Stick like implements: umbrellas,brooms, golf clubs etc

Thrust these into sensitive areas or powerfully strike areas such as the knees,head and neck.

6. Objects with weight/mass

This includes bricks, heavy vases etc.  You can’t merely toss it and hope for the best though. Aim, target. The head is always a great place to strike.

7. If you have the time, for example in a home invasion/attack situation, stuff a pillowcase and use it. (And for you campers, a nice rock-in-a-sock is one of several self-defense weapons available in the woods.)

8. Nearby bottles/glasses/large cups.  

Again, go for the face/head.

9. In the kitchen

Pots and pans.

Plates can be smashed over the assailant’s head.  Knives, obviously. Hell, aim that hot sauce in the attacker’s eyes.

Use ANYTHING you can if you’re in danger.

Youtube has a lot of videos on Women’s Self Defense.  Watch them, they might come in handy some day, unfortunately.

 

It’s been written that usually, in the case of women, we find it hard to defend ourselves, even when we can because we never want to be the violent ones in situations. I say if this in fact the case, it needs to end.

It’s only right to protect yourself.

Do so.

Botswana to pregnant women: “You’re either a mother or a murderer.”

Currently, the average sexually active Tswana woman’s choices are rather grim should she fall pregnant and not want to keep the baby, for whatever reason:

  1. Have the baby
  2. Have the baby and give it to someone to take care of
  3. Have an unsafe abortion
  4. Resort to whatever comes to mind to “fix” the situation

All of which are rather damaging emotionally, physically or both.  These women feel powerless and misinformed, and society tells them “You’re either going to be a mother or a murderer.”

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Red Light Special

“Dude, I’m so horny but I’m on my period.”

“So?”

“What do you mean so?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“Eeew. You mean..? No. Eeew.”

 

What? No really, what is it?

See I could understand being iffy about having sex with another person while on your cycle. It’s not everyone who’s willing to run the red light, so to speak, but what of masturbation? Is it also taboo during that time of the month?

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We’re led to believe menstruation is filthy, and well, it isn’t the most glamorous time really.  I can often be found moaning about how it looks like a Spartan battle field down there when it’s particularly bad. However, I no longer feel the shame and emotional discomfort associated with my menstrual cycle.

The Bible tells us a woman on her cycle is “unclean” and to be avoided.

Our mothers treat it as a secret. A cross we must silently carry in our wombs.

Our partners more often than not are grossed out by it. It’s  foreign territory to them that they don’t need to explore, nor acknowledge.

And we take all of this in and internalize it.

We keep the shame, the silence and start to feel that way our own selves.

Is the fact that it’s blood what truly offends people?

Something so normal for any woman, something we will have to  experience for approximately 40 years after reaching puberty, is still considered “disgusting” yet we don’t feel the same of urinating.

Why does your menstrual cycle have to bring about despair and torture?

I mean, you feel bloated, hot flashes, you’re hungry and irritable and you deny yourself the simplest little pleasure you can give yourself too? An orgasm?

The fact is, it is your vagina, your blood, your pleasure.

To love yourself, your vagina and your pleasure, means to be with it through all it’s transformations.

What is the real shame behind pleasuring yourself  whenever you want to?

Is it the blood? Because there are tampons for that.  A shower, tampon applicator and clit rub away lies momentary relief from the vile feeling of discomfort.

Orgasms actually relieve menstrual cramps, and I personally look at them as.. making love to yourself.

So why not make love to yourself when you need it the most?

When you’re feeling disgusting and undesirable?

Wouldn’t that be the best time for said.. comforting?

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Grown women are taught to repress their postpubescent body or hide it. When you start puberty and you start growing hair you’re taught to shave it, because no one’s supposed to see it. With your period, it’s something that you conceal—no one’s supposed to know. It’s almost pedophilic—and I don’t want to throw that word around. But this feminine ideology we have, of the woman being a prepubescent girl, is how we’re taught to change our bodies. – Petra Collins*

*Petra recently designed the above line drawing for American Apparel. An image that caused quite an uproar and has been described as “vile”, “disgusting” and “obscene”.

