Like Me

I love Target. 

Like, love it. I love their clothes, shoes, accessories, even their Archer Farms food brand. Target makes my day, most days.

Yet, I have a little beef with Target. Well, really, with clothing companies in general, especially those who produce graphic t-shirts. 

Why can't I find a graphic t-shirt with a famous black woman on it?

Yes, I could order one on-line or buy one at a concert, but why can't I just walk into a Target, Macys, or JC Penny, and grab one like any Marilyn Monroe devotee?

Please, don't say that it's because of supply and demand and not enough people will buy them. I would buy 15 for myself, and my good friend Charla would buy another 15 if Lena Horne's face was on them. More than that, have you noticed how many black people walk around with Obama on a shirt? Can you imagine how many women would buy a shirt with Tina Turner on it?

Who can I find on a t-shirt? Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelley, Jackie Onassis Kennedy, even Madonna.

All beautiful, all talented, and all white.

Hell, even Gaga has her face on shirts and we're the same age!

Most of my female friends are white (that's a post for another day), and although I do have black female friends, unfortunately, we find ourselves unable to spend a lot of face-to-face time with one another. So, whenever a conversation with my white female friends moves toward the subject of beauty or beautiful women, I feel a little...out of sorts. 

While I can certainly agree (who wouldn't?!) that Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelley, and Jackie-O are beautiful women, these are not the women I was raised thinking of as the epitome of beauty. I too watched watched their movies, mostly with my grandmother, and later during my teen years when I had a brief obsession with black & white movies. However, my education in classic examples of beauty were a little more diverse than that. 

I was raised on beauties like Dorothy Dandridge, Tina Turner, Lena Horne, and Sophia Loren. Women who's bodies were curvy and strong, feminine and positively awe-inspiring. Women with dark(er) skin. Women I can relate to a little more.

Honestly, even the women I was raised to idolize (in the way of beauty) aren't exactly bold examples of the range of beauty among black and Latina women. But they're closer.

Beautiful is beautiful, and I get that, but understand that I like knowing that my dark skin isn't considered NOT beautiful.

I'm not saying that white women don't believe that the only beautiful women are other white women. That's ridiculous. I'm just using these conversations as an opportunity to showcase the women I was brought up to believe were beautiful. Women who, in my opinion, aren't given the same visibility of an Audrey Hepburn or a Marilyn Monroe, but who are equally as beautiful.

Can I please get ONE of these sisters on a T-Shirt?!

Dorothy Dandridge

Lena Horne

Tina Turner

Sophia Loren

Pam Grier

Rita Moreno