It always fascinates me when Black women use permutations of “Black Is Beautiful” and “love the skin you’re in” to ether other sisters. That’s why I’m marveling over the latest incendiary jewel from Khia.
“Publicity stunt? Honey, what do I need publicity for? … Everybody knows that I’m against the Barbie thing. I’ve always been real. My hair is as nappy as an African after a rainstorm. We’re all beautiful just the way we are. I’m against the butt shots. I’m not into the wigs. I’m not into the Barbies. No.”
As if the “nappy as an African after a rainstorm” piece isn’t enough, Khia adds,
“She doesn’t make music for girls. It’s a difference when I say ‘My neck, my back, my pussy, my crack,’ because it’s my own. You should be making men bow down. I respect myself. Love yourself, hoe.”
Now one could argue that spotlighting/critiquing/doing color commentary about Khia’s ignance is a waste of time and brain cells. (It is, sort of. Unless you count this my contribution to the growing field of Ignance Studies.)
One could also make a strong case against the icky Pecola Breedlovalization of Ms. Minaj’s image. When she pumps that Harajuku Barbie (or Marilyn Monroe or new-faced Lil’ Kim) idea without unpacking or questioning the currency of it, she’s asking for cheap shots from shit-starters like Khia and Keys, a Nikki D-esque rugged child from Baltimore.
But in my book, the Devil’s Bargain Nicki’s made with pop consumers is a little less offensive than Khia’s pimping of Black affirmation and “rap bitch” empowerment. In the twisted universe of hip-hop morality, Nicki comes out on top.
Love yourselves, hoes.*
*Morally, politically and intellectually, this makes no sense as a kicker. But it’s too funny to resist.