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I Was Labeled Anti-Black for Not Loving Kerry’s Gown

Hey  muchachitas,

It’s been awhile, I know. I’ve been away for good reason — I was finishing up my latest novel (it’s done, praise Him. Now I can clean my house and wax my entire body). More on that later, though.

Sorry, not sorry.

Sorry, not sorry.

Guys, I woke up yesterday sparkly-eyed and happy over meeting my writing deadline, but went to bed HEATED. I was having a conversation with a person — a black person — about the Golden Globes. We were doing what we always do after award shows; dissecting the looks with a healthy blend of thoughtful criticism and high bitchery. When we got to Kerry Washington, I told the truth. Which was that I LIVE for her, but that I feel that her stylist needs to ask herself some very important questions. Like, why does she always dress that stunning woman like she’s a maiden aunt (no shade, I’m a maiden aunt) who has approximately five minutes to pull herself together before fleeing the country? I mean, her kitchen was sticking out in the back. The dress looked like a comforter. My friend recoiled in horror when I said this.

My Friend: You need to revoke your black woman card.

Me: Why?

My Friend: You’re being the worst kind of black woman right now. We have to support each other, boost each other.

Me: Why should she be held to a different standard than Emma Stone? Why tip-toe around her just because she’s black? It implies that we’re some delicate sub-species of human that needs to be handled with kid gloves. Like we’re not on the same playing field, so we shouldn’t be judged in the same way. Kerry Washington is a fucking superstar. She looked nuts. I’m calling it out.

She had no response to this. Incidentally, I also didn’t love Lupita’s hair. Not because it was an afro, as my friend implied (she said this was a bougie response. I am bougie, but it’s unrelated). I just felt like all that hair overwhelms her itty-bitty, impeccably tiny little face. I didn’t like the robust fro for the same reason I’d hate a weave down to her ass. It’s too much hair for her! I’M NOT A NAUGHTY BLACK WOMAN. I’m a queeny armchair critic who slings equal-opportunity style judgment. Making allowances for black stars feels like saying, “Oh she’s black and a step behind anyway, so let’s all pretend not to notice the awkward length of that frock.” Please.

What do you think?

Love you mean it,

T-Weezy

 

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17 Comments

  1. January 14, 2015 10:55 am 

    Tia—Congratulations on meeting your deadline. Whew! So, I wanted to love Kerry Washington’s dress. I tried, six ways to Sunday, to love it. And, I totally agree with you. I had similar thoughts about Lupita’s hair–the dress was a winner, but the hair looked “wrong” with it, disconnected from the rest of her, and competing with the cool floral bustier. And, trust me, I LOVE a good Afro. I had perms from 7th grade through college that roughly (and badly) approximated one (Jew-fro.), on purpose—and did I mention, “badly”? I’ll never rock a spectacular Afro, is the sad truth. Can’t speak for all white women, the way no one should expect you to be the spokesblackwoman—but it would never have occurred to me to hold them to a different style standard. Of course, there’s a tendency among any group to be overprotective of its own (see also: Jewish Americans), but awards show red carpet moments are style contests, plain and simple. Everyone should arrive to win—or not. If not, go bold, go brave, wear the freaking meat dress and call it good, Gaga. But the stylists for these two women didn’t show up to compete—or to thumb their nose at the system. I’m with you! Next stop—world peace!

  2. Tamara
    January 14, 2015 10:56 am 

    Kerry’s dress was unattractive and unflattering. It has nothing to do with race. Wrong is wrong. I also didn’t love Lupita’s look – hair or dress.

  3. Simone Pratt
    January 14, 2015 11:13 am 

    Ok… I also was not doing a cartwheel for Kerry’s dress (I saw ankles right? and it looked like a coverlet) nor pumping my fists for Lupita’s hair and I usually am doing the running man for BOTH of them. But here is the thing: for YEARS, generations even, we (speaking for my family) would ROOT for anyone Black indiscriminately. If there was a Black woman running for Miss America, we rooting for her. Person of color doing anything – we were on the edge of the seat rooting. I think what you experienced is a mainstay throw back of that. When I was young the back page of Jet magazine had the week in review of all Black people on TV. One. Page. But times have changed and we don’t have to swoon over anything “just ’cause”. We are getting there. Soon we can all be the “queeny armchair critic who slings equal-opportunity style judgment” I love that! My Granma, Mom and I have been doing that at home since Style with Elsa Kletch… 😉

  4. January 14, 2015 12:12 pm 

    Girl, congrats on that deadline. I can’t wait to read the book and I plan on writing an article on your YA novels (more on that later). But yes, YOU ARE RIGHT!!! Kerry’s dress was a mess. She is too beautiful for that. She was PERFECTION from the neck up. But it was all clown from the neck down. I thought Lupita looked great but I do get your point about her tiny perfect face.and maybe too much hair. Those glasses were the truth tho. The dress … well, I don’t love it. Your black girl card is still intact if you ask me. I will see you on Twitter.