In an interview with Vice she said “That we’re so shocked and appalled at something that’s such a natural state—and it’s funny that out of all the images everywhere, all of the sexually violent images, or disgustingly derogatory images, this is something that’s so, so shocking apparently. ” It makes one realize, as a society, we’re almost always focused on the wrong thing, huh?

 

A Letter from Society, to you: How dare you have confidence?

Kids, let me tell you the key to getting along with a lot of people. A rather simple tweak to your current attitude towards Life that may have been hindering you from making friends who’re comfortable around you and keeping you from lovers who might adore you..

Have low self esteem. 

I know, I know..everyone’s telling you to have more confidence right? Believe in yourself and know your worth right? But let me tell you what happens when you do. 

 

Relationships

Everybody knows all strong, intelligent women die and end up as Madea characters in Heaven. And I don’t mean the lead. No, the odd looking sister who has a story but not enough of one for us to bother with the details. The one who ends up broken and finds love with a broke bus driver who only has poetry and Chinese take-out to offer. That one.

How do you avoid this?

Downplay all your talent and prowess.

The only things you should openly admit to being good at are keeping quiet and listening, cooking and cleaning. Don’t you know that it’s 2013 and the only time a woman should exercise her Freedom is when it’s appealing to a man? When you step out of your comfort zone [In the kitchen, on your knees] to have a threesome or, in a rather daring move, share a beer with him. 

People don’t like partners with opinions [contrary to theirs], I thought Steve Harvey already told you. Did you skip the “How to stop thinking and finally keep a man” chapter? Honestly. How will you ever fulfill yours and every other woman’s dream of settling down with a man who’ll stifle your ambition and mould you into a younger version of his mother that he can fuck with all that independence? 

It simply will not occur. 

Have you seen those women who prioritize, put themselves first and hold their heads high? Comfortable in their knowledge of Self and worth? 

Who wants them? I mean.. Assuming they want one, they usually end up with supportive, equally strong partners who’re on their wavelength but..Who’s willing to wait for that long right? 

Be a good little girl and think you’re nothing more than a servile creature, created from a part of a Man that he didn’t necessarily need, and go forth. 

Body Image 

No decent woman is comfortable with her body. Only sluts are, and you don’t wanna be that, do you? I thought not. Hate your body. Tell yourself you will always need more here and less there. Hide it. Have sex in the dark and ask your partner to keep their hands on your neck or in yours. If they can’t, to themselves. Cover up or show too much in a form of emotional torture only you feel the full impact of.

Never be content.

Never be happy. 

Hate parts of yourself passionately, with dedication, it’s what you’ve been taught to do, so do it.

Laugh it off in public as you discuss it with equally insecure friends, seeking reassurance and not finding it from those as broken as you. 

Tell yourself this is your Life. As it should be. 

Work and Passion

Don’t be a bitch. I know that Lady wrote that book about why men love bitches but I promise you, it’s a lie.  You’ll just be the assertive..I mean, angry..woman  bitch in the office earning more than the men, skipping between your e-mail tab and your vibrator order form.  

You don’t need success in the workplace. Come on, we leave that for Beyonce. You, dear honey, sweet thing, only need to do enough to get by. You might mess around and actually achieve all you want, which might in turn scare all your potential suitors, meaning you’ll be alone and shame your parents. Don’t do it.

When applying for a job, put the basics. “Works well with others..Can work for long periods of time without supervision” you know, that. Don’t appear spectacular. Don’t show the world you actually can do anything, and do it exceptionally well at that. That’s showing off, at the very least, being proud, and that, Lady considering speaking out of turn, is for men. Confidence and drive are for men.

They don’t call it having “balls” for no reason. 

Be modest.

