Friday, April 2, 2010

Our generation's attack on beauty

It is no secret that our beloved hip hop, especially in its newer form, has done some damage. It has damaged the image of Black people, damage to the value of healthy relationships, damage to the ambition of our youth, just to name a few. But one that really sticks out and bothers me is the attack and damage done to beauty itself.

Back in that day, how pretty a woman was tended to be the central focus of her being, and most songs. Back in those days a woman's beauty alone could stop someone in their tracks. With the emergence of our generation's hip hop culture, that practice has all but disappeared. The commodification of women into objects and body parts has made the individual traits that make them unique and beautiful are almost irrelevant. If you don't believe me, pick a new raper and listen as women are lumped in with cars, jewelry, and clothes as objects that affirm the rapper's status. In fact, being classified as "pretty" is merely and added perk to an already near perfect combination of hips, ass, thighs, and a small waist. Alone, it no longer holds any weight.

I find myself more and more disturbed by the implicatins behind this as well as the effects on girls and women. I think it's important and means alot to be able to look in the mirror and recognize your own beauty. But for those growing up and living in a culture that is consistently reminding them that that beauty isn't good enough, how can they ever learn to love themselves? Can they ever look at themselves and be content? Can they ever really be bad bitches without any self esteem?

Hip hop added value and a level of prestige to the term "bad bitch" while simultaneously making it almost impossible to achieve. Now that the damage has been done, I can't say this enough, it is up to us to help bring out the bad bitch in all women... No one else is going to do it.

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