By Ariel Swopes, Guest Writer

A wise man by the name of Malcolm X once said “the most disrespected woman in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” I strongly feel that black women should stop apologizing for loving themselves. We have to endure so much from this world. We are hair shamed, and our culture is duplicated and taken from us.

Can you imagine how it feels to embrace your natural hair, or to wear a dress that shows off your curves, and be shamed for it? Not only do black celebrities have to deal with it, even average middle class black girls have to as well. I remember being told that my long box braids were “ghetto” by the girls at school, who were caucasian. They also asked if I lived in Fox Hill, which was the area where most people on welfare, or low income lived. It was such an insult. I was flabbergasted at the fact that she would ask me that.

During my highschool years I had my days where I was lazy with dressing up, and would often wear yoga pants, or yoga leggings. The girls would often whisper and say what I was wearing was inappropriate. I couldn’t help that I was a curvier girl, but I didn’t think what I was wearing was inappropriate, especially because almost every girl in school was wearing them too.

Stop being angry all the time, stop being aggressive they say. Why is it that when a black woman is expressing herself she’s called aggressive, or bitter? Black women have every right to be upset. There are many of us who have sassiness in us, or have that straight-forward kind of attitude, but that’s considered trashy behavior to others. The caucasian girl that challenged an entire audience to “cash me outside,” went viral on facebook, for being sassy. Now she’s famous. No one should disrespect their parents, but if being sassy gets you famous within two days. How come this black girl, in other words myself, is not famous? We are talked down upon by the same women who pay to have certain features as us. There are several non-black women in the celebrity industry being praised for their ethnic hair styles, and full lips from lip injections. The same features they talked about are the same ones most are paying for.

There is beauty in admiring another’s culture, but do not shame a black woman, then pay to look the way she does. Black women should stop apologizing for who they are, instead celebrate who they are. We need to support each other and participate in events that celebrate and uplift us. It’s time to start boosting our self-esteem and start admiring who we truly are. Stop explaining yourself to a society that don’t want to listen. Instead, flaunt your black girl magic, and stay true to thyself.