Be chaste. 

Say you aren’t as amazing as you are.

Say your work isn’t all that good.

Say the world could do without what you contribute it. 

People will love you. 

– Signed with Love,

Society and The Patriarchy 

 

They will love that you’re a woman who “knows her place”.  One who they don’t deem threatening, one who won’t change anything. A safe place.

They will adore you.

They will love you so much they’ll all pile onto you at once, seeking to get a piece of you, ripping you apart and keeping souvenirs. 

Some will take your last bit of Confidence. Others your hope. Others your sense of Self. Everyone will have pieces of you and all you will have left is your reflection.

But hey, at least they’ll love you, right? 

Right?

 

 

Strength of a Woman

Things irk me. I wish it were as simple as saying they annoy me but when it comes to womanhood, the things that make me feel like being a woman is a burden, a curse, something to be ashamed of, hurt me in a rather unique way.

Most days I’m okay with the fact that, going out into the world, logging onto a social network, hell, going on Yahoo, means I need to switch off internally to a certain degree and get ready for hostility. Being a Woman is much like being a warrior, even when you aren’t actively at war, you’re ready to fight.  And sometimes, I wish it wasn’t that way. Some days I get tired of fighting.

You can only ignore so much, I find, til you probably have to break down, then wipe the slate clean and start again. Start registering more hate and more pain and more of what comes with being who you are, where you are, and what you are.

Women aren’t meant to complain. And by “complain” I mean be honest and vocal about what hurts them, or what hurts anyone else. We are everyone’s punching bag. Everyone’s dump site. Everyone’s maid, lover, stress ball..Anyone’s anything.

Facelessly.

Silently.

I wonder, if it weren’t for “radical” friends, books, social media, all the ways women show support to and for other women, how many women would know they actually exist?

As people and not Lesser Beings.

How many would know they need to be their own Everything and not someone’s something?

I realize I’m faceless when I’m harassed on the street. There I’m just another body.

I realize I’m faceless when I’m shamed and stared at for my shorts or cleavage or walking a certain way.  To them, I’m just another [young] woman being nasty and disgusting. Something to hate and judge.

I realize I’m faceless when my parents tell me I’m a disappointment. To them, I’m just a dream gone wrong.

I realize I’m voiceless when I try to explain [myself].

When I come home, dead tired, and have to cook because I’m a woman. When  my brother, who’s 11, does nothing more than fry drumsticks every two months because “he’s still a baby” and I’ve been cooking for all of them since the same age. I realize I am just an able [female] body then.

When I hear the many variations of “dark skinned VS light skinned women” and I’m told I’m alright because I’m light, I know  to some men, we’re just colours with vaginas.

The arguments over what a woman should look like or be. We aren’t people,bodies,women..we’re clay everyone thinks they have the right to mould.

And how do you think it feels to live in a society that only acknowledgeS you exist when either degrading, dismissing or dehumanizing you?

To work at enlightening and emancipating people who think you’re silly?

What it’s like to live when you’re dead in other people’s eyes.

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Love For Sale

“You overlooking every nigga that ain’t quite ready,
To make it rain on you like about to break a levee,
Hold up, that pussy petty.
Yeah, your nails did, your hair did,
Your cell phone is selfish,It only got numbers that come with a Hummer..” – Kendrick Lamar, Memories Back Then

 

Is it really though?  And if so, what’s wrong with that?

See, you can use your mind to get ahead in Life, that’s expected.  You can use your name, it’s sometimes frowned upon but really, go ahead.  You can use who you know, what you’ve seen or what you can do. But using your body, that’s downright sleazy.  

A woman who only associates with wealthy men is considered a gold digger. Called a Ho, shallow, considered unintelligent, she disgusts many, is looked down upon and might as well be a prostitute according to them, she IS in their eyes, save for the street walking. 

And I think that has got to be the silliest way of looking at it. The worst. 

