The Oversexualization of Women’s Bodies 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons


I often wonder why so many people freak out whenever they see certain female body parts. I notice that many people have a lot to say when a woman is naked or dressed in revealing or tight clothing. I thought about the tribal women of some other countries who are naked or nearly naked most of the time. I feel like a lot of people don’t react to them the same way they react to women who are naked or dressed in revealing clothing here in America. Why is that? What is the difference between those women’s bodies and American women’s bodies? 

I believe so many people freak out about women’s naked bodies today because women’s bodies are extremely sexualized in this society. Many of those tribal women from other countries aren’t portrayed in that same manner. We are constantly bombarded with overly sexualized images of women’s bodies on the daily basis, whether it’s through strip clubs, pornography, magazines, TV shows, movies, or advertisements. They are all around us. Women’s bodies are depicted as something that is only used for sex or sexual satisfaction. So, when someone sees a woman’s body, that’s exactly what they think. They think sex and start freaking out. 

Women’s bodies are even sexualized long before they’re even adults. It starts when they’re little girls. I remember a picture I saw on Twitter where someone was calling out people who were commenting on a picture of Skai Jackson, saying things like, “Where’s her ass?” I’m thinking, she’s thirteen! Why are you worried about her body?! And I’m pretty sure a lot of those derogatory comments about her body were from grown men and that makes it even more disgusting! (Even if they weren’t grown men, that still doesn’t make it any better that her body is still being judged at such a young age.) I also remember looking at comments on Willow Smith’s “Fireball” video featuring Nicki Minaj, where people were wondering “where her curves were” because she was dressed in a body suit, and comparing her body to Nicki Minaj’s and wondering why her body “didn’t look like Nicki’s”. Willow Smith was eleven years old, I believe, at the time. So, not only were people comparing a little girl’s body to a grown woman’s, they compared her to a woman’s body that isn’t even realistic, being that we all know Nicki Minaj’s body has been surgically enhanced. And Nicki Minaj is even oversexualized herself, as we see how she is portayed on a regular basis! I also remember the comments geared towards Maddie Ziegler, the little girl dancing in Sia’s “Chandelier” video. The pedophilic comments coming from grown people just because she was in a body suit utterly disgusted me. Whether they were jokes or not doesn’t matter because even if they were, the fact that people think making pedophilic jokes about children is funny should tell everyone that there is something really wrong with this society! Everything isn’t a joke! Even shows like Toddlers & Tiaras look like they oversexualize little girls. The little girls are wearing makeup and dressed in over the top dresses and put on display for their looks when most of the girls on these shows are barely any older than ten years old. I also remember being in one of my seventh grade classes and the boys were comparing the sizes of the girls’ breasts in the class to the sizes of different fruits. I don’t think any girl in the class were older than thirteen or fourteen years old at the time. There are many other stories like this of people, young and old alike, talking about young girls’ bodies this way. It is disgusting and something should be done about it!

The oversexualization of women’s bodies is so bad that women are even shunned for using their breasts for what they are actually supposed to be used for. How many stories have we heard over the years of women being shamed or kicked out of places for breastfeeding?

All I want to know is, why is this happening? Why is this society so bent on sexualizing women’s bodies to the point where they begin targeting little girls? Why is it still being allowed or accepted, as a matter of fact?

I believe women’s bodies are being sexualized in this manner because this society is built on sexism. Women have been the victims of sexism for many, many centuries. We’re still looking at the residue and after effects of when sexist tensions were at its highest; when women couldn’t work certain jobs, when women couldn’t vote, when women couldn’t make the same wages as men on the same job, etc. We’re still looking at that and it hasn’t gone away.

Because I think the oversexualization of women’s bodies comes from a centuries-long battle with sexism in this society, I believe they’re trying to send a message saying, “Women are good for nothing more than sex and their bodies. And that’s all they should be used for”. And they start sending this message before they’re even teenagers.

A woman’s body is a natural thing and it should be viewed and accepted as such. No one should freak out just because they see a woman naked or dressed in clothes that reveal some skin. We have been conditioned to react to women’s bodies this way. It’s time to break away from that conditioning!

Thick vs. Slim

I’ve seen a lot of posts titled “Thick vs. Slim” all over social media, comparing women with slim bodies to women with “thick” bodies. I don’t like it. In my observations, it seems like not only does it open the door to body shaming women of both sizes (because someone who prefers one size might talk negatively about the other size), it causes a divide because it’s like having men choose which body frame is “better” and can cause women to compete, and maybe look down on each other, for this praise.

