Erotic provocateur, racially-influenced humanist, relentless champion for the oppressed, and facilitator for social change, Scottie Lowe is the brain child, creative genius and the blood, sweat, and tears behind AfroerotiK. Intended to be part academic, part educational, and part sensual, she, yes SHE gave birth to the website to provide people of African descent a place to escape the narrow-mined, stereotypical, limiting and oft-times degrading beliefs that abound about our sexuality. No, not all Black men are driven by lust by white flesh or to create babies and walk away. No, not all Black women are promiscuous welfare queens. And as hard as it may be to believe, no, not all gay Black men are feminine, down low, or HIV positive. Scottie is putting everything on the table to discuss, debate, and dismantle stereotypes in a healthy exchange of ideas. She hopes to provide a more holistic, informed, and enlightened discussion of Black sexuality and dreams of helping couples be more open, honest, and adventurous in their relationships.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The first show was so great, we had to do a part 2. Joining me for this very sensual and arousing topic is my sister in eroticism, The One and Only Tracey Bryant aka "The Honey Diva” of http://www.blogtalkradio.com/honeysoul and http://www.honeyluvromance.com/ She will be here to share her insights and opinions on the topic and spread the gospel of intimacy, communication, and romance in Black relationships as well. She is a love and intimacy coach and you will be riveted by her insights and knowledge. We will continue to explore the things that help make us more sensual, loving, intimate partners in our relationships. It's a show you won't want to miss.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Attractiveness is subjective. For some, especially in the Black community, specifically when it comes to women, it means looking almost white. You have to have light skin, long hair, a narrow nose, and thin lips before you can be considered beautiful. That’s not the only definition of beauty but it’s certainly the pervasive one. I’ve never in my life looked like that. I have decidedly African features: very short hair, high cheekbones, a wide nose, full lips, and milk chocolate skin. For most of my adult life, however, I’ve been considered attractive by the general populous. That is not to say that I am gorgeous or I could have beauty pageant contestant but simply that I was closer to pretty than homely-looking. I’m 5’10” and I have been slender almost my entire adult life, thus, I rocked the hell out of anything I wore. In my lifetime, some have considered me beautiful, others not so much, but the general consensus was that I was pretty. There have been more than a few men who have looked past me and not looked back because I didn’t look like Beyonce: my hair was too short and I was too brown for their particular tastes. Conversely, I can say that there have been quite a few men who have fallen all over themselves to kick it with me just because I represented a look they thought was attractive.
Being considered attractive has perks. Perks I’ve always acknowledged, I’ve just never really wanted to exploit or give too much weight in my life because I am, or at least considered myself, a woman of substance, not at all superficial. Just as light skinned women have advantages in this society (ones it seems they NEVER want to acknowledge) and thinner women have advantages (at least in society at large even though the acceptance of BBWs in the Black community is greater) pretty people have advantages as well. Being a pretty woman means you will get doors opened for you, you can walk out in the street and cars will come to screeching halt to let you have the right of way. Being pretty, people treat you with more reverence, as if your opinion is more valid, as if you have more of a right to be heard than less attractive men and women. In addition to the amount of suitors one gets (which is not always a perk because some individuals ONLY want you for your looks) and the efforts they make to impress you. Dinners are more expensive for the pretty person, they get the offers for the weekend trips and the theater and the front row seats at the concert rather than the offers to rent a movie and order pizza at home.
When they say “beauty fades” they weren’t lying. I’ve lost my standing as a pretty person. While I was once considered a pretty person with all the advantages thereof, due to age, weight gain, a big ole brown tooth right in the front of my mouth, and mostly because of a condition called ptosis (drooping eyelids) I’m no longer seen as attractive. I’ve witnessed a shift in the last five years in how I’m treated by men and society as a whole. No longer do men rush to hold the door for me, they let the door slam in my face and don’t look back. When on dates, men don’t stare longingly at me and ply me with compliments, I usually have to fish for them. Men treat me as if I should be grateful for their attention, almost as if they are doing me a favor by dating me. When I look in the mirror, I see the same person I’ve always seen. I know that I’m not; I know that my eyes have drastically altered my appearance. I know that what society sees now isn’t a pretty woman. Today, I’m much closer to unattractive than I am to pretty.
Even though I’ve never based my self-worth on my appearance, I’ve never been vain, even though I have always valued my intellect as my most important asset, I must admit it’s a bitter pill to swallow having to give up my pretty person privilege. Everyone wants to see themselves as attractive. I think that’s a byproduct of biology. Women are told to base their self-worth on their attractiveness. My thought processes are different now. I react to situations differently now based on how I think people see me. I feel insecure when I’m in an intimate situation today, having once felt desired and coveted for my looks (and body) now, I feel almost ashamed of myself, like I’m less deserving of sexual pleasure than attractive women. It is a very unique situation, having been on both sides of the fence, having lived life as pretty and now not so pretty.
This isn’t just some random commentary on my low self-esteem or an attempt to garner people’s pity. It’s as much about me speaking my truth in order to empower myself as it is really about the shallow nature of humanity and how we treat more attractive people as if they have more value. I’m the same person inside as I was before. I have the same dreams, fears, desires, goals, and beliefs. I have the same sexual desires as well. I want to feel valuable, I want to feel attractive and desirable. I’ve convinced myself that I have less value simply because of the way society treats me. That’s as much my fault as it is society’s fault. I shouldn’t put weight on how others see me, I know this. I should see myself as beautiful, inside and out, and be happy with the package I come in, regardless of how it appears to others. The idolization of beauty is detrimental to our society and I’m only just seeing it now. I don’t know what it’s like to have never knows what it feels like to be considered attractive, I don’t know how my personality and choices would be different in life had I not been gifted with the genetics that allowed me to have pretty person privilege. I don’t have that privilege any more. I shouldn’t want it back but the sad truth is that I do.
Copyright 2012 Scottie Lowe