Since 2000, I've been listening to songs that use phrases like "I Am Not My Hair" or "I Am Not This Skin" as antithetic lyrics to the saturated, popular songs by musicians who espouse the complete opposite of the empowering aforementioned anthems. But at a time too, when women are cutting off their hair or wearing naturals, do we need anything else to partialize the aspects of our being that does make us unique and identifiable? I know why songs written by India.Arie and others like her are important (and I am a big fan of her music) but whether we shave our heads or lighten our skin doesn't change really that much about who we are on the inside. That's really the point of it all. Those songs are also not just written for those of us who know that.
I continue to come back to this rigid system of beliefs about women and certain types of women that our culture views in narrow, limited ways. Women also box ourselves into these norms. One of the most rebellious things I ever did was cut off my hair, twice. But that was the most trivial of things I do that is rebellious. Every day I speak out on injustice and indifference. But just like an India.Arie or anyone else I use what's most relevant to get people to tune in first, so I can have their attention to focus on what's more important, second. The lesson after is that I'm really not my hair, or my skin, or my overall appearance. I am much more. I am complete.
Labels: Culture, Entertainment, Social Issues