It can make women feel insecure about their bodies, no matter what size they are. And it can also make women feel like their bodies are for men to judge and they are not. Women come in many different sizes and they should not be put against each other. 

I remember one picture about “Thick vs. Slim” that stood out to me most on Facebook. The top half of the picture featured thick black women (even though they were more obese than thick because they were well beyond thick) and the bottom half featured white or nonblack slim women.

I found it odd that the thick black women in the picture were way more sexualized than the slim women. They were nearly naked, dressed in very revealing lingerie (at least that what it looked like), and posed over each other in a very seductive manner. The nonblack women were just dressed in half top shirts and short skirts and were not overly sexualized. It looked like a normal picture a group of friends would take with each other.

It looked like the photo was set up like that on purpose to tip the scale further in the thick black women’s favor and looked like the message of the photo was saying the only way big black women can look as good or better than nonblack thin women is if they’re overly sexualized or simply, big black women look better than thin white or nonblack women. I didn’t like the picture at all (I can’t find the picture anymore to share it here. It would be better if I could).

I believe the “Thick vs. Slim” debates should be done away with. Women’s body sizes and shapes should not be put against each other. They should all be celebrated and accepted and it shouldn’t be made into a debate or competition in order to do it. 

Scorned Mother vs. Abandoning Father

I caught D.L. Hughley’s radio show one day and the topic was, who hurts a child more, a scorned mother or an abandoning father? I don’t remember what any of the callers’ answers were on the show, but to me, it seems like this question is trying to shift blame from one parent to the other, so one parent will feel like they aren’t hurting the child more than the other.

A scorned mother and an abandoning father BOTH equally hurt a child. If it takes two people to make a child, it should take two people to raise a child. 

A scorned mother can hurt a child by mistreating or abusing the child just because he or she reminds her of the father. They can also use the child as a tool to get back at the father for hurting them. They can do this by keeping the child away from the father when the father wants to see them or pushing the child onto the father when he wants nothing to do with the child. And they can speak badly about the child’s father and other men in general in front of them, which causes them to have anger, trust, and/or identity issues. 

An abandoning father can make a child feel like it’s their fault that their father is no longer in their lives. They can make a child feel rejected and neglected, therefore lowering their self-esteem, and they can feel hostile and aggressive. They can develop a disdain for other men and male authority figures, which can cause them many problems as they grow up. The abandoning father can make their child feel the same emotional and behavioral problems as a scorned mother.

Both of these types of parents can cause behavioral and emotional problems that the child will carry with them well into adulthood. Both fathers and mothers have to step up to the plate and do a better job as parents because many times, lots of parents don’t realize the damage that their actions and choices are giving to their children. We have to stop trying to shift blame and trying to make one person feel more guilty for something when we’re ALL guilty.

A mother should never speak badly about their child’s father in front of them, never mistreat the child for what the father did, and never try to use the child as a tool to get back at the father. And a father should always be involved in their children’s lives. If things don’t work out with the mother in a relationship, they should not make that child suffer by completely severing the relationship with them. There are ways a child can see both parents without the parents being involved with each other. A child should always have equal time around their parents, whether they’re still together or not.

People need to stop having children and doing this to them. It’s extremely damaging and unfair to them.

Why Black People Have Never “Gotten Over” Slavery

Black people have been told to “forget and get over” slavery for many, many years. We blame slavery for many of the problems that are prevalent in our communities today, from the broken families to the violence. But I would like to know, why are we being told to forget and get over such a hurtful point in our history? And why is it that we never “got over” it in the first place?

Slavery of black people in America began in the 1600s. White people used black people from Africa as slaves to help them with crops, such as tobacco, and other landscaping work. It became even bigger business after the cotton gin was invented in the late 1700s.

During this time, many black people were sold and disconnected from family members and loved ones to various slave owners. Rules and codes were created by slave masters that helped them keep their slaves divided and dependent on them. Of course, let’s not forget the long, harsh labor they were forced to do. And many of the slaves were brutally punished or even killed if they didn’t follow orders or follow them properly. All of these things were even justified because blacks were classified as uncivilized and barbaric, thus needing slavery and treatment in this manner to “discipline” them. 

Slavery lasted until 1865, when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, officially freeing all slaves. Black people had already endured severely harsh conditions for nearly 250 years by that time. There is no way so many people underwent such horrific and traumatizing events and conditions for so many years and are supposed to come out okay. 

After being freed, black people never received any therapeutic help to properly heal them. A lot of the ideals that were forced upon them during slavery were passed down from generation to generation. And, of course, slave masters never got prosecuted for the things they did for so many years.

