A woman-of-color who writes poetry or paints or dances or makes movies knows there is no escape from race or gender when she is writing or painting. She can’t take off her color and sex and leave them at the door or her study or studio. Nor can she leave behind her history. Art is about identity, among other things, and her creativity is political.

– Gloria Anzaldúa, Making Face/Making Soul: Haciendo Caras — Creative and Cultural Perspectives by Women of Color  (via jalwhite)

(via thatgirlpatty)

besides the issue of desirability being an avenue for men to tear you down,


it is also a major roadblock in earning your platform.

a friend and i who have both written for thought catalog are examining all of the situations of “girl, microfamed” like the internet phenomenon of marie calloway or other girls who write about sex and gain instant success for being so “out there” and “open” and “honest.”

the thing is, this piece, and so many pieces like it, lack insight. but she has a lit agent. the question that it boils down to for me and my friend is: what makes this so successful?

and the answer is really easy, and not something a lot of people want to recognize or confront. almost no one wants to hear you write about sex if they don’t want to imagine you having sex. aka if you ain’t a dainty little white thing.

when nightmare brunette’s readers sent me hate mail after i expressed being disappointed that she admitted she didn’t post pictures of fat people or people of color, i was shocked. i found nightmare brunette’s writing insightful, equal parts beautiful and sad, and real. i thought that i was trying to cultivate a space with similar qualities? so why had all of these readers who supported her send me messages like, “you think anyone wants to listen to a fat brown chick who can’t even have a normal relationship? they don’t.”

but if no one did, i wouldn’t have the readership i do now.

this is a problem very particular to female writers of color: some people will listen, but more people will want to dismiss you or replace your voice with a white woman’s. i feel like every time i write something, i have to defend my very existence and experience because i am not white or pretty, and therefore not desirable, palatable, or believable.

it’s exhausting. i’m exhausted.

(Source: wordsandturds)

All the Sad Young Pretty Girls of Color


Knowing your subjectivity will never truly be accessible, or palpable to the white imagination is, at its core, an empathy issue. Empathy is to be able to imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes. You don’t have to understand everyone but you have to be able to feel for them when you think about who they are, and where they’ve been.

Empathy should be colorblind. Some white people can’t, and won’t read anything by women of color. Women of color are so far outside the scope of the imagination for them. Lest we are performing for them, women of color are invisible. Show me a woman of color who has a readership but doesn’t touch on the touchy social fact of race, and I’ll show you someone who made a decision to appeal to white sensibilities before her own sensibilities. I’ll show you a performance artist well-versed in the art of shucking, and jiving. 

Where’s the woman of color Elizabeth Wurtzel, or Lauren Slater? How the fuck can there be two borderline identical books about white girls with depression (Prozac Diary and Prozac Nation), but not a single book like that from the perspective of a woman of color? Where are all the sad young pretty girls of color? 

Readers of color know how to default to white. We know how to fade to white in our minds. We can, and do place ourselves in white people’s shoes. Effortlessly. Too bad our shoes don’t fit anyone else but us.

This is in response to this