 

Why do people think these women are unintelligent/uneducated?

Possibly because back in the days when women were thought to not need an education,  she “needed” a wealthy man  for support.  Maybe, to shame them for their choice, to make them appear as nothing but bodies, mindless, starving vixens. Obviously to make them appear as ones not deserving of respect because people would think they have nothing to offer.  

 

These women are some of the strongest, smartest women in our society today.  Who else can realize that they can use what they have to get what they want and actually follow through to live as they want despite the judgement and backlash? 

 

Why should I be ashamed to use my body but proud to use my mind?  I mean, other people can know what I know, but if I have the kind of body that draws attention and admirers, are you telling me that I should ignore that, and not couple it with my intellect, because you’ll judge me? It’s not happening. 

 

“Say No to Struggle” A friend reminds me every time we’re together.  Honey, does it make sense to capitalize on everything that you have except the one thing you always possess, that comes naturally?

No,  this is not me telling women to actively seek out wealthy men, or to be escorts or sex workers, this is me telling them they have the right to, if they want to. 

Asa Akira’s a porn star who absolutely adores her job.  She gets paid to fuck and can take on as many men as she wants.  You can tell she happily comes to work. Pun intended. I’ve never seen her even the least bit uncomfortable in her scenes.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been called a slut, a whore..All I know is, I’m insatiable.” -Asa

Skin Diamond too. Everyone she works with from actors and actresses to photographers say she’s a breeze to work with because she’s passionate about it. Isn’t that lovely?

Would you do it? I mean, we all love sex. Okay, most of us do. But if you have a passion for it, as a woman, would you? Other than the obvious, explaining to parents…blah blah blah..what else would hold you back? I know “What would people think?” is on that mental list. How does that make you feel? That you’d let something as trivial as opinions that would have nothing to do with your actual job keep you from pursuing it? Logic says that fear makes sense. What does Love say?

It’s your body.

Your image.

Your Life.

Your conscience.

You are your responsibility.

I tend to tell people that Shame is an inherited emotion. We feel ashamed because people tell us we should be and that’s not fair.  If you insist, you have the right to tell me what’s appropriate in society, but you can’t tell me what’s appropriate for Me. 

People still do though. Often. Passionately. I’ve found their voices aren’t as loud as my feelings and my conscience. I wish it was the same for others.  

There’s no shame in doing what you want with what’s yours. It’s yours. Other people’s opinions are theirs. Don’t let them dictate what you do, they don’t know what you want nor need. 

Live. 

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“It’s the foreigners, the homosexuals, the feminists and the satanists”

My people say the most ignorant things without even noticing it. I’m usually the only one who gets offended when certain comments are dropped in conversation because certain stereotypes have become the norm to mention. They are regarded as a universal truth and I find myself dumbfounded when I’m confronted with people who honestly believe what they think of the next race,tribe,gender is the Gospel. 

While visiting someone recently we struck up a conversation about how men tend to feel completely free at home, leaving the gate open while walking around at the back of the house, while a woman would make sure every door in the house is locked, lock herself in her room and spend the whole night on high alert. He responded “Ee..akere a random Zimbo guy might walk in and rape her.” To which I asked, why would he have to be Zimbabwean? 

Understand that this happens all the time in Botswana. All the damn time. Any Motswana who tells you otherwise is a liar. A lot of Batswana are convinced  those from our neighboring country are beneath us. They sneer at them in combis, they’re rude to them in Tswana, a language not all can understand. They judge them, they verbally abuse them and they are downright xenophobic.

Will they ever admit it when you call them out on it? Never. They never even have an excuse.

See, they forget that they came here for work because times were tough in Zim. That most of the time when you see them, they’re working. Most of them don’t have the luxury of being a layabout as my people like to refer to them as. Some say they’re dirty, without considering that they work for most of the day as plumbers, electricians, contractors..Where would you expect them to get the time to be as clean as you’d like them to be? 

