I mean, really, this video always made me question my sexuality a little bit.
(Shakira and Beyonce – Beautiful Liar)
Beyonce & Shakira - Beautiful Liar by EtienneEvolution
I like to watch this video because, well I like to watch it. And because I wanted to remember Beyonce and Shakira as they once were, all firm and fully-packed with the fluffy hair.
Both have since become noticeably slimmer, and dare I say it lightened up. Not just the straightened goldilocks, but as I recall they were both somewhere between honey gold and brown sugar, and now they just look like gluten free flour, or something.
You wouldn’t think the look would matter so much (Jennifer Lopez sucked even before she was hit with the white wand), but I can’t help feeling it does.
I’m not one of those annoying people that doesn’t ever want your favorite artist to change. Evolution is a good thing. But when are we going to stop thinking that in order to “evolve”, you should be less than, um, substantial… or less than, oh hell, I’ll just say it: brown.
Neither of these women are what I would call full-figured to begin with, but if people were trees, these ladies would definitely be trunks and not twigs. To me it looks like they went from "G'on, girl!" to "Just do the best you can, dear."
I guess no one is immune. No matter how successful you are, there’s someone always in your ear telling you that you could be bigger and better if you would only do this one thing. It just feels like the “one thing” is often related to an old refrain.
If you’re white you’re all right
If you’re brown, stick around
If you’re black, jump back
We’re half way through 2011 and there’s still way too much of a push for one of two options for brown girls. You can keep your face hidden, turn around and stick it out, or if you show your face, it better look right. And by right I mean…just saying. It’s disappointing.
I love how incredibly varied we are on the spectrum of things. We don’t all look one way or another. I’ve got four people in my immediate family, and we were four completely different shades. My sister and I look nothing alike. We both have certain features from our parents but not the same features. My sister has always been whip-your-head-around hot. I’m more like, stare-at-me-long-enough-and-I-might-start-to-look-sorta cute. Overall, my DNA has some good stuff in it.
There are old pictures of men in my family that look like Paul Robeson and others that look like Colin Powell. There are pictures of women in my family that look like Hattie McDaniel and some where they look like Lena Horne. (There was one picture in my house that for yeeears, I tell you, yeeeears, I thought came with the frame. Turns out it was the great aunt that raised my mom).
I say all this to make it plain that I know we are many things and we appear in many ways, all of them beautiful. But then I said that to say, it would be nice if that was reflected more in the things we see in film, television, and print.
So some of you are probably rolling your eyes right now wondering, “why does it even matter?”
I would imagine that it shouldn’t matter. But it’s hard to not feel like it does when you see someone’s permanent tan suddenly go in reverse.
All that aside, Beyonce’s new CD is in stores this week. I think I’m going to wait on this at the library, but if you pick it up, let me know how it is.
Shake it, sister! (Janet Jackson "Come Give Your Love to Me"