I know this guy – we can call him “Ted.” Ted is fine – both in body and face. His body has served him well. He was such an incredible football player all of his life that he played two years in the NFL. Since he was in Pee Wee Football at age six, coaches have lauded him, parents wanted him on their kids’ teams, teachers gave him passes, boys thought he was cool, and girls have adored him. When his football career was over and his football earnings were spent, Ted continued to use his body to his benefit. Though he had no job or money, women were willing to take care of him because of his nice chest, six-pack abs, and his “magic stick.” He has been taken to many fine restaurants and luxury vacations; and received nice gifts. 20 years after his football career ended, he still has not held a regular 9-5 job for more than 6 months; but instead has lived with and off of women. He knows that his body is his most valued asset and cares for it by working out religiously and eating well.
My other friend, Deon, graduated from Harvard University and medical school. He is an orthopedic surgeon in New York. Deon knew that he wanted to be doctor after spending years watching General Hospital with his mother when he got home from school. He has never gotten a grade lower than a “B” and has always been dedicated to studying. Along with his wife, Brenda, he is trying to instill the same study habits and drive into his twin girls, Ja’nae and Janelle. He tells them that you should never stop striving. To illustrate, he is working on a patent for an invention he developed that will help parents without hands hold their newborn babies. Since he is a doctor and focused on health, Deon exercises regularly and eats well. His vacation pictures on Facebook show a muscular, lean body. Women do not hesitate to comment on his physique.
Deon and Ted are as similar as Amber Rose and Beyonce. One has used solely her body for fame and accomplishments. The other happens to have a nice body that complements her other attributes; but she has succeeded because of her hard work and skills. Amber Rose was ridiculous when she tried to compare the way she has used her body for profit with the same way Beyonce has used hers. She stated:
“They come at me and Kim so hard because I was a stripper and she had a sex tape,” she said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “So if we could sing, it would be OK if we were on stage half-naked. We all love Beyoncé, but she’s on stage half-naked and twerking all the time, yet people say, oh, she has talent so she’s able to do that. We don’t have the talent that Beyoncé has, so we get criticized as former sex workers, but at the end of the day we’re just women—we’re all women—and we should all embrace each other. No one is greater.”
Ummmm…. baby girl, that is a MAJOR difference!. How the fu#k would it sound if a prostitute complained to the police, “Why am I getting arrested for having sex. Is it because I charge money for it. Other women have sex all of the time and there is no problem.” Amber, just because you can find one trait that you have in common with someone, it doesn’t make you two or your situations the same.
Now, while I argue that Amber and Beyonce aren’t the same; I do agree that they are equal and should be equally respected as women. I’m not going to dog anyone’s hustle or question anyone’s journey. Amber used her body to get to where she is now (a guest spot on Blackish is admirable). If we are honest, I guess we all use our best assets, or what we think are our best assets, to get as far in the world as possible. If Amber Rose’s body is her product, and she genuinely has no problem with it, I have no problem with it. There is, indeed, power in sexuality. I’ve felt it; used it and liked it. I stand taller when I feel beautiful. I don’t see myself as an object and won’t change myself because some men may see me as one (that places all the responsibility of a man’s behavior on woman). I don’t think that it makes me any less of a feminist. I don’t feel the need to neutralize my gender or sexuality to be a strong woman. and I am frankly sick of some making it seem as if you have to choose between wanting to be beautiful or powerful; sexy or intelligent. I can want equal rights, equal pay, equal job opportunities and still want to buy the fly skirt suit with the slit on the side.
BUT, my sexuality is a mere part of who I am; a footnote to the novel. Beyonce is sexy. She clearly embraces her sexuality, but it’s not the first thing you think of when you think of her. She is a singer, a performer, a hard worker, who happens to be incredibly sexy too. She has worked tirelessly since age four on her singing, her dancing, her craft. Amber Rose is sexy. That’s it. That’s the first and the last thing you think of when someone says her name. She has built her entire “brand” on her sexy style, body, and some say skills. It ain’t wrong, but it sure as hell ain’t Bey-like. Girl…bye.
*Beatnik realizes that she failed to address the comparison that Amber Rose made of Kim Kardashian to Beyonce. Come on…. Really? Some ish doesn’t need even be said.
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more