Anti-blackness is alive and well in the black community. And Ari Lennox is calling it out, one Twitter troll at a time.
On New Year’s Day, the “Shea Butter Baby” singer responded to a Twitter troll who dared to compare Lennox and fellow singer Teyana Taylor to dogs.
“Ari Lennox and Teyana Taylor’s ability to have dangerously high sex appeal while simultaneously looking like rottweilers will always amaze me.”
It didn’t take long for the misogynoir tweet to go viral and, unsurprisingly, both women responded.
“People hate blackness so bad.”
And Taylor responded,
“No lies detected.”
Lennox then followed up with a tweet urging black parents to let their children know that just because they don’t have eurocentric features, blackness is beautiful.
“Moms and Dads please love on your beautiful black children. Tell them they’re beautiful constantly. Tell them black people are beautiful. Tell them black people are beautiful.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Ari was attacked online for having Afrocentric features.
Just last month, she called out critics on Twitter who had something negative to say about her nose.
“How many times will y’all come for my black nose? It will never tf go anywhere. Y’all are disgusting and the reason people self medicate and get surgery. Just fuckin stop.”
“Also I would never get surgery and I love my nose. I just feel this is a conversation that needs to be had. There are black babies that have insecurities cause culture says it’s funny to insult black features.”
What happened to Ari last month and on New Year’s Day opened up a conversation on Twitter about anti-blackness and internalized racism in the black community and why people find it okay to degrade darker-skinned black women.
Ari later took to Instagram Live to further explain why comparing black women to dogs is so problematic.
“I’m not with it, how people hate Black people so much. How Black people can sit up here and say, ‘It’s not my problem’ or ‘She does look like a Rottweiler.’ That’s fine… Why is that your speech? Why are you so comfortable tearing down Black women and no other race?”
“Look around! When are Hispanic women ever compared to dogs? When do they do that? When do they do that to white women? When are white men doing that to white women? When are Hispanic men doing that to Hispanic women? They’re not doing it.
“I made this Live because I want people to know I really do love myself. I love my nose. I love Black features. I want us to get to a point where we are becoming aware of the self-hate sometimes when you are referring to Black women as a dog. Because we’re not doing this to other races. Or to races of women who don’t have a nose like this.”
The history of internalized racism in the black community has a deep, dark history rooted in colorism, and it’s a layered issue that can’t be fixed in a day. Beauty is not one size fits all, it comes in different shapes, colors, and features. And no one should ever be made to feel they are less than just because they don’t fit into an outdated beauty standard. Blackness, in all shades, is and always has been beautiful.
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Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she’s not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.