For this year’s Black History Month (which might I add, as I always do, is the shortest month of the year), can we please get through February without attributing every “trend” that African American women have been doing since before time was time, to Kim Kardashian or some other “it” woman of the week whose name starts with a K?
Look, I get it.Black women are like that mystical, elusive unicorn so many search for. I know we radiate sunshine, smell like coconut, bissap, honeysuckle and strawberries. I know we look like we have been brushed with the dust of a thousand diamonds mined from the ancient lands of our ancestors sprinkled on our ageless faces by Afro-adorned fairies. Trust me, if I were not a Black woman, I would be in line to copy the style of every Black woman that I know and claim it as my own.
But I am a Black woman. So please stop.
While most mornings I love to wake up and scroll through my Facebook feed and find out which 7th realm of hell Donald Trump has decided to unleash on the American people, this week I was stopped mid ‘WTF is this man thinking’, (thanks Carrie) by a picture of Kim Kardashian and the headline from the Daily Mail. “Kim Kardashian Starts New Trend With Pierced Nails”. Really? New trend? New, you say? Thankfully there was a picture of Janet Jackson from 1999 with pierced nails clearly before the world declared Kim started a new trend. I immediately thought back to when I was younger and had pierced nails, nails with rhinestones, nails with glitter, Lee Press On Nails that my friends and I used a safety pin to put holes in for jewelry. Been there. Done that. Bought a T-shirt and a cute mug.
As my mom used to say, “I been where you are trying to get.”
And while I am at it, these are not boxer braids. No. No.
These are cornrows.
Say it with me, cornnnnroowwwws. Sometimes known as canerows. They are not boxer braids or any other “trendy” name you want to give them. Braiding our hair is as natural to us as it is for us to breathe. You know why? Because our people started the trend!
Our cornrows go back so far they were on the stone cover of hieroglyphics! My daughter came out the womb with cornrows and baby hair. Which brings me to my next point. Please stop with the baby hair “trend”. Madame C. J. Walker is turning over in her grave. Every time I see one of these pictures of women “creating” baby hair waves, I clutch my Blue Magic pearls. We have been slapping brown ‘will -snatch- all -your -edges’ gel on our “baby hair” with a worn-out toothbrush since I can remember.
But I get it. I understand and I certainly don’t mind anyone borrowing someone’s style. There truly is nothing new underneath the sun. Like I said, I would too. We are the innovators of endless swag. My only question is, what is it with this Christopher Columbus beauty trend attitude? Acting as if people discovered something that they didn’t. Just stop. It is okay to say, “Wow. This is a nice style”, and then research to see if it really is a new trend. You know how in the Ray Charles movie, his mom said, “Scratch a lie, find a thief”? It’s the same thing. Scratch a new trend and you will find a Black woman that has been doing it for years.
This is how 87.6% of all Black women look when we read these Breaking New Beauty and Fashion Trends.
This Black History Month we are not tolerating it. For 28 whole Black days, we want everything we ever started, invented or even thought about to be in our own possession! We are reclaiming it all!
March 1, you can go back to stealing, setting new trends. Until then, back up and let this Black Girl Magic Shine!