I remember being a little girl and grown-ups asking me to dance for them. So I would break out my best snake or cabbage patch (yep, eighties baby!). I would revel in the applause from the grown-ups. Nowadays, little girls are entertaining audiences on a global scale. The introduction of social media and YouTube has girls singing, acting, dancing, or just talking with the prospect of drawing thousands of viewers. This type of exposure has led to young girls getting appearances on television, being recognized for their talents. However “going viral” can have an ugly side for these young girls. Over the past few months, I have noticed several videos of our young girls fighting or dancing provocatively on the internet.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge supporter of the Bill of Rights, especially the freedom of expression. However, I sometimes wish there was a line that we would not allow our young ladies to cross. I’m curious to know why there isn’t outrage for the degradation of our young black women. When we see or hear of Americans being executed overseas, of police brutality, or of missing children, there is a public outcry for the problem to be fixed. However, we are willing to post videos of our young black women on social media fighting, or our little black girls being sexualized by twerking to a cheering crowd. What is more confusing is that we post the videos under the auspices of “isn’t this messed up?”, or “where are her parents?” As a result, we spread the same video we are shunning in the process. Condoning while condemning, this is quite a mess.
How can we go about fixing this mess? We can’t shut down the internet and we can’t stop people from posting videos. Maybe we just need to ask ourselves, “Is this how I want my daughter/sister/friend/ to be seen?” or “Is this how I want people to see me in the world?” It is easy to say that we don’t care about what people think, but you have no idea who has seen you on the internet. You don’t know if it is a company that you want to work for, or a respectable man you want to date, or your mother, or the police that has seen your video. Just make sure your viral video isn’t the type of video that brings you unwanted, negative attention.
Twitter: @angiemango Instagram: peeledamango