Seeing Black Women Twerk On The Gram Makes My Skin Crawl
Social media provides the perfect space for the continued dehumanization, commodification, and fetishization of Black women.
As we kick off Women’s History Month, I thought I might start my commemoration of women with an unpopular opinion: I am tired of seeing Black women twerk on social media. I often cringe at the continued objectification of Black women’s sexuality and their bodies being available for mass consumption and commodification with just one click. I realize that in 2023, it is politically incorrect not to revere sex workers, exotic dancers, video and Instagram models, and all others who regularly show their assets for the world to see. But, at times, it all makes my skin crawl.
Mainly because we are so much more than our bodies and the stereotyped tropes that White supremacist culture have created for us to occupy. Let me explain. I am an older millennial, which may be ancient to some. But I remember when a person had to do more than open an Instagram account to get a gander at a woman’s backside. When going to college and earning a degree was preferred over fast money and exotic dancing, and when “leaving something to the imagination” was still a thing.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not condemning sex work or exotic dancing as means to earn income. Nor am I side-eyeing Instagram models, OnlyFans models, and others who bare it all on social media. However, I can’t seem to jump on the bandwagon that praises “p-popping on a handstand” over earning an advanced degree in higher education.
I understand that many of the examples I have provided are now considered demonstrations of women taking ownership of their bodies and sexuality. I can understand that line of reasoning. Listening to the City Girls even gets me hyped — ready to demand a BBL and new teeth from my husband. We live in a time when women feel they are deciding when to take off their clothes, open their legs, and say yes or no — and we are, to some extent.
That is, although women might be making the decision, a much stronger force is influencing these decisions and shaping the cultural norms we adopt — White supremacist culture and patriarchy. But this is nothing new. The…