Welcome to Taking Back Our Dignity. A forum for black women to discuss shortcomings within our interpersonal relationships.

Attempting to heal our relationships with ourselves and our sisters. We are no good to the world if our spirit and our hearts remain fractured.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Who We Are and How Others See Us

I was watching “Tim Gunn’s Guide Style” yesterday (I know, some might not find it compelling TV, but I love fashion) and he said to the lady on the show that you can’t control how you’re perceived, but you can control how you’re presented. It’s a simple statement, but telling. So the question needs to be asked:

How are we, as black women, perceived by others and how have we presented ourselves?

We are viewed as loud, demanding, having attitude problems, confrontational, evil, always tripping, money hungry, man haters. This is what I hear coming from black men’s mouths; I could imagine what others say about us out of earshot. Is this our fault that we’re perceived this way? Unfortunately, yes. We have allowed our out of control emotions to be on display not caring who saw us act a fool. We have allowed our bodies to be on display for the world to see. We have allowed our petty jealousies and contempt for each other to be exposed in public not realizing that eventually all of this acting up will get us labeled as an angry black women, whores or bitches (and many other negative labels that I won't bother listing.)

Now some will say that not all black women act like that. I beg to differ. We may not all act like that all of the time, however even us so-called dignified black women have shown our asses at some time. At some point in time we must take responsibility for how we present ourselves from the way we dress, to the way we talk, to the way we carry ourselves.

We must take responsibility for the young girl who has not been taught the proper way to act and show her the right path.

We must take responsibility for that teenager showing a little too much skin and show her how to be a young lady.

We must take responsibility for taking back our dignity that we have passively sat by and allowed others to destroy.