“Many successful women suffer from impostor syndrome. Impostor syndrome is the feeling that you’re a fraud—that you’re somehow less qualified than your peers, less deserving of success, and that you’ll be ‘found out’ if you don’t work longer and harder than everyone else.”—
Joyce Roche, Avon’s first African-American female vice president
M.I.A has never been an artist who worries about her public image. But unlike other “controversial” contemporary female artists like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry or Miley Cyrus - whose meat dresses, girl-kissing and sexualized racism are merely attention-seeking stunts aimed to further a limelight persona - M.I.A lands in the spotlight because her sense of self and her sensibility are so adverse to traditional American media narratives, and she has always refused to play nice or compromise her beliefs to please such audiences.
She confronts this head-on in Matangi, her fourth full-length studio album, which came out at the beginning of November. No apologies here, as Maya takes on the reaction to her 2012 SuperBowl performance (“Let you into SuperBowl/you tried to steal Madonna’s crown” she says in Boom Skit) where she flipped the bird on live tv and was subsequently sued for $1.5 million by the NFL. At one point, M.I.A said that her middle finger was a symbol of devotion to Matangi, the Hindu goddess from whom this album takes its name. But M.I.A knows that what makes her unpalatable to many Americans is not her actions, but who they came from.
We live in a world where it’s more acceptable to dislike yourself and openly say “I am ugly” rather than actually appreciate yourself and openly say “I am attractive” because how dare you feel good in your skin and say it out loud, what an awful human being you are, you can’t walk around thinking you’re good, you piece of shit.
“Fat people, queer people, trans* people, femmes, disabled people, POC need and deserve affirmation too! For many of us taking selfies is an exercise in putting our self-love into praxis. The act of loving, seeing, and accepting oneself in real time. Also, so what if people take pride in the likes and comments that their selfies garner?! There is nothing wrong or gross about freely accepting compliments. Folks need to stop pathologizing those who relish in the compliments that they receive. It takes lots of work and practice to be able to freely accept a compliment, especially when you struggle to see yourself as worthy and never was accustomed to receiving them!
Black feminists coined the phrase “the personal is political” (no matter what Wikipedia tells you a white women DID NOT coin that phrase) and indeed taking selfies is a personal act deeply rooted in the radical politics of self-love. If someone can’t see that that, it simply means that their mainstream pretty, thin, & skin privilege is getting in the way of that.”—The Feminist Griote » The Radical Politics of #selfies (via brutereason)
“The fact that Racism 2.0 is subtle, rather than blatant, and institutional, rather than individual, makes it all the more insidiously oppressive and effective as a system that maintains unequal access to social and economic resources.
As we have shown, the policing of language is a fake-out, an excuse for preventing marginalized groups from accessing power, property, and influence. It ain’t ever really about ‘your verbs agreeing’ or ‘enunciating the ends of your words.’ Because of the strong links between language and identity, linguistic discrimination is often nothing more than racial and ethnic discrimination by proxy.”—H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman, Articulate While Black (via socio-logic)
From Queens, Brooklyn comes artist Princess Nokia, the second incarnation of Wavy Spice. Not only does she reference Paris is Burning, the late Nickelodeon show Taina and The Coldest Winter Ever, but her fashion sense is a dream for anyone who grew up in the early noughties. Not afraid of a house beat, her penchant for femcore braggadocio promises to fill the hole left by Lil’ Kim and even old-school Azealia (before she started using slurs and picking fights). By her own description, she was a teenage barrio metalhead who took the license to be weird, and she has been confusing people ever since.
Princess Nokia is an exciting musician because she’s whip smart- she knows exactly what you think her aesthetic is. Like Nicki Minaj, she’s playful with her style of rap and changes tack just when you were going to put her in a box. At the height of her buzz with ‘Bitch I’m Posh’ in 2012, she followed with ‘Yaya’, an homage to her Taino ancestry, which changed everybody’s minds.
Her versatility shows she is about women of colour moving from underground music, being understood, being visible, having pride, and being represented as layered. In the great tradition of rap allowing individuals from minority backgrounds immortality, she is splitting herself into multiple aliases, which dream bigger than society thinks she deserves. She is creating familiar and alternate realities for herself, and I can’t wait to see where she will take us to next.
