I’m Kimm, half of the iWonder Sisters; and an African-American woman. I had an amazing mother, and an “ok” father. I was raised beautifully; taught the value of reading, art, and creativity. I was raised around many people of various cultures; from African to Russian. I feel very fortunate to have had such an experience, because it shaped me into the woman I am today. And I like her,a lot!
As I am building my new blog, MarriedToTheBlog.wordpress.com, and looking for wonderful pics and graphics; I came upon a sketch of a lady, looking beautifully nerdy, reading a book. I loved the image, so I placed it on my blog. I’m a proud techy geeky lady, and pretty darn cute too! But I began to question if my sketch should have been a black woman; maybe more representative of who I am. As I went back to Google and Bing Images, I searched for a similar sketch or artist’s interpretation of a nerdy, intelligent black woman, with that techy swag; well, I still haven’t been able to find one. As a matter of fact, no matter what “search phrases” I put in, the majority of the depictions of Black women were overly sexual, which has nothing to do with my blog, or really, the essence of Kimm. I like “Sexy”, and I think for 46, I’m pretty sexy; but the essence of my sexiness is based on my authenticity, not my rear end, or any other part of my anatomy. I was disappointed to see that my “kind”, was not represented in popular image.
In my disappointment, I wondered what, or who was the blame, for the narrow-minded images of black women on the Web; is it men, is it other races, or is it the “video chick”, that too many people see, when it comes to Black women? Is it our fault as a collective? And if so, what can we do at this point to create some balance?
Granted, there are many pics of women of all races, that are overtly sexual, and some degrading; but the truth of the matter is, I seriously doubt that when most of the world, thinks of European or Asian women, that the first thing that comes to mind is a overly sexualized being. I’m sure there are many thoughts and words that would be used to describe other women; sexual, being only one.
So in a way, I am pondering, have we, as Black women gone from the mark of “the angry black woman” to the “Butt-naked Black woman”? Distressing. For me, anyway. I would desire that we be seen as all other women are seen; varied, diverse. As a Black woman, I believe I can say with truth, that we are sexy, smart, techy, nerdy, athletes, artists, doctors, lawyers, environmentalists, authors, Pagan, Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, religious, non-religious, assertive, shy, aggressive, timid, hot, cool, talkers, listeners, afro-centric, not afro-centric. We are, like all women, we are many wonderful things.
My search continues for a type of “woman of color” artistic representation of my techy, nerdy, geeky self. If not, I will be happy with the European image that I love so much, which is currently on my blog. This could be a lesson for me in many ways; that our image as Black women appears to be tainted, and that maybe I don’t need to concern myself with the “race” of my graphics on my blog. That maybe, I should look for what I feel, is truly ME.
I am an activist of all women, all races; as my mother was. I came from “activist” stock! So my concern of the over-sexualizing of women, is a very broad concern. This post was about how I, as a Black woman felt during this experienc;, when I have always found every thing I could think of in images, plentiful on the Web. Yet, I have been on a week long search, just to “see” myself, and many other Black for the diverse group of people we really are.