The majority of Zimbabwean women I know have stories reminiscent of those I imagine were in The Help. They’re raped by the men of the households they work at and can’t leave because they need the job. I knew a Lady who wasn’t allowed to eat anything but bread and was made to sleep on a floor in the garage with dogs. The family she worked for were seemingly morally correct, humane, progressive thinkers, and yet this is how they treated someone who they regarded as “different”.

At my cousin’s graduation party a few years ago, one of my aunts [those who you don’t really know how you’re related to but, whatever] said to my cousin, who’s the last born in his family, during her speech “Please delay moving out because we don’t want your parents to have to rent out the back to some Zimbabweans.” My two uncles, who’re from Uganda, and myself, were the only ones who flinched. I remember thinking “How can she be so old yet so dumb?” and getting up mid speech and leaving.

Do you understand how you look? Forget that though. Do you understand what you are? Listen. Insert that profound saying about logs, twigs and eyes here.

You guys are spoiled and with a false sense of importance and you know it even if you’ll never say it. Your kids are the ones drunk driving and killing people. They’re the ones  having kids left, right and center for the sake of hosting baby showers. The failure rates at our schools are disgusting. Our water, electricity and food ain’t shit and you still have the confidence to go on and look down upon others? Y’all though.

But no, it isn’t just about the xenophobia here.

It’s comments like “The gays are the reasons I can’t watch TV anymore. They’re everywhere.” and “Kids are failing at school because they’re turning gay”. 

“The feminists that are sprouting up everywhere are the reason why real men are raping. They must be put in their place.” 

“I can’t love nor respect a woman who doesn’t know that her place is beneath me. I’ll beat her into submission.”

“Nna mme ga ise ke mmone a itira monna. Ke tlebe ke batlang mo mosading oo sa itseng gore ke mosadi? Banyana ba Gaborone tlhe lea i’classa. Dilo tse di rata dilo.”

And the “Satanist” stamp that’s thrown around.. People are so silly, my goodness.  It doesn’t occur to them that in the event that someone even is Satanist, it’s a religion as is yours. But no, you’d rather use your internet connection to make an apple appear to be an orange rather than Google the characteristics of oranges wouldn’t you?

I had an experience a while ago whereby my ex attempted to pray for me and accused me of trying to steal his Soul because I went to his house wearing all black. Let me repeat that: Because I was wearing all black.

The ignorance defeats me. I cannot count the number of times I hear someone speak on a a taxi and all I can think is “Why are you like this? And aren’t you ashamed? Don’t you want to know better? Why is this The End for you?”

Ignorance is not bliss. The idiots annoy the shit out of the rest of us who’re trying to know and do better. 

I’m saying, what you’ve been taught is not what is. Is that hard for you to fathom?

I’m saying, you need to read. Learn about the World. Learn about anything and everything.

And lastly, think. Just bloody think.

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You wanna Minaj?

I have rather different role models from the average female, or similar ones with some, depending on where you’re looking.

Amber Rose, I love her. Nicki Minaj, I feel her. Kim Kardashian, I’m on that.  Beyonce’s nice. Condoleza Rice too. Corrine Bailey Rae, a wonderful female..but I cannot relate.

Now a lot of people would look at these women and think Whore,Sell Out, Slut in that order. Understandable considering the way they’re portrayed/the way they’ve lived.  Amber was a stripper at 15, later labelled a gold-digger and really under normal circumstances wouldn’t be the girl you introduce to your mother. Nicki Minaj is raunchy as hell. She burst on the scene with lyrical content shouting out her sex game and was a mere sex object for many. Still is. Despite the fact that she said she fought for women and little girls to have a voice and such, it was hard to believe when all she did was prance around in lingerie and dropped lyrics such as “..and when he spank this, I make my pussy fart..” and “pussy open, it’s nothing..”. Kardashian became a household name when her sex tape with former relevant musician Ray J leaked. For the fact that you can type in her name into a search engine and see her doing the deed, she’s been labelled a skank for life. Her 72 day marriage didn’t do much to help her image either.