  5. January 14, 2015 12:16 pm 

    Congrats on meeting your deadline, Tia!

    I personally loved Lupita’s fro (it reminded me of Star Trek for some reason) but I don’t think it worked with her dress at all. Kerry’s whole look for the Golden Globes was underwhelming.

    If anything, I expect more from her and Lupita just like I expect more from someone like Emma Stone or Gwyneth Paltrow (didn’t like her dress either). They’re the stars you don’t expect to show up to an awards show wearing taffeta or a grecian-inspired gown. They’re the ones that are supposed to take risks.

    The fact that we as Black women are expected to love something fugly just because a Black person is wearing it is kind of akin to saying we should support Bill Cosby because he’s “one of us”.

    That’s stupid.

  6. January 14, 2015 12:48 pm 

    Congrats on meeting your deadline. I was afraid to say anything for the same reasons you listed above. I adore both Kerry and Lupita and I hated both of their dresses. I mean, while we’re being honest, I wasn’t overly excited over a few other dresses but I didn’t want to seem overly critical of our Black actresses.

  7. January 14, 2015 4:09 pm 

    not much to add to this that hasn’t been said, but just wanted to say that i LOVED this post. you are one helluva great writer, girl. i’ll be sharing on my blog on Friday! xo

    • twilliams
      January 16, 2015 9:39 am 

      Thanks for the share, Alyssa…I’m so flattered 🙂 You’re the best. Love your blog.

  8. Anna
    January 15, 2015 9:51 am 

    Girl, I totally agree that’s just crazy! !! The whole thing about we are black we have to support each other – but how is saying that someone looks awesome when it’s clearly not true support – it is a lie! And they are both soooo stunning but the red carper styles – horrible!

  9. Joi
    January 15, 2015 10:24 am 

    yes, Yes, YES! I agree with every thing you said … I am bougie, but it’s unrelated! PERFECT

  10. Nessa
    January 15, 2015 2:29 pm 

    That dress was awful, black , white and chinese can all see that

  11. Mee
    January 20, 2015 7:52 pm 

    Miss T Weezy,
    You are not anti-black for saying Kerry Washington did not look her best. Nor are you anti black for saying that Lupita’s crumb catcher and Afro were too big for her body. You are Pro-fashion. The playing field for these women in the fashion world is even. Everyone wants to dress them. The stylists and ultimately the stars made bad decisions. For the record I have Locs, and have heard people like Jay Manuel suggest that Ledisi wear a wig on the red carpet. Did anyone revoke any of his cards? Thanks for being truthful, no matter how anyone feels about it. Power to the needle
    and thread , that is✊

  12. January 22, 2015 8:16 am 

    Oh I couldn’t agree more, you are so right! It wouldn’t be right to go all soft on someone because of their skin color. It doesn’t matter. We’re just talking fashion here.

  13. NJC
    February 8, 2015 9:56 pm 

    Great post – and congratulations on meeting your writing deadline!!

  14. Ashley
    February 18, 2015 10:25 pm 

    Stumbled across this blog while looking for some black hair care chicks to follow, saw the title of this post and had to read it.

    To put it frankly, your friend is the kind of black person *I* can’t stand (and yes, I’m black). I don’t have to love/hate/support/diss/praise/ignore/whatever someone just because they do or do not fall on the same end of the color spectrum as me. That’s ridiculous and seriously closed minded. And Kerry’s dress is ugly. It’s ugly on her, it’d be ugly on JLo, or Charlize, or Mindy Kaling. Tell your friend she can have my black people card when she pries it out of my fingers.

  15. March 11, 2015 6:26 pm 

    I agree. Her dress is very ugly but I adore her!! I love your response and I applaud you for standing up for yourself!

    http://www.brittanyrenae.com

  16. July 1, 2015 3:27 am 

    Congratulations on meeting your writing deadline! I completely agree with you that being a fashion critic is nothing personal. I admire you for your sincerity and credibility. 🙂