Search
  • Marie Q. Francois

Black Women are Sexy not Just Sexual

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Lately, I have been listening and watching videos from back in the day of Lil' Kim, Queen B, and it has got me thinking. For those of you who don't know who she is, Lil Kim is an African American female rapper who cam out in 1997 whose music was known to be sexually explicit. The reason I was thinking recently about Lil' Kim is because of her physical transformation. And to be more specific, why did she feel she need a transformation?

While I didn't always agree with Lil' Kim's musical lyrics, I did listen to her all the same. Let's be honest Lil' Kim was doing very well in the music industry. She was surrounded by the likes of Biggie Smalls – the Notorious B.I.G. and then Shawn Puffy Combs but still held her own. I watched several movies in which men had her poster on their walls. (Check out the movie Meet the Parents. Lil' Kim's poster is on the wall of their teenage son's room, and Ben Stiller even mentions it.) For her time, no one will doubt, Lil' Kim was highly desired by many with the physical appearance she had at the time. So, why did she have surgery that made her look unrecognizable as her million-dollar brand image of a pecan brown sexually free diva?

Honestly, I can tackle this from many angles. Yet with a lack of conversation with Lil' Kim herself, I have to admit my thoughts are only conjecture. But let me throw this at you. When it comes to Women of Color, too often, the focus is on us as sexual beings, not on us being sexy. There was a time when I thought those two words meant the same thing. Then one day watching America's Next Top Model, Tyra Banks set a contestant straight on that matter. On the tv show, the contestants are continuously doing photoshoots and or practicing for them. For this particular episode, they were doing a photoshoot where they needed to be sexy. Truthfully they always need to be sexy. But the contestant thought it would be sexy sitting a way that would expose her vagina. Here is what Tyra said in summary. Tyra explained to her that this is not what top models do. That this position was sexual, not sexy, and sexy is what we sell. Sexy is the art of allure—the ability to garner attraction or attention without offering an open sexual invitation.

Another excellent example of this is the movie Memories of a Geisha. In this movie, they explain what Geisha are and their lifestyle. I used to think when I was young that Geisha are prostitutes. In Japanese culture, there is a distinct difference between the Geisha and a prostitute. A Geisha masters the art of being a sexy moving piece of art. They must master the art of conversation and be able to entrance man even with even a simple look, never sex. While prostitutes masters of providing sex. Guess who earns more money? If you thought Geisha, then your correct. And this difference is wages staggering.

Don't get me wrong; women of color can be sexual. I have long dropped my hang up on this. However, the art of allure is far more intense and commanding. It speaks of confidence. Sexy also speaks of appreciation without a guarantee of gratification. People can enter sex not because the person is sexy but because they are sexually available. Sexual doesn't hold as much sway as the attraction and the dance of allure provided by sexy. To know you are sexy is to see that you have that pull. What I find curious is that Lil' Kim even surrounded by all that sexual intensity in her music, and her cohorts somehow didn't connect with her sexy. The satisfaction that you are a walking piece of art that doesn't need much tampering. Even at her level of appeal, there seems to be a severe lack of self-actualization. I wonder what Lil' Kim, the reigning image of sexy of her time, thought was sexy? Because it doesn't appear to be the one she used to project. What saddens me, even more, is that surrounded by all these black men, she must have received little to no support for her beauty. The impact of colorism had to be a constant bombardment, even at her level of popularity. Is this what made her give up her Award-winning brand for an image that renders her unrecognizable from her former self. What images were bombarding her as a symbol of sexy allure? Even know I have a difficult time finding such images that support women of color as being sexy. Maybe Lil's Kim's drastic changes are just a consequence of being submerged in a system whose images of beauty were still too high for her to overcome. I can only imagine being in her position the conversations she had or the things that she had seen.

Unfortunately, today while I feel more confident in my sexy, I'm still starving for images, movies, and straight out propaganda supporting our 50 plus shades of sexy color and hair texture. Nothing made me happier than watching Black Panther and seeing the lead super hero-king just loving on Nakia played by Lupita Nyong'o being unapologetically black sexy. We, as women of color, need more of this. I am grateful for pioneers like Grace Jones, Iman, and many other shows like Living Single, Martin, and Girlfriends. But it is time to move on from just getting our feet wet with these images. We desperately need to be drowned in them. Recently the entertainment industry has picked up the volume with shows like Insecure. But I want to encourage our entertainment innovators to keep them coming. There is plenty of room for more.

18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All