Also, things didn’t stop and change for black people after being freed as slaves. They still had to deal with racist laws such as Jim Crow laws and Grandfather Clauses that enforced segregation and denied them their right to vote, discrimination, the Ku Klux Klan, terrorism from neighboring whites, police brutality, and being mocked in minstrel shows and other racist media, amongst other things for many, many years afterwards. And just like during slavery, a great number of those white people never got prosecuted for these things they did, if at all. 

It may not be as intense and violent as it was hundreds of years ago, but black people across the country are still dealing with racism from white people today and still don’t feel completely equal to them. 

Of course, there is a movie made nearly every year that reminds black people that they were once slaves, probably trying to send a message saying that’s all they’ve ever been. Civil rights movies are made just as frequently, reminding black people of everything they’ve been through in this country by the hands of white people. 

There has never been any real justice for black people in the hundreds of years we’ve been here. Still to this day, we never got back our original land, culture, customs, and languages that were stripped and stolen from us. We still remain lost and confused. 

Today, we are told that we should “forget and get over” slavery and that we “don’t deserve” reparations because we were never slaves. But what did the slaves get? This is what many people fail to mention when they say this. The slaves never got anything besides freedom. And they didn’t get freedom because slave owners finally felt sorry for holding slaves. They were freed to save the United States and its economy. They never got back everything that was stolen and stripped from them. As a matter of fact, the promise of 40 acres and a mule (which I think slaves deserve way more than that for what they went through) was never fulfilled. There’s a reason why black people are still asking for these things. And it’s not just for a handout, like the psychological warfare would have many people believe. 

I believe black people have never gotten over slavery because not only are we constantly reminded of it in schools and media, our ancestors hundreds of years ago never got fully healed, justice was never served, and the hurt has been passed down ever since. Whether anybody wants to believe or accept it or not, slavery really did destroy black people. We’re still looking at the damage that slavery has caused. Black communities would be completely different if slavery and racism never happened. 

Yes, we have rights today that we didn’t have hundreds of years ago, but they weren’t given to us as amends. Our ancestors had to fight and die for them and they shouldn’t have had to been “fought for”. Our ancestors shouldn’t have had to fight for any rights because those things should already be free for everyone and no other person should have the right to take that away from anyone.

I believe black people are told to “forget and get over” slavery because if we remember slavery and all the other hardships we endured throughout our history in this country, we will get angry. And when we get angry, we will become vengeful. And, I don’t think I have to mention what will happen after we become vengeful. We are told to “forget and get over” slavery because white people are afraid of our retaliation. It all comes from FEAR.

Does Whipping Your Children Actually Work? 

I remember sitting with my family and catching a glimpse of an episode of Dr. Phil years ago and they were talking about how to discipline children. They brought up, instead of spanking your children and yelling at them, try just talking to them and not yelling. We laughed and dismissed that as “that only works for white kids”. We believed whipping and yelling to discipline children was the best way to keep them in line.

Years after that, I checked out a parenting book from the library to help my parents with my little sister. I saw it as a good learning opportunity for me, especially if I wanted to have kids of my own someday. The book mentioned not to spank or yell at your children as well. It reminded me of the Dr. Phil episode. And at that time, I was much more mature than before and much more open-minded. So, I didn’t dismiss it as “just being for white people” anymore. Instead, I asked myself, “Well, have you tried it?”

I noticed that after all that time of dismissing not to whip and yell at kids, I never tried it. My family and I were all raised to believe that whipping and yelling is the best and only way to go as far as discipline. Our parents used it on us. Their parents used it on them. And so on. And I’m sure none of them have tried not whipping and yelling at their children, either. So, I decided to try it.

One day, my little sister was outside playing with her friends. When it was starting to get late, I went to call her in. She started crying loudly and in front of everyone. She did this every time me, my parents, or my brothers tried to call her in. It didn’t matter if she was already outside with them for 4-5 hours straight and the sun was starting to set. She didn’t want to come inside until her friends went inside. I saw this as my opportunity to try this different disciplinary tactic. Instead of yelling at her to come inside, I calmly told her to come inside. Then, I told her she couldn’t play outside for a few days as punishment for not obeying the order to come inside. And it worked! She never cried after any of us called her in ever again.

I never yelled to give orders again, either. And I saw that she listened to me more when I didn’t yell than when I or any of my other brothers yelled at her. That’s when I started to observe other kids and how they act when their parents whip and yell at them. I noticed that the kids who get yelled at and whipped the most are usually the WORST acting kids!

I realized that all the sources that said spanking and yelling is ineffective, the Dr. Phil episode, and the parenting book I read that said it were all true. Whipping and yelling doesn’t work as well as we think it does. We just use it because it was used on us as children and it’s the only way we know how to discipline.

