In Defense of “Lady Like”

Posted: January 30, 2014 in Current Events

Tina+TurnerI’ve been thinking a lot lately about women’s role models and the barrage of Internet/media driven images that bombard young ladies today.

I didn’t blog when Miley Cyrus did her public parade of poorly executed twerking, and social media lit up like a Christmas tree. I didn’t see much point to commenting, although I was amused by the fact that a well-known, ancient stripper move now had an official name, and everyone acted like the child had invented it, and for a minute, we all lived in “Twerk Nation.”

I didn’t blog about the fact that young white performers seem to think adopting/co opting black culture is the ticket to their success.

I didn’t blog about the fact that the original hip shaker, Mz Tina Turner, whose stagewear barely covered her cookie jar, and whose big, pretty legs were insured by Lloyd’s of London would never be caught twerking in public.  We’re all familiar with her superlative rump shaking skills, yet she somehow managed to escape looking trampy. Sure that was a long time ago, and I know I shouldn’t live in the past, and “Shannyn just move on” and things change but…

I wasn’t even gonna blog about Beyoncé’s Grammy performance with her husband who actually joined her onstage wearing a tux. Jay Z was creeping around like an old man, adding his stamp of approval to her lackluster overly sexualized performance. It didn’t bother me that it was hypersexual, it WAS Beyoncé after all. What was striking to me was how boring it was and the firestorm of feedback that resulted. Many were offended by her choreography, and the subject matter of the song. I wondered why  people were finally getting upset. Some people were  just fed up.

She was really no more sexual than any of Janet Jackson’s or Rihanna’s, or even Madonna’s early performances, or even Prince when he wore his see-through pants. What’s puzzling  is that the woman who used to sing about how “Girls Run the World” is NOW mostly singing about how sex runs her life. It’s logical that a performer who has been in the game since she was a teenager doesn’t feel compelled to continue to be an example for young girls. I just wonder who’s her demographic of choice now? A lot of moms are dismayed about the example Beyoncé is setting, but my dears, seriously, if you’re depending on Mrs. Carter to be a role model for your daughters, you need to go look in the mirror, and hopefully make sure you’re being the best you can be when little eyes are watching.

Beyonce’ is a mom herself now, and fortunately her daughter is still too young to understand that mommy and daddy were up on stage proclaiming to the world how much mommy likes to ride “daddy’s surfboard.” Beyonce claims her new album celebrates feminism, and one song even includes an audio clip from my favorite author Chimamanda Ngozi’s TED talk on feminism. But feminism is much more than just owning  your sexual power,  and throwing it around like a weapon. You can’t  let that be your only calling card. What else are you bringing to the party?

tumblr_lztbusENvH1qjx5b2o1_500Black female role models used to come from TV, the movies, and Jet and Ebony magazine. Sounds quaint doesn’t it? Who do impressionable young girls and teenagers look to now as examples of how to shape their own image? The Real Housewives of this and that, music videos, etc. Digital images are so readily accessible, young kids can watch porn on their cell phones, and young women constantly receive mixed messages about their beauty, and desirability, and what they should do with it.

Nowadays, conducting oneself like a lady, is considered old-fashioned, prissy, corny, and unnecessary, which is a scary thought. Being lady like is becoming  a lost art. Men often tend to treat women based on how they see women treating and conducting themselves. If the strongest message of your self definition is your sexuality, don’t get mad if the only place he takes you is to bed. So what kinda treatment do young women think they’re gonna receive by posting YouTube clips of themselves  twerking like their  life depends on it? Or running around in club wear in the middle of the day in dresses so short they’re practically showing their “good china.” It’s not always appropriate to have your face made up way past flawless, tipping across the line toward porn star face. Young ladies are under so much pressure on how to define their looks, natural hair vs. weaves. Their mom’s rules vs. what’s popular at school. Raging out of control hormones. Ugh, no wonder kids are so confused.

Ladies, if anyone ever accuses you of being too prissy, or gets annoyed and says you’re much too lady like, just say “thank you” and consider it a compliment.

  1. zoerabbit says:

    Loved this! Thank you!


  2. Paulette brown says:

    Loved it!!!!


  3. puccdetroit says:

    This is good! Keep writting!


  4. Shinda says:

    Great read! Keep em coming!!!


  5. Petronia says:

    Great and to the point for today. Linking TODAY’S actions to YESTERDAY ‘ Sexamples is masterful.
    Thanks to the “melanindaries”, a Greater Voice for TODAY.


  6. Die Trying says:

    When I linked my “Perverted World” post to your blog, I needed the time to read this carefully so I stored it for later, because I was hooked by the first few lines, so happy I stored it, it is brilliant! Your last line of being a prissy is a sad reality. My favourite line, witty and hilarious: “You can’t let that be your only calling card. What else are you bringing to the party?” Great read 🙂 xxx


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