While reading my new book, “Black Woman Redifined: Dispelling Myths and Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama” by Sophia A. Nelson, I came across a very interesting passage. Something that I have often thought myself and even had discussions with my friends.
“Someone once said to me, ‘Sophia, we teach people how to treat us.’ I agree. Unless and until black women in American get tired of living up to only a very low set of expectations and feeding into negative myths and stereotypes, we can stop complaining about the media reporting on our bad behavior.”
I couldn’t agree more on both the statement and the response/explanation. As far as the statement goes, “we teach people how to treat us,” think about how you conduct yourself in the work place. If you present yourself with distinction, respect, professionalism, and poise, you will be treat in such a manner that matches. However, if you are rowdy, late, don’t take your work seriously, and are unprofessional, people will treat you in a way that mirrors your actions as well. The way we conduct ourselves, handle ourselves, and the things we do and do not tolerate sets the tone for how people will interact with you.
With that said, in agreement with Sophia, stop complaining about how media reports us if “we” don’t stop acting in such negative manners. They only show what they see. If we don’t act that way, how are they going to depict us that way? You look at all of these reality T.V. shows, and you see black women loud, fighting, rude, hostile, ect. The list goes on. Of course the shows are going to air those moments, because it’s what sells. If we stop acting like that, they have no choice but to show the side of us that is lacking in T.V. and media today. Pure example: on twitter @TamiRoman (from Basketball Wives) tweeted, “A little disappointed that @vh1 didn’t show the footage w/my charity on show. It was positive & wouldve shown ppl there was more 2me…” Of course they aren’t going to show that. That’s not what boost ratings, but her getting into fights and arguments will. Now I have nothing against her. She’s actually my favorite on the show. However, if she were to maybe woosah a bit before exploding, giving her a more positive look, then yes I am sure VH1 would have shown the footage to help boost her charity as well as her image.
So ladies, please keep in mind how you portray yourself and remember that although you are not every black woman, you are a representation. So lets try and flip the negative notations and turn it into a positive one so that every time we are in the mass media it will be nothing but the best and most positive.