14 March 2011

Not Bougie. Just Blessed.

Like any person, I like nice things. Like any other person, I also have a preference of stores and brands I like to purchase. While I am not a “baller,” I don’t have to front on the things I have and don’t have. BUT there are always those people who like to throw the b-word around… Bougie. (Bougie: Aspiring to be a higher class than one is. Derived from bourgeois - meaning middle/upper class. Anything that is percieved as "upscale" from a blue-collar point of view). The second a person walks down the street in nice heels or a name brand purse, everyone wants to label them as bougie or fake.

How is a person ‘fake’ if they do what they want with their own money? Since when did being black mean being down and out?

I’m not rich, but I’m also not poor. I’m spoiled as some people say, but my family is comfortable. (Well, technically, my family has money. I just happen to enjoy some of it time to time).  I went to private school until my junior year of high school, but I was never liked amongst my fellow black students. Yeah, I was a cheerleader, but whatever. I was labeled bougie and not black enough because I didn’t rock micro braids and listen to “black music” (whatever that is). Are there a set of rules to being black? I mean, damn.

In high school, some people really enjoyed trying to measure my level of blackness. I was not “black enough” because I’m fair-skinned. I was not “black enough” because I don’t know all of the rappers on the radio. I was not “black enough” because I don’t live in the ‘hood or attend a bad school. I was not “black enough” because I like to buy nice things with my parents’ money. Has class and financial ability really become the ruler for all things Afro-American?

I will admit, I have my stuck-up moments, but it’s because I think very highly of myself, as anyone should. All through middle school and some parts of high school, I tried the whole “ghetto” thing. To this day, some people will say that I used to be ghetto. It was a front. I wanted to fit in. I used to call myself “Baby Ghetto Girl.” I know, right. Smdh. Look at this picture. I’m posing with (l to r) my uncle, my dad, and my other two uncles. I fit perfectly when I was trying hard. Long nails, ghetto ass burgundy hair, big hoop earrings, with a Dooney & Burke wrist watch. I had lots of black “friends” then. But now that I’ve lost all of that extra-ness, I have two best friends and some minor acquaintances. However, I like it like that. Both of my best friends have been there when I was going through this terrible stage in my life.

But my point is: why does a person have to prove that they are “black enough” to gain friends? It’s sad that when a person has nice things, they’re bougie or fake, but when they’re broke, they need to step their game up? Which is it? Do you want me broke, mediocre, or rich? I can understand that when a person gets money and their attitude changes, then no one wants to be around them and call them fake. But if a person was born into the “middle-class” or with money, they aren’t black enough? Pssh. GTFOH.

When black people are universally seen as destitute and poverty-stricken, there is a problem. There are opportunities out there for blacks, but they will go unnoticed until this mindset is changed. Not all black people have to drive raggedy cars, or stand on the corner selling drugs or their bodies to make a living. Simply change the mindset of “the system/the man is against me” and make something of yourself. There’s only so much control that “the man” has over you. “The man” can’t stop you from going to a library or picking up a book. “The man” can’t force you to rob someone. “The man” can’t force you to have a bunch of kids and get on welfare. “The man” can’t make you not do your homework or educate your children.

“The man” took my dad from me in November of 2007, but I still found a way to keep my head up and achieve some of my goals. Hell, if I’m going to be labeled as bougie or stuck-up because I like to have nice things, then so be it. I’ve worked hard to be “bougie” lol. I’m not to blame for the shortcomings or disadvantages that you brought upon yourself (and if you are born into poverty and have absolutely no way out, then I’m not talking about you).

If making enough money to purchase what I want is bougie or fake, then buy me a Malibu dream house and call me Barbie because I enjoy living life.

*steps off soap-box and bops down the street to LL Cool J's "Round the Way Girl"*

What do you think?

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