Jaclyn Friedman’s Unsolicited Advice column in GOOD. This week she advises Blue Ivy Carter:
One of the things that’s going to be especially weird, if the response to Shiloh Jolie-Pitt’s haircut is any indication, is that a non-trivial minority of the global population will soon consider what you do with your body and your sexuality their business. In fact, they’ve already started. Most people would welcome a new addition to their family as “the most beautiful baby in the world,” but in your case, perfect strangers are already being invited to assess that claim.
And unlike Shiloh’s experience, race is going to play a factor. (Ask your parents to explain race. It’s a loooong story.) Some people are going to expect you to act like a “perfect lady” at all times (they will all define this differently), asking you to single-handedly extinguish centuries of cultural stereotypes about black women being sexually incontinent. Others will jump on any evidence they can find to “prove” that you’re destined to live up to that stereotype. Either way, to millions of people, you won’t just be Blue Ivy Carter, human being. You’ll be an Ambassador of Black Girlhood, and later, Black Womanhood. That’s a bullshit amount of pressure for a baby!
Do read it all. I can’t wait for more.
UPDATE: There have been many criticisms of Jaclyn’s piece, which I think are well-founded. Jaclyn has responded here.