We dark-skinned women get accused of being too exclusionary all too much. This platform being just for us is often perceived as a threat to others, as many cannot understand why dark-skinned women and girls might need to have a platform of their own that uplifts their image. Redheads can have spaces. Left-handed people can have spaces. Italian women can have spaces. But dark-skinned women? It seems it’s a little too much for many.
In the outrage over a platform like this, I often hear the same criticism being brought up again and again: “Why can’t dark-skinned women be more inclusive?” Sure. Okay. That’s fair. Let us be more inclusive. In an effort to pave the way for more “inclusivity,” I’d like to give a heartfelt shout out to other moms in the game working hard at raising their babies – babies they created with men who were not their spouses, men whom they will probably never marry, or men whom they birthed babies for while that man was in another relationship. Kudos to all the non-black baby mamas out there – this one’s for you.
If you are drawing a blank at exactly who this spotlight is intended for, it is for the Bristol Palins, the Kate Hudsons, the Kourtneys, Kylies and Khloes. Black women get all the attention when it comes to discussing this issue of babies being made out of wedlock, born into broken family situations, so I want to be sure we share the stage with our non-black sisters. It’s only fair.
After all, Bristol Palin has shown us that even through teen pregnancy, two called off engagements with the estranged baby daddy, a marriage, a divorce (leading to an estranged ex), and two more littles along the way, brands like Candies and television shows like Teen Mom OG can still be interested in you. Just don’t screw it up by getting into drunken brawls at family gatherings. We see you girl.
Next, we can’t leave out the baby mamas whose wombs have been advertised as secret gardens, but utilized like public parks. Jenelle Evans, Kate Hudson – KUDOS MA SISTAS! Not only have these women mastered the art of birthing, but they’ve done it so well that they’ve done it with multiple partners to create the ultimate in blended family bliss. Have these women been recognized for such grace?
If not, allow me to throw some glitter their way because despite the gorgeous billboards and magazine spreads, the truth is these moms are looking after children while answering to multiple baby daddies on the side. I can only imagine how exhausting that must be. And they bear the burden of being role models to other women, too. Do yo thang, ladies.
Lastly, I want to share the love with baby mamas who, despite being held up as the ultimate trophy wives have ultimately ended up as baby mamas anyway. Cyn Santana stated that black men cater to women like her, and I am certain she will find a new one to help her raise her young baby now that she is single. Meanwhile, Emily B continues to stand by her man, even when he knocks her and her teeth out. Show ‘em how it’s done, girls!
So, you see, it really is only fair that black women share the spotlight in an area that seems to feature them at the forefront disproportionately. In truth, there are plenty of light-skinned, non-black women who end up baby mamas, and we need to share the stage with them, too. Better representation works in all arenas. Perhaps through more inclusion these non-black mamas can shed some light (no pun intended) on how to downplay baby mama status in favor of endorsements, flourishing love lives, and little to no tabloid attention. After all, no one ever refers to Kate Winslet or Bridget Moynahan with words like, “irresponsible,” or “slut.”
Antoinette is a consultant, author, yogini, and host of The Midday Reset Podcast. When she is not advising clients, authoring books, or recording episodes for her podcast, she is enjoying life with her husband and two children. Find her on Instagram @msantoinettechanel.