Listen, when I saw that Blake Shelton had been named People Magazine’s sexiest man alive, I might have raised an eyebrow or two.
But my questions about it died before they were even formed. The magazine cover reminded me of this news clip we’ve all seen:
So I wasn’t all that surprised. However, within minutes of the announcement, my timeline became flooded with think-piece after think-piece coupled with faux-outrage about these white people publishing a magazine with one of their own on the cover.
I thought to myself, am I in the Twilight Zone? Blake Shelton, for the record, isn’t sexy or unsexy to me; I don’t care. What I care about is the number of black folks out here wanting to see one of our own represented on a magazine not made for us. The Root recently published this article:
The list, of course, blesses us with photos of beautiful black men. And for the record, I agree wholeheartedly with the list. But do I need white folks to see that our men are sexy and put him on their magazines? No. No I do not. We don’t have anything to prove to people who do not see us. And try as we might, publishing these articles, while shaming the man elected, does not, in any way, force these people to see us. They brought us here on slave ships! Kill us like animals in the street to. this. day. Hell, they Elected 45! Yet we want them to see us as beautiful? Put us on their magazines?!
I am not of European descent, so I have spent much of my life in the dark about how folks from that part of the world perceive beauty. I find much of this blonde haired blue eyed phenomenon bizarre, to say the least, but hell, it’s not my culture. As long as they keep it to their own media outlets, like People, I’m not mad. History has certainly shown that they do not find people who look like me attractive, so while I might chuckle or even side eye their choices, I gives no damns.
Am I alone on this one, people? Y’all can tell me, for real. Cuz I swear, every day I find myself more and more at odds with what social media declares to be synonymous with “woke.” I wish I would beg these folks to see me, shit….