Recently, Kylie Jenner, the young reality star from “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” photographed herself with her new do — cornrows — and captioned it “I woke up like disss (sic).” The Instagram post got more than 1.3 million likes.
However, one comment caught the attention of Instagram users and began an online feud between Jenner and “The Hunger Games” star, Amandla Stenberg. Most famous for her role as Rue in “The Hunger Games,” Stenberg was among the thousands of commenters who had something to say.
“When you appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur (sic) position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur (sic) wigs instead of police brutality or racism,”Stenberg replied. Stenberg ended her comment with “#WhiteGirlsDoItBetter.” Her satirical comment is what started the uproar, in my opinion, and led people to talk about Kylie’s Instagram post.
The comment stunned fellow Instagrammers and became the topic of everybody’s conversations. The hashtag Stenberg used stemmed from the Twitter conversation that implied white women were better than black women or any women of color for that matter. Stenberg mocks the hashtag in her comment.
The Twitter conversation led me to reflect on the competition placed upon women in the U.S. Shows like “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “Bad Girls Club,” “Married to Medicine” and even Atlanta’s newest reality TV show on WeTV, “Cutting It: In the ATL,” all show the negative dynamics of how women work together, in particular black women stars. In fact, it’s difficult to name shows that show women in a positive light.
In my opinion, the women in these shows are pitted against each other to create more views for the show. The drama sells. However, they also begin to shape how the audience and media depict women.
As a black women I can see how what is shown on television makes the rest of black women look as a whole. We are labeled as fighters, whores, ratchet, unclassy and even sometimes b*tches. Yet, in reality, we are much more. It is hurtful to label an entire population of women as those things just because of how grown women act in their so-called reality shows.
I don’t want to grow up being labeled as ratchet because I’m black and because people have a limited view of black women. I don’t even want to be labeled as the valley girl with a motherly future. I only want to be labeled with positivity, beauty and confidence, because that is the legacy I want to leave for myself.