The Sistah Vegan Project

Archive for the category “Breeze can be funny too”

Snarky Fanon: “Look Mom, a Negro!”

On Aug 13, a drunk man told me how cool my hair was and it looked so interesting  to him…and then he caught me off guard by hugging me and touching my hair (without permission). After, he then expressed how excited he was that he got to touch my hair . I sh*t you not.  My husband is the witness because he and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary at the place where it happened and he was right there. And yes, I was the only black woman there. It was awkward, the dude was drunk, so I decided not to ‘make a big deal about it’….

So, as a woman who has been deeply influenced by black feminist perspective on hair politics in the USA + the critical race phenomenology of Frantz Fanon, I have decided to start a Sistah Vegan comic satire series called Snarky Fanon which will be visual representations of how I understand my world through the lenses of black feminism, critical race studies/phenomenology, and critical whiteness studies. This is basically an “inside joke” series for those who enjoy reading feminisms and critical theory around race and seek humorous ways to approach it. I don’t expect most people to get it or even want to get it. That is why this is intentionally an ‘inside joke.’ If you ask me what I’m talking about when I write these comics, I won’t spend much time replying  in too much depth. I ask that you Google search these concepts and/or click on the links provided to start the process of figuring out these allusions if you are interested. So, for those of you familiar with “Look, a negro!” I added the ‘mom’ to really point out the ‘mask’ of child-like fascination when it’s really not that ‘innocent’. . Hey, it’s my first attempt at this and I’m hoping to get better and better…If you enjoy supporting my work, please consider contributing a donation. It would help me pay for my tuition to finish my doctorate in critical studies of race, whiteness, and decolonial politics in cultural geography at University of Davis, CA. You can click here to find out more about the challenges I have ( micro-aggressive response to my work as well as lack of financial help) and the dissertation work details.

“Look like Beyonce After Giving Birth?” (Or, on a Fat-Shaming Culture and Baby Fat-phobia)

Because of structural colorism and sizeism, this model has been chosen to provide an example of what a beautiful postpartum woman should look like. (source: http://www.123rf.com/photo_2657956_weight-loss-success.html)

Congratulations on your bundle of joy. Now that you’ve spent hours pushing what feels like a watermelon out of your yoni, welcome to the postpartum world if this is your first time.

You’ve spent the last 9 months listening to people tell you what a beautiful mama you look are and how you have this wonderful mama glow. Though you had your ups and downs throughout pregnancy, it was always flattering to know that your BIG belly was BEAUTIFUL. You had the world’s support, assuring you that you need not worry about your physical attributes and their worth in this American society that values you for how tight your ass is or isn’t, how big your boobs are or aren’t, and how ‘youthful’ your face is or is not. During pregnancy, you basically got a ‘free pass’, especially since all those f*cked up hormonal changes that even made you puke up water during that first trimester, gave you glowingly beautiful skin and lush hair that everyone just couldn’t get enough of. And wasn’t it great that you could eat eat eat and not be judged as a lazy fat ass?

Sorry new mom, that shit is about to change.

Welcome to to postpartum baby-moon in which you’ll be expected to lose that fat-ass and fat belly within two weeks, or everyone will think you are a lazy, obese and unsightly mama (This is especially true if you’re vegan since “skinny” = “veganism”. Read any Skinny Bitch book and it is clear that “lazy”= “obese”= “unsightly”)

Don’t look at me like I’m speaking some foreign language and as if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Check into any latest news about Beyonce, and you’ll see how we can’t get enough of being impressed on how her new mama body is the benchmark for how we all should look after giving birth. After all, People Magazine did proclaim her as the world’s most beautiful woman (and of course ‘woman’ only means those of us women who pass that brown paper bag test!).

So, here we go to achieving your pre-pregnancy body type and size within 2 weeks of giving birth:

