This conscious belief goes beyond a mere stereotype. The implications of this stereotype follow Black women like a shadow, lurking over them clouding their character. “When I leave my home now, whether I am going to the store or another country, I understand the weight and gravity of my presence and actions can have on the perception of Black women like me,” said Beverly Mondrey, Editor and Chief of Ultimate Gifts Guides Magazine. People’s perception of who they think you are determine how they treat you.
When overseas in South Africa, Mondrey was reminiscing with a friend about the origin of their friendship, when the topic of culture came up. Mondrey shared her adoration for her friend’s Islamic culture and Islamic women, to which her friend responded, “I didn't know you would be like me. I didn't know you shared the same morals. The movies always show Black-American women as very loose and without any morals,” At this moment, Mondrey felt the full extent of the stigma and assumptions people believed about her before she even uttered a word. “That is not just a critique of my abilities but my perspective, goals, desires and spiritual compass was beyond shocking for me,” said Mondrey.
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Nicole Sharma, a wife, Black woman, fashion designer, and founder of Nic Hyl Clothing, has seen the effects of this stereotype first hand. When Sharma was single, she encountered a lot of disrespect from men who believed that she fit this narrative. “I met some men that thought it would be easier to have sex with me because I was Black, and said so to my face. Because I've never been easy, it was a futile mission. But it showed me what some men of other races thought of me, as a Black woman,” said Sharma.
These stereotypes are used to justify the disrespect for Black women when in reality for many women of color this stereotype couldn't be farther from the truth. Vanessa Russell, of Global Luxury Travel, says this stereotype influences people to make assumptions about her that in no way reflect her story or character. “I have been single for over 20 years and it’s because I am not easy. I have choices. I have shown this same option to my daughter who happens to be a 27-year-old virgin and proud of it,” said Russell. As a single mother, many make assumptions about Russell’s background without bothering to inquire about the truth which is that she is a widow. Black women are typically shown as a poor baby mama as opposed to a well-established wife. The media needs to present Black families that are united to change this storyline.
The media needs to stop painting women’s bodies, no matter the race, as objects of someone else's desires. We need to change the rhetoric; a woman has the right to own her sexuality. Today, now that women are finally deciding to take this control back it is viewed in a negative light. “I appreciate artists like Beyonce, Jill Scott, Lizzo, Cardi B, Megan thee Stallion, who own their sexuality and they are doing good work towards liberation. I have heard mainstream media perpetuate negativity against them because of their liberating images and we have to change the rhetoric that says it's ok to own your body, to understand sexual maturity,” said Cheryl Ingram. We need to educate girls on loving themselves and their bodies because bodies come in all shapes and sizes, but all beautiful.
As much as the media has the power to perpetuate negativity, it also can cause real social change. The media is the main source that educates people on the authentic story of single Black women. “We are educated and taking effective action in the media, shining a light on authentic and real sisterhood, Black love, and even the simple complexities that take place in our daily lives, talk less of our love life. Our representation is increasing, which brings hope to the international decrease of the stereotype.” Mondrey said.
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G.L. Lambert uses his blog, “Black girls are easy,” to uplift single Black women as well as women of all races. “Black Girls Are Easy… To Love, if you take your time to understand their unique life experiences of this world. For years, I’ve dedicated myself to helping Black women avoid the games men play and get the value they deserve… and it has worked. I have so many stories of women who have had their lives changed by the “Black Girls Are Easy” website,” said G.L Lambert.
Being single doesn’t mean you’re easy or desperate for attention. Let’s reinvent what it means to be single because there is so much power in that title. As a single Black woman, you control your sexuality.
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