Let’s actually talk about ‘Becky’

Yes, Becky with the goo hair.

I got a fresh sewn in weave at the end of February. My crown of kinks wears a cover of Brazilian wavy hair that hit my waist. A man in my neighbourhood saw me a few days later, “I really love your hair like this; you should keep it like this all of the time.” Of course, he would. I now had good hair.

My response? “I’m going to shave my head, just for you.”

LEMONADE is a narrative focused on the role of the Black woman in society. Who cares who the hell Becky is? My name is Camille, and I am a Black woman. My lighter skin colour has allowed me the privilege of people not assuming I am Black, but I am a damn proud black woman.

It took me twenty years to feel unembarrassed after saying that. I did not believe I was worthless because I was Black. However, I was aware from a young age that I became not enough once those words left my mouth. Last month, a boy on bumble asked if my hair “blown out or wild,” not that it would “bother” him but he, “wanted to make sure he was into it.”

That is the burden of being a Black woman; you are always in Becky’s shadow. I will be asked about the latest dance trends. I will be the proof that you are not racist. I will be your slim thick chocolate chip with a spicy mouth and bit of wit.

I will be told my lips are too big. I will be told my ass is too fat; unless of course you are one of the ‘kind’ gentlemen that try to slap it. My hair, I spent years pouring chemicals and applying four hundred degrees of heat to flatten every coil and kink. I wanted ‘pretty’ hair. Professional hair. Good hair.

The Black women that are able to retain the belief in their beauty despite the unyielding bombardment of European beauty standards and microaggressions will experience society throwing its hands into their napes and dragging them by their hair until those curls fall straight.

Just ask Tayjha Deleveaux, who was threatened with expulsion in February for wearing her hair in an afro puff, or the thirteen-year-old girl in Toronto that was forced to spend the remainder of the day in the principal’s office because she did not want to pull back her natural hair.

Ask Lil’ Kim, who is now unrecognizable as herself, and as a Black woman.

Then I turn on TMZ and see Kylie Jenner walking down the street in cornrows, or I’ll pass a newsstand and flip through a magazine using white models above the phrase “You, (Yes, you) can have an afro.” I feel as if I may throw up.

Despite how much Beyoncé has accomplished, despite how much more she will do, Becky’s presence has once again turned the Black woman into the bench warmer. Yes, Rolling Stone gave LEMONADE five stars, but we’re all a bit busy cursing out Rachel Ray (who, like, the internet has pointed out, just wants to make brunch). Well, by “we’re” I mean “ya’ll,” I’m too busy sipping lemonade and loving my Black ass.

Written by Manny King John

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