  1. Breastfeed only. On demand. All the time. Nursing is a great way to lose all that unsightly belly fat. And just don’t stop at nursing your own baby. Nurse every damn baby you know would like some mama juice. Post an ad on freecycle that you are willing to nurse 24/7, any baby or toddler. Remember, the bigger the child, the more calories they will suck out. Hey, if you’re not too weirded out, you can offer your mama juice to the sketchy adult men who have a mama juice fetish. Just imagine how many calories an adult could extract from your body. If that’s too creepy for you, pump whenever your baby isn’t nursing and sell that milk at the local farmer’s marker. Give those weird cow dairy farmers a run for their money. Yea, sure, nursing that much is stressful and you’ll probably be so focused on losing that weight that you forget to eat properly and come down with osteoporsis in your early 30s, but hey, as long as you lose that fat post-partum ass, that is all that matters. It’s our outer beauty, not our inner beauty and sanity that has value.
  2. Carry your baby everywhere. Don’t be lazy and waste money on a $1000 Bugaboo stroller. Imagine how much weight you’ll be burning, carrying a growing baby on you 24/7. And if you aren’t a first time mom, carry your other kid or kids on you. Duct tape is excellent and offers a new way to do attachment parenting. With them duct taped to you, you won’t have the urge to take them off immediately when you start getting too lazy to carry that 10, 30, 50, 70lb extra of offspring. Duct tape hurts to take off anyway, so it will discourage you to do deattachment parenting.
  3. Do pilates and yoga that is tailored for us postpartum period mamas. Everyone’s doing it and it will be assumed that you can and will do that same. It doesn’t matter that access to these exercises programs are $50 to $100 an hour or that they assume your are a white privileged suburban house mom who has the geographical and financial privilege to hire a personal coach. All you have to do is want it bad enough and manifest this reality and you’ll get it. Visualization is key to this. For example, my friend Grace Poor, an African American woman living in a food desert (no people, not food ‘dessert’) and makes $8/hr working in a factory with poor ventilation and lots of sexual harassment, gave birth last week. For some reason, she can’t do yoga or pilates , even though I told her she just has to manifest it and want it bad enough. Yeah, she had to go back to work 3 days after giving birth and works two shifts in a row. But, whatever. I guess she’s just too lazy to manifest and visualize abundance.
  4. Do an Ironwoman competition now. Don’t listen to your midwife about holding off on any type of strenuous exercise until 8 months postpartum just because you had a 3rd degree tear into your poophole while pushing out that ten pounder. What does she know anyway? With your baby and/or kids already duct taped to you, you’ll have the added weight you’ll need to lose that postpartum ass. As you vomit towards the finish line and see the Child Protection Services Van driving towards you, don’t let that deter you from crossing and finishing. Remember, it not about CPS, it’s not about you or how you puked for the 18th time, it’s all about looking hot again so your unsightly belly and ass don’t make everyone else feel uncomfortable or annoyed. Explain to CPS that you don’t want to be obese and be a bad example for your children. Everyone knows that an obese lazy mother creates unsightly obese, fat, lazy children (and this is 4x more likely if you are darker than a brown bag apparently. Just watch Precious, you’ll see ) and that fat Americans are a financial and moral burden on the anorexic backs of skinny America. CPS will understand…..
  5. Lastly, instead of spending your baby moon with the first 2-4 weeks in bed with your baby, singing to him or her and making eye contact, spend all your time on your Smartphone radiating your newborn’s brain as they nurse while you surf the web for blogs and information like this to learn how to not look like a fat-ass after giving birth.

(I have to post this disclaimer. This is not real information. Don’t do anything here that I suggest. This is called satire.)

(How I fail at being black enough) Top 5 Reasons Why I burn in the sun within 7 minutes.

Pointing at my burned scabbing nose…blackness card revoked!

Seriously, what the hell?

Did my forehead just start peeling after basking in the North Berkeley sun for a mere 7 minutes?

What is the purpose of my brown skin’s melanin? I mean, “black don’t crack,” right? (Well, I think they probably mean that black folk aren’t supposed to show signs of aging, even if they’re like 105 years old)…. But maybe it means I am not supposed to crack and peel after being in the sun for 7 minutes during a 67 F day?

My mom used to joke all the time, while I was in high school, how I would not have made a ‘good’ field slave, on account that I simply couldn’t handle the sun. (Yes people, this is a joke).

So, it’s now that I must ruminate over whether or not I should be allowed to be called “black”; should my blackness card be revoked? If it takes me less than 10 minutes to burn in the sun when it’s only 67 F degrees and only 100 feet above sea level, with 35% humidity, then something has gone terribly wrong with my blackness. Over the past week, I have realized that despite having brown skin, my “cultural whiteness” has trumped my physiology.

(“Cultural whiteness”? Bare with me here….)

You know, “cultural whiteness”. I’m referring to when some stupid motherf*cker, usually a black person who thinks they are the epitome of “blackness” calls you an “Oreo” because you aren’t doing what black people are supposed to be doing. “Oreo” means you’re doing something that white folk normally do (and I guess that is by default, anti-blackness (?)). So, yesterday, I compiled a list of the top five things I have been doing, since I can remember, that have probably led me to burn in the sun, regardless of my golden brown skin tone that spray-on-tan queen Kim Kardashian would kill for.

(1) I did not attend an HBCU.(For you white folk who are like ‘huh?’, an HBCU is a historically black college or university. Don’t worry, I didn’t know what an “HBCU” was for months, upon hearing it when I was younger. Instead of asking a bonafide black person what it mean, I spent hours theorizing what that acronym could mean.)