I’ve seen lots of people whip and yell at their children all day long. Whenever they whip and yell at their kids, they sit down and cry and be quiet for a little while, but eventually, they get up and start doing the same thing that got them in trouble the first time. I thought to myself, If whipping and yelling works, why do you have to do it so much? 

People can argue that since the kids who get the most whippings are the worst acting kids, that’s why they’re always getting whippings. But after realizing that all the sources that says it’s ineffective are actually onto something, I’m surprised that it never comes across their minds that the kids are acting worst because of the whippings and yelling and never try something different. I read the studies that said that whipping and yelling at children makes many of them more aggressive. I believe the studies are true. I’ve confirmed them with my own observations. 

I’ve heard some parents say that they try to talk calmly, but they won’t stop until they yell or whip the kid, but I found that that’s only because the child has gotten used to the yelling and whipping. 

As a response to the studies that say whipping and yelling at your children is ineffective, people say, “My parents whipped me and I turned out fine”. But I believe that just because you “turned out fine” doesn’t mean that the whippings worked. It just means you grew up and learned right from wrong from your own maturity and experiences. I think people say that to justify whipping and yelling because they don’t want to stop doing it and are thinking that they are an exception to the rule. 

I’m reminded of a picture I saw on my Facebook timeline that had a picture of a belt with a caption that said something about how it helped them to “respect others”. Whipping doesn’t help anyone “respect others” at all. Your own maturity and learning experiences does. Tons of people have gotten lots of whippings as children and still don’t respect others as adults. It has nothing to do with getting whippings as a child. I think this is yet another excuse to justify whipping children.

People think that if you’re telling them not to whip or yell at your kids that it means to not do anything at all and let them do whatever they want. But saying not to whip and yell at your children doesn’t mean don’t do anything at all. It means try something different. Try something that’s more calming and less aggressive. There’s a difference between disciplining differently and not doing anything at all. You can still be firm and set rules without whipping and yelling. 

For example, if your child has their toys lying all over the floor and won’t pick them up, instead of yelling and threatening, “PICK THOSE TOYS UP OFF THAT FLOOR BEFORE I BEAT YOUR (YOU KNOW WHAT)!”, calmly say, “Pick your toys off the floor, please.” If that doesn’t work, say (still calmly, without yelling, threatening, and whipping), “If you don’t pick up your toys, you won’t be playing with them for the rest of the night.” Then, if that doesn’t work, follow through, take the toys yourself, and don’t let them play with them for a while. Following through when you give an ultimatum to a child is very important because if you say you’re going to do something and don’t actually do it and you continue to do that, eventually, they will no longer take you seriously. 

And try not to give punishments that are too harsh or too long. Those are ineffective, too. And the earlier you start with calm disciplining, the more effective it is.

I believe whipping and yelling at children doesn’t work because they only remember the pain and the fear and usually not the lesson, which is why they go right back to doing what their parents just whipped and yelled at them for later after the pain has gone away and after they’ve calmed down.

I think calmly talking to your children and putting them on punishment by taking a privilege or something they like away for a while does work much better and they behave much better because it gives them time to think about what they’ve done and learn from it.

And referring back to the beginning of this post where I said my family & I used to laugh at the idea of just speaking to kids and dealing with the situation in a calm way as “being for white people”. I hear a lot of black people dismissing not whipping their kids as “being for white people”. Why do black people think being nice to your children and handling situations calmly without violence as a bad thing? Why do they see it as something that’s just “for white people”?

My Stance On Abortion 

Abortion is a very old practice that dates back to ancient times. It is the ending of a pregnancy by removing the fetus or embryo from a woman’s body. Abortions can be done with abortion-inducing drugs or surgery. 

Millions of women get abortions every year and for many different reasons. Some including financial, a partner, family member or other people convincing them to get one, bad “timing”, health, already having children, not wanting children at all, and simply not being ready or mature enough, amongst other reasons.

There’s one thing that many of these different reasons have in common. And that thing is they all could’ve been thought of prior to conceiving a child. This is why I am against abortion most of the time. People know what creates a child. They know what their situations and feelings are long ahead of time. They know if they want a child or not. They know what their finances are. They already know if they are mature enough or not. …You get the picture. THEY ALREADY KNOW. When someone already knows something isn’t right for them, yet decides to go through with it anyway, made a poor decision or is just irresponsible.

There are so many different forms of free and natural birth control out here for people to still be having children they don’t want or can’t afford and they are easily accessible. Pregnancy is one of the most avoidable things you can think of. Getting pregnant and then coming up with a reason to terminate the pregnancy later doesn’t make sense to me.

