Beware of the thin line between classy and trashy when you're posting and sharing online.
The other day, I promptly “unfriended” a dude on Facebook who thought it was cute to post distasteful pictures of scantily clad women on his timeline. This is something that lately I do quite liberally, with no regrets. Each time, I still wonder to myself, exactly what were these women thinking when they posed for these booty shots for Instagram or posted their “twerk videos” on YouTube and Vine?
Last month at Essence Festival, Iyanla Vanzant talked about this and she hit the nail so far on the head, she had me doing the wop dance in the audience. “Black women are completely out of order,” she said. All of these online “models” immediately came to mind. You know, the ones who appear so thirsty for validation that they sell themselves for cheap, often times even before the fellas even place a bid. Can I please get a glass of “you need to stop,” hold the ice?
You have to ask yourself if these sisters know that women are continuously being systematically devalued by our society, and worse, that women like them aren’t helping the problem. Ladies, this behavior is completely out of order.
My guess is, these bold ladies aren’t aware of the consequences and implications because our society tells them that glamour and raunchiness are one in the same. No one tells the women who walk around dressed like Beyonce’ at one of her concerts that sexy celebs like Rihanna are just selling the fantasy and not necessarily living it. And, let’s not forget how video vixens and porn stars are given ginormous paychecks for letting the world into their bedrooms and then idolized for it. These days, one strategically leaked sex tape can launch an entire entertainment empire. (see: The Kardashians) With all of that hoopla and attention coming from negative images, how can a young woman recognize the harm to herself and other women that she’s really doing?
Naturally many men and women will disagree with me on this one and use words like “jealous” and “hater.” After all, it is men that are the immediate subscribers and beneficiaries of all these free online peep shows. But ladies, mark my words: A man respects a woman based on his perception of her own self-respect.
I can take y’all to church on this topic all day long, but instead I’d rather share my list of the five most popular ways I’ve spotted Black women acting completely out of order online. Are you guilty of one of them? If so, it’s time to expunge your record and start anew.
1. Posting Freaky Pictures
Posting freaky pictures on Instagram or texting illicit photos to any Tom, Dick and Harry is just not the way to go. You never know where these images will end up or how they will affect you down the line. I recommend you reserve those kinds of things for the man who becomes a permanent fixture in your life, not your boyfriend of six days or that cute guy you met at the bar last night.
2. Making/Posting Homemade Porn
One day your kid might get a hold of one of your self-directed films… now what? Think ahead ladies and be smarter about your acting and directorial debuts.
3. Posing In Over-Sexualized Outfits
I’m all for being sexy, and even showing a little skin, but at least please keep at least two thirds of your lady parts left to the fellas’ imaginations. Make him work for it, girl! He will appreciate that (and you) all the more.
4. Talking Dirty In Public (and Online!)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in mixed company and heard a woman talk about how good she is at [insert raunchy sex act here]. What the what? Girlfriend, do you realize that you just auditioned for a one-night stand?
5. Vying for Attention From Men
I see women compete with their own daughters and sisters to get attention and validation from men. Whenever I do, I just want to buy an “Out of Order” sign and slap it across their foreheads. Enough!
6. Wait. I said five, right? Sorry…it frustrates me so much that I got a little carried away.
Ladies, we are OUT OF ORDER ONLINE (offline too for that matter), so I’m putting in a formal request for all those guilty to do better. Know the line between sexy and “is she serious?” and please don’t ever cross it.
Jai Stone is a socialpreneur, author, syndicated blogger and the founder of the Emotional Nudity Lifestyle Brand. Jai writes about love, life and the pursuit of authentic joy. Follow her on Twitter @JaiStone or visit her blog.