Tuesday, July 1, 2014

BET Awards 2014: The bad and the ugly

Did you see the 2014 BET Awards last night. I sort of did. I watched a good chunk of it but the anger, irritation, and appall within me rose to an unsafe level causing me to shut off the television. Maybe because I don't watch TV or listen to mainstream music was the reason I was so taken aback, enraged, and repulsed by the celebratory debauchery I witnessed.

It's curious how black people could complain about the negative way we're portrayed in culture and treated in society when we so vehemently promote that degrading stereotype when given the chance to reframe it. Often times, the only idea other ethnicity have of black people is the one they receive from mainstream media, and while there is reason to believe the media's depiction of black people has an agenda achieving underbelly, we are responsible for being the refreshing change we we would like to see.

So often we hear mentally blinded people cheering over all the progress our nation has made, and how it is such an achievement to see black people on television. I beg to differ. In most cases, when a black person is on television he is either stupid, conniving, drowned in emotional baggage, or branded with some other undesired adjective. How is this progress, to see our people on TV behaving in the way other ethnicity already expect us to? Blacks feel good because now they have a lot of money, completely missing the fact that the gold chain around their neck is just that, a chain, a symbol of their willful imprisonment.

They mentioned Jesus more than a few times on the awards last night, and a woman sang a gospel song somewhere in the middle of profanity laced, basically naked women gyrating as a man in dark sunglasses sang about big booties and alcohol. Ironically, this same man later mentioned how grateful he was to Jesus for his award, right in the middle of his participation in modern day Sodom and Gomorrah show.

One of the main events of the evening was the Civil Rights presentation wherein a slide show depicting black s being thrown on the ground, a white woman using the "n word" and other dark memories that shouldn't be focused on during a positive, celebratory event was played on the big screen. It was a not so sleuth way for the non black owners of BET to make sure the unsuspecting, materialistic, idolatry invested "celebrities" in the room didn't forget their place. In hindsight, it is actually funny how they showed all those dark scenes and used the n word and all the black people in the room didn't even notice that the joke was on them. Chris Rock made unfunny jokes, where many of his colleagues served as the punchline.

It was all very disgusting.

shame on skinny shaming

“Someone get that girl a burger.”
“Dude, you look anorexic.”
“Oh my gosh, you’re so skinny, I hate you.”
For some reason, when someone is thin, they automatically become an acceptable subject for public ridicule. I mean, sure you don’t know the slightest thing about them or their life but due to their mostly universally appealing figure, it is perfectly fine to unabashedly hurl  insults, express “genuine concern” for their wellbeing, or blatantly tell them that you hate them. Furthermore, the skinny person is overreacting, or suffering from “privileged people problems” when offended by such banter because duh, they are skinny, absent of body fat and apparently of feelings.
Basically every facet of media is dominated by weight loss advertising. There are  bunches of liposuctioned, gastro bypassed celebs on TV swearing by programs and pills, incessant surgery based spots in between songs on the radio, and that gross .gif on the internet where the chick’s stomach repeatedly expands and shrinks enticing you to click and discover the ultimate diet secret no one wants you to know. To save you time and face, I’ll go ahead and reveal that the biggest secret is that there is no secret. Eat healthily, exercise regularly, and you too can experience shameless mockery.
Some skinny people are naturally that way, they eat whatever and whenever they want yet their inherent metabolism keeps the scales from tipping. A lot of thin people though, are health conscious, active people that have adapted healthy eating habits in order to achieve and maintain the slim figure many look at with feigned disdain. Admittedly, it can be initially difficult to eat right and exercise. But learning how to read wasn’t effortless at first, yet you didn’t give up, did you? And over time it became a natural part of your being. Establishing a healthy lifestyle works the same way. Instead of hating all over the result of someone’s disciplined lifestyle, why not be inspired by it? At least that’s productive, and kind of takes off the evil, yet socially acceptable, skinny shaming label you’ve subscribed to.
Everyone has “fat days”, everyone, whether it is the result of a food/booze baby or the monthly visitor that assures you are not having one. However, skinny people are attacked for feeling fat. “Shut up, you’re not allowed to complain!” or “Oh my gosh, if you think you’re fat, what do you think of me?!” While people with higher BMIs can go on incessantly about how fat they are amidst Big Mac inhalation, the thin crowd must silently harbor their mutual, body discomfort. Just because a larger person’s fat day happens to occur on a daily basis should not afford them exclusive rights to body concern expression.  What if the thin person in question really does have an eating disorder? Though many have already assumed they do.  While good old Hollywood portrays anorexia as glamorous, in truth, it is not.  It has a lot more to do with how a person feels than what they look like; it is also a deadly mental disorder, not a casual supposition.
Fat has become an abhorrent swear word, it is surprising it’s not bleeped out on the radio. Call a skinny person sick, conceited, or gross all day but the moment someone even whispers that a fat person is indeed fat, their morality is questioned. How dare you? You don’t know their life! She could have a health issue! It does not make any sense how referring to a fat person as fat is obscene.  I mean, they are fat, like… isn’t that what it’s called? Of course there are dozens of truly negative words one can call a fat person, but declaring their true bodily state is not one of them. However, that toothpick, prepubescent looking, little never eating thing over there should just laugh and shrug off the truly derogatory statements made toward her.
Everyone claims to be so turned off by racial, sexual orientation, and gender prejudice. However, when it comes to body weight, a universally unanimous theme, a blind eye is turned to the common cruelty and hypocrisy it entails. Next time you see a thin person, keep in mind that they may have already had a burger, one made with whole ingredients and not obtained from a paper bag passed through their car window.