The album cover for Pharrell William’s G I R L was released a few days ago. I saw it before Twitter’s delayed and predictable outrage over it. I never gave it a second thought. I guess I have been desensitized to the exclusion of my race in all matters of media. Am I outraged that William’s a man of color, a man that looks more like me than the women he choose as models on his album cover failed to represent “me?” Honestly, I am not. I could not care less.
Days later I realize that my nonchalance towards it has everything to do with desensitization but not because I’m so used to “White is right.” It irks me that the outrage only seems to be that there isn’t a darker hued carbon of the white models on the cover. Don’t try and tell me why “erasure” should matter to me when I go unnoticed every day. I am unsympathetic to the discontent when I know any representation of a Black woman would not be a true representation of me or any Black woman that I know in real life for that matter.
I refuse to be upset about the album cover because I am never truly represented in anything. Skin color aside, attention for plus sized women is always part of a cause, a fad, a fetish. Why can’t I and women like me just be mainstream and accepted? I don’t want to feel empowered every once in a while because someone decided that a plus sized campaign was in order. My hair in its natural state is even something to be capitalized on for the time being.
Until I am, as a regular woman, considered mainstream, I can’t be upset that my skin tone was not represented on somebody else’s shit. When I can only be “pretty for a big girl” and I have to count calories to fit into an acceptable mold don’t expect me to be angry that a darker skinny girl was not represented.
During all the angry tweeting about the supposed shunning of black women, I was asked about my adoration of Lupita. Surely, my love of all things Lupita Nyongo was an indication of why I had to be angry with Pharrell. When I pointed out that my love of Lupita had nothing to do with the agenda at hand I was promptly rewarded with an unfollow. It’s true though. I can love the fact that Lupita is beautiful and refreshingly BLACK without giving a damn that Pharrell did not use her likeness on his album cover. I am entitled to my opinion no matter how unpopular and Lupita still does not represent who I am.
It is a bit preposterous to me that my opinion on this matter is unpopular especially since I know that if I campaigned and spoke out that William’s didn’t represent a chubby, natural haired, average looking black woman, I would only be supported for as long as it took for 1 or 2 retweets.