1. 13:57 23rd May 2011

    Notes: 21

    On “attractiveness” ,fashion and the evolution of hip hop

    I am convinced we are not talking about the same thing or wielding it in the same way when I talk about attractiveness with white women especially around issues of reclaiming,sexuality and progressive matters.

    Oddly enough it’s because of my relationship to and appreciation of .. Fashion

    Yep Black Amazon is an undercover fashion junky who has deep love for things like McQueen, Wu, Miyake, Old School Balenciega, Narisco Rodriguez

    while having a kind of visceral NO to Gucci, Vuitton, Cavalli, and others. From time to time a piece or even an entire line will grab me and make me go YES but mostly it’s EH

    i love fashion and style of abundance. The ideas of given all the resources at your fingertips ( and yes some have more than others) creating magic and wonder and statements .

    The part of fashion that lives and breathes creation and innovation.

    Versus

    The scarcity model-

    There is only a limited number of this thing right her or you have to have SO MUCH MONEY TO GET THIS RIGHT HERE

    Only real ballers have this

    It’s the Robb report sense of fashion.

    and hip hop to me seems to chronicle this BEAUTIFULLY

    Where in the ability to mix and ” remix” maxes me drool over th Costume Ball and 80’s sneakers the politics of scarcity and denial and their compadre class distinctions leave me meh and double meh over high class brands

    With attractiveness, both the Psychology Today article, slut walk and all inherent responses much of the interplay  has been about proving your class’ right to entitlements that I think and feel have nothing to do with attractiveness.

    for Black Women  it’s been about proving we too can have designer goods, consumption ready lifestyles and right attitudes . It’s old school respectability with a new schoolbank account

    as if that is the scope of attractive

    for slut walk it is a response to the idea that slut is used to set a limitation on how far certain women can go in behavior ( CFC has a banger right here in response) that has come under fire ( some of it from me)

    the one time I looked at it’s page there was lot’s of response of how attractive they were and how wanting to please men in and of itself wasn’t bad ( whihc shock I don’t disagree with)  but

    what I was struck by was how much of it came HAND IN HAND with the idea that for them to be considered attractive someone had to be unnattractive as if that was the same thing as being controlled for your sexuality

    it’s the rub in my head that made me think of my fashion issues.

    That many of these discussions are based on an unspoken scarcity competition model where in  the language and  tactics of abundance are used to elevate people who practice scarcity

    and shame those who can’t participate.

    FOR ME

    many of my most disturbing sexual harrassment experiences have not come from dressing like a “slut” or even dressing.

    They have been when wearing a “sweater” and shorts and having teh body I have

    and it’s happening again

    and part of MY grappling with slut is that what women are fighting against is what I have been treated like for being me

    while arguing that it is their right o uphold a beauty standard that makes me UGLY

    but attractive

    and when you are attractive but ugly or attractive but un protected

    Violating you is not a problem

    it’s

    " paying for strange"

    " having strange"

    " jumpoffs sidepiece"

    its all the words for coercive relation ships and assaults that happen to women who can dress up out of a class or race distinction

    it’s the by product of scarcity that hip hop often BRILLANTLY chronicles

    that women who don’t make it aren’t ALLOWED to exist in happy otherness or mediums but violently checked

    my web aunty Karnythia wrote about it when people spoke about pretty privilege.( shoot i did too but I don’t consider myself pretty)

    That if you aren’t coded as protected or pretty but still end up being attractive and consumable It gets UGLY and dangerous

    and is often seen as acceptable

    you need chickenheads to have queens

    you NEED poverty to make stuntin look great

    there are these diametric undercurrents that we fight to keep hidden

    and I think sometimes we’re not even using the same language to discuss the problems people have with these phenomena because when I think of remixing Addidas , or changing silhouettes like Le smoking a remix of resources

    to often feels like talking to people who think safety is some kind of Gucci handbag that well I simply can’t affordand am dumb for asking about