Yup, I “sold out” and I attended Dartmouth College in the early nineties. I didn’t apply to any HBCUs (not because they were HBCUs but more because I wanted to stay in New England). I was excited about having being accepted into Smith College as well and was bummed that they didn’t offer enough financial aid for me to attend. Same with Tufts University. Loved it but it was too expensive and they didn’t offer enough. But Dartmouth did. You have to understand Dartmouth of the 90s. Uber conservative, heteronormative, dynastic elite white male privilege was what the campus climate was known for. I am pretty sure that this deeply damaged my melanin. I also developed the “sweet-itis”, which meant I was prefacing everything with “sweet!” I went from a regular Oreo to an Oreo Double Stuff!

(2) I stopped eating the ‘gospel bird’.

Yup, years ago I decided to transition into veganism. I shocked all my card carrying “I’m a bonafide black person” friends and family when I declared that I would no longer eat and poop out chicken (okay, I didn’t talk about what would be coming out of my butt… but butt hole jokes are just plain funny, in a junior high humor sort of way).  I also said ‘no’ to pork-rinds and also ‘no’ to being hip and cool like so many black folk I know who enjoy bragging about how many deep fried dead animals they overdosed on at a family bbq, and then excuse themselves to go take their high blood pressure medicine and insulin for their diabetes (which is apparently a true ‘marker’ of “I am black.” Well, at least that is what the medical reports of today talk about. You know, since a true black person doesn’t know how to eat ‘right’, is ‘obese’, and needs to be ‘educated’, usually by a white girl from the mid-west who is on a ‘mission’ to bring them ‘good’ food for her college internship).  My black folk also seemed rather fine about sitting out at family BBQs all day in the hot sun without even burning, cracking and peeling, so it must have been something in the gospel bird!

(3) I married a white dude.

And not just any ‘white’ dude but one of those European white dudes who is from Germany and has a doctoral degree in astrophysics. I knew I had made a mistake in performing my proper blackness when, upon hearing about my new financé, my grandmother made the comment, “I don’t know why she’s got to go and marry that white boy.” And it’s not like I got that “reminder” too late in life. I remember my Aunt who shall remain nameless (there are 5 of them so I am not giving it away) , telling my twin brother and I in high school that it was okay to date “them” but not to marry “them.” Had I taken heed earlier and found a true card carrying black man to marry, perhaps I would have reinvigorated my melanin and not burned in the sun in a rapid 9 minutes… even with SPF 30 on and a damn hat.

(4) My twin brother and I obsessed over and memorized all the songs to the musical The Sound of Music , starting in the sixth grade.

I sh*t you not. He and I spent hours and hours bouncing up and down, doing our own renditions of “Do, a deer, a female deer. Re, a drop of golden sun.” We borrowed that VHS cassette from the Lebanon Town library a gazillion times. Or, if it were re-running on television, we’d be all excited about it. However, my twin does not burn in the sun. I think it’s because while we were in college, he wouldn’t admit that he liked or even knew the lyrics to that The Sound of Music, while I still proudly claimed that I did. He also listened to Sam Cook, John Coltrane, James Brown, DMX, and all the “how to be black and know your music” hits of the past century that I was clueless about because I was still obsessesing over my musicals, European classical music, and would quiver whenever I would hear a rap or hip hop song use the word “nigga” (which I later learned shouldn’t be confused with ‘nigger’) or “bitch”. I remember joining an a cappella group with all brown and black girls (and one token white girl named Stephanie) in college. They were excited about a new song we’d be doing. Our leader told us we’d be singing a New Edition song. I kept on asking, “A new edition of what!?” They laughed at me; one girl went up to me and tried to see if I had painted my brown arms by rubbing them, to verify if I was in fact a real black person. Amazingly, my brown skin did start smudging off… weird, no? The following week, The Fugees cames to perform on campus and I kept on asking everyone, “What are the FUDGEES?” Yup, like a fudge-sicle…. go me, I’m so down…

(5) I had a mad crush on David Hasselhoff.

I’m not talking about David Hasselhoff during his Knight Rider days but more like his Bay Watch Days….Psych your mind! I’m just messing with you, I didn’t really have a crush on him (whistling to myself, eye averting to the ceiling).
So, today I am handing in my blackness card as I sit here with aloe on my burned and peeling nose, scratching away at my tender shoulders. I am not sure what new card I should be carrying…. but I am hoping this is a temporary situation, as I’ve paid $99.99 for a webinar to learn how to reclaim my blackness and put my melanin back into harmony again.
(Yea, I know people aren’t used to me being funny. So, in case you didn’t realize it, this was me joking around. It’s a fun twist on responding to the questions I have gotten from white folk: “Wait, black people can tan? Black people can burn?” and from bonafide black folk, “Are you a white girl dipped in chocolate or something?”)

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