Some of the few abortion instances I actually agree with are the instances where a woman is a victim of incest or rape. I agree with abortion in cases like those because those situations were forced upon her against her will. She didn’t ask to be raped by a family member or some other man. And she certainly wasn’t asking to get pregnant. She didn’t have a say-so in those situations. So, if she chooses to get an abortion in those cases, I can understand.

I can also understand abortion if a woman did use proper birth control, but it failed. Condoms break. Pills and intrauterine devices don’t always work 100% of the time. And an unwanted pregnancy can happen. That is totally understandable.

I can understand health instances, too, where there may be severe complications during pregnancy that force an early pregnancy termination.

However, having consensual sex completely unprotected is a choice and the consequences that come with it are not unknown to anyone (Being “too young” to not know is not an excuse. Many youngsters get the sex ed talk as young as twelve years old, maybe younger).

I remember in one of my high school classes, there was a girl who left the class (for some reason I don’t remember), but left her purse. While she was gone, several other girls went through her purse and pulled things out. (To this very day, I wish I could’ve said or done something to stop it, but I was too afraid to do anything. I don’t remember if the teacher was gone or not. They might’ve been if they weren’t trying to stop it. But anyway…). They found some condoms in her purse and when she came back, they, along with most of the class, laughed and made fun of her for having condoms. These girls were supposedly her “friends”. She handled it well; even laughing along with them. But she said, “Girls are always supposed to have condoms on them.”

And she was right. As many girls that were getting pregnant and talking about abortion in that school, instead of laughing and making jokes, they should’ve been doing what she was doing. 

Women should always have condoms or some other form of birth control on them if they know they are sexually active, but aren’t trying to have kids. This same thing goes for men, too, because it seems like there’s never anyone holding men accountable in these situations and they are just as responsible for a woman getting pregnant at the wrong time as she is herself.

If you don’t want to have a child, either don’t have sex at all until you’re ready to have a child (abstinence) or use the numerous methods of birth control available. It’s time for us as a people to start being more responsible with the decisions we make. That is even more important when it comes to having children! A poor or irresponsible decision in anything negatively affects a child far more than it affects ourselves, whether we notice it or not.

Talking & Acting White or Black: What Is It?

(Photo: Flickr)

People have always told me that I talk white. I have a soft voice and I pronounce my words in full, including the ‘ing’s’ in a word. I always denied it. It was such a ridiculous statement. I know I was just being myself and couldn’t help how I spoke. I was speaking proper English. This is how people who know English are supposed to speak.

I thought about how people ask other people who speak like this, “Why do you talk/act so proper?” My own father asked me that once. We think that’s us asking, “Why are you talking and acting so white?” But, actually, it’s us asking, “Why are you speaking and acting so correctly. Because that’s what the word, “proper” means; doing something correctly.

Apparently, many people are uncomfortable with black people speaking proper English and “acting” proper. I was never sure why. I thought there was no such thing as talking/acting white or talking/acting black. How can anyone act a color? I never knew where people got that from. It always sounded racist and stereotypical; basically encouraging black people to act and speak like they don’t know how.

But, one day, recently, I was sitting on my couch watching Alfonso Ribeiro on AFV (America’s Funniest Home Videos). I watched how he spoke and everything. Suddenly, it popped into my head, ‘There really IS a such thing as acting white!’

I figured this out, not as a criticism of how Alfonso Ribeiro acted and spoke on the show, but because watching him made me think of the history of black people in this country. It made me realize that there is a such thing as acting white. But it is of no fault of our own. 

Remember, black people, our original language(s), culture(s), and custom(s) were lost hundreds of years ago during slavery. We were forced to forget everything about ourselves and have been forbidden from reading and writing for many, many years. When we finally did get the opportunity to learn how to read and write, we adopted the English language and the “American” way of living and behaving, which is the white, European way.

Europeans, a.k.a. white people, were the people who were running the country back then and they’re still running the country today. Because of this, there is a such thing as acting white, but there is no such thing as acting black here. It’s either you speak and act to their standards or you’re the negatively stereotypical black person: ghetto, uneducated, unruly, violent, unintelligent, etc.

What we classify as “talking/acting black” is not really talking/acting black at all. It’s just a nonstandard version of the standard European way of talking and acting.

I now believe that, whether people know it or not, that “There is no such thing as acting white” and “You can’t act a color” are lies created and used to hide and sugar coat the fact that white people stole, stripped, and, later, replaced our original languages, cultures, and customs. Until we learn what our original languages, cultures, and customs were, we will always be speaking and acting as something we’re not.