All in all given what we know about these women, the last thing you’d want would be for anyone with some sense to look up to them. A whore, a Sellout and a slut? God no. But here’s why I feel as I do. 

Amber went from a basic stripper to Kanye West’s boo. Now I don’t know whether it was her body or her mind that attracted the man, nor whether she actively pursued him or Lady Luck just happened to smile her way but she made it out of her circumstances. I doubt the girl was trying to strip forever, whether she enjoyed it or not.  She happened to get a man who wanted to take care of her. I’m not saying you should go and look for a man to “save” you, if you want to, sure, but that’s what happened here and it was not a bad thing.  Being in her circumstances, as a woman, would you have let the millionaire walk by?

But fast forward to when they were secure in their relationship, Amber didn’t lay around and bask in Ye’s glory. She posed for Louis Vuitton, she walked the runway at New York Fashion Week, appeared in reality shows and went on to work on her own eye wear line.  She was smart. She didn’t sit and watch shit happen.  Life happened and she got smart and rolled with the punches while making moves. How can you not respect that?

Now? She’s happily engaged to a millionaire with a baby on the way and a comfortable life. What is there to be mad at?

 

Nicki was born in Trinidad and Tobago to an accounting clerk and an airline employee.  Her father was a drug addict and apparently tried to kill their mother once.  She came to America, later went to LaGuardia, the same institution Lady Gaga went to, and struggled to be an artist. Eventually she was discovered by Wayne and signed to Young Money. Here she is today, wealthy beyond even her wildest dreams and successful. She made it. Now as I said, a lot of people could view her as a Sellout but I must ask, does the truth make you rich/successful lately?Is anyone being honest? No. People don’t accept that. That’s why songs about ass and guns are making people millionaires. We are the generation that seeks to numb everything and forget. How are we gonna get mad at a woman for fitting into the mold society has for her in order to live comfortably?

Is it a shame that she has to be portrayed as a toy in order to get some attention,yes definitely.  But it is what it is and the woman got smart about it. Honey, we’re out here trying to survive. If that means being a puppet sometimes, go ‘head. 

 In an interview with Vibe magzine she discussed her sexed up image and said “When I grew up I saw females doing certain things, and I thought I had to do that exactly. The female rappers of my day spoke about sex a lot… and I thought that to have the success they got, I would have to represent the same thing. When in fact I didn’t have to represent the same thing,” later adding, “I made a conscious decision to try to tone down the sexiness, I want people—especially young girls—to know that in life, nothing is going to be based on sex appeal. You got to have something else to go with that.”  As I said, it’s a sad reality that things are like that sometimes, but look at the fact that she got her foot in the door and got to work. Now, she’s an American Idol judge, has her own fragrance, Awards, endorsement deals..I mean, you notice her body but you acknowledge and appreciate Her and her work. What is there to not respect there?

 

Kim was just a random Armenian girl, Robert Kardashian‘s daughter, who became Ray J’s  girlfriend who’s now a millionaire, a brand, and all this from a sex tape. How many of us would have been able to drag ourselves out of the shame that comes with millions of strangers seeing you as “that girl who fucked Ray J” to having a dollar for every stranger who saw you naked? With the help of her mother, Kris, who’s also her manager, Kim worked her ass off and made all the right moves and now here she is with a reality show, dozens of magazine covers and a life many of us would kill for. The “slut” was smart enough to turn that all around.  Isn’t that lovely?

Looking at their respective lives/struggles, I personally find theirs more inspiring because they’re way more realistic. They are things I could relate to, situations I may end up in.  And the bottom line being: Shit happens. What are you gonna do about it?

As the saying goes “It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”  Are you still being exactly what people say you are?

AMBER THEN:

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AMBER NOW:

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NICKI:

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KIM:

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