“As a Muslim feminist woman of color, I cannot relate to Slutwalks as it caters mostly to the definition of emancipation set by white women. Slutwalks deviate in terms of delivering the message against sexual assault. It turns a blind eye to women of cultures where flimsy clothes don’t necessarily lead to rapes. Muslim women get raped too. Nassim Elbardouh is right. “Do Not Rape” Walk sounds better. This isn’t to say that I don’t support Slutwalks. I simply can’t relate to a liberating movement that does not liberate nor acknowledge me. Western feminism, despite its undeniable achievements, still perpetuates the image of a white woman as the liberated one. If these feminists do claim to represent all women, they need to understand the dynamics of the cultures other women hail from. Don’t care if you’re wearing a thong or burka, no one has the right to rape you. Burka clad brown Muslim women get raped too. Represent us. I want a movement that represents me regardless of my color and creed. End victim blaming and rape culture by representing everyone.”—Mehreen Kasana via twitter on Slutwalks (via pushinghoopswithsticks)
“To anyone out there who deals with mental illness during the day and horrific nightmares at night. Moment of silence for every one of you. It is a dark dark place with seemingly no escape, a myriad of tunnels, a maze through hell. Many belittle the small triumphs but know this, your very existence shows immense strength.
And to all of you struggling with depression, anxiety, self harm and any other imbalance: I applaud you for making it through another day. Fighting mental illness is one of the most difficult battles to face and many of you face it alone because no one sees the monsters you see, the monsters that you fight every moment. Every day you decide to live on is an amazing victory. And it’s time you were commended for that.”—(via paperdollrage)
Did you know Frida Kahlo actually went the extra mile and used makeup to make her natural mustache even darker. She gave no fucks about racist beauty standards and was trying to make you uncomfortable so fuck everyone who’s ever said she would have been prettier if she just did something about her facial hair.
This poem is about a pregnancy scare that I had, knowing that I would get an abortion even though the feeling of potentially having a baby inside me was nice.
It took less than two weeks for your love to hiccup less than two weeks for us to forget to iron out the wrinkles in the sheets so I guess it’s no surprise that it took less than twenty minutes for us to push and shove and sweat and do the opposite of letting go. In fact, I’m holding something closer than you will ever get to and I’m not so sure that it’s a bad thing.
This is what I was talking about when I said that I’m scared, scared because the way you look at me is like you’re shooting arrows through hoops and I’m loving like a blind man, my hand is my walking cane, and it’s never felt a warm like this.
This is me making a scene. I know my body is crammed, but I’m gonna stuff a few more “what if”s in there "what if"s like maybe I would feel a little less like an empty 2-liter a little more like I’m trying to hold the world because yes, it’ll take more than a town to raise you. You who is the helium to my balloon, and the love that they won’t understand. You who has already knocked the wind right out of me, you, the future kickboxing champion.
I’m writing myself a card, and it goes like this: congratulations, you’re not expecting. In fact, you’re never gonna see this coming until all of a sudden, you can’t see your toes anymore.
This is your future. And you have decided not to let anyone tell you how skin is supposed to stretch.
Youth Man are Kaila White, Adam Haitof and Marcus Perks, an androgynous, Riot Grrl-influenced group from Birmingham.
Their latest single, Heavy Rain is possibly their darkest track to date, with thundering percussion, half-whispered, half-screamed vocals and lyrics which evoke gothic tales like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; "He lumbers forth/My man-machine/And takes in all of the things that he’s seen…".
I want to see more girl monsters. Girl giants, girl dragons, hulks & trolls. Scylla and hydra. Girl monsters who are huge and whole. Teeth and plush fur and long muscled tails. Heads enough to see you anywhere. Gleaming green or brown. But girl monsters are usually zombies or vampires. Pale and thin, bleeding or dead. Not Lady Lazarus, not a phoenix from the ash. I want to see how you get strong without being broken first. Get strong and stay strong. Get big and bigger.