#ThoughtfulTuesday: What You May Not Understand…

I haven’t written a post for my “From Where I Sit” feature for a while so here goes…

You may have heard about the recent “Dove ad” controversy and if not, you can Google it or click here for a general idea.

It was quite interesting to read social media comments that varied from “That ad is racist and I’m boycotting the company” to “In what world is that ad offensive? Get a grip you over-politically correct people!

Whether the ad was insensitive, offensive or racist, that’s up to you to decide.

However, for those of you who don’t see how the ad could possibly be disrespectful, I’m sharing a few experiences to show from where some of the controversy may come.

People may not understand about:

  • that little boy in my kindergarden class (who had probably never seen a Black person before) who turned up his nose in disgust and asked me why I came to school “dirty” right before scraping his finger along my arm to see how much “dirt” would come off;
  • my second grade teacher who had no shame in saying how “brown” and “black” people were stupid and smelled back (I was the “black” one, the “brown” boy was from Indian descent and believe me, the only unshowered stink came from her); or
  • the next door neighbor girls who would call me “caca” through our chain link fence for years and years.

But as a child, I understood that I was seen as “less than” and dirty because of the color of my skin.

People may not understand about:

  • a loser classmate in high school who would sit behind me to pull on my braids and call me “Medusa” (until I introduced him to my fist);
  • growing up bombarded by ads and messaging that reinforced that the only path to “pretty” was having blond hair and blue eyes; or
  • not being able to buy basic make-up for my skin tone because “skin tone” color had nothing to do with me.

But as a teenager, I accepted that I had to live with being “ugly” because I would never meet the impossible beauty standard plastered in magazines, on billboards and on television.

People may also not understand the reality of being “complimented” on how you are “pretty for a Black girl” or having someone touch your hair without your permission to see if it’s real (because if it’s long it must be a weave) like you’re some kind of object unworthy of boundaries.

But as a grown woman and having endured those kinds of experiences as an early backdrop to my life, I quickly noticed the “issue” with the Dove ad, as did my 79 year old mother and 16 year old niece when I showed it to them.

At face value and for many, the Dove ad is…quiet.

But for others, it speaks volumes and is a reminder of the false truths we learned about “black” being “unclean”, “unworthy”, “dirty” and “not ideal”.

You see, if you had experienced just a tiny bit of what I’vr shared with you, your eyes may also have caught the image of a Black woman bathing the ‘black” off to get “clean” and “pretty”…

From where I sit and through my brown eyes, that is what lies behind the controversy.

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews




No Strokes For Different Folks #microaggressions 

This is clearly not me…taken from and credit to: https://giphy.com/gifs/hannahbronfman-hannah-bronfman-3og0IAsEcf8EfYAAUw

I’m rolling my eyes at the fact that I felt the need to write this this “disclaimer” as an intro…

This post is NOT intended to call anyone “ignorant”. It’s to raise awareness about how uncomfortable people can feel when seemingly harmless things are said and done to them, oftentimes by people who don’t mean any harm and don’t realize how their actions are being received.

But when we know better, we do better right?

That is the objective of this post.

Hopefully that was clear because I’m climbing onto my soapbox now…

This could have been included in yesterday’s “Pet Peeves” but I felt that it deserved its own post. 

In my “Life of Pie” – 12 Totally Random Things You Never Needed To Know About Me” post, I told you that sometimes people I barely know have gotten into my personal space and have touched my “_____”, taking me off guard before I could even react.

In that post, I purposely left it blank so that you could guess. Some of you guessed right and some of you guessed …not right.

Well, as luck would have it, someone who knew exactly what I was referring to in that post forwarded me a real-life example of my #12.

Take a look:

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

I cringed the moment I saw that outstretched hand…

It boggles my mind why some people think that it’s “okay” to cross that personal boundary, physically touch someone they may barely know and even sometimes go so far as to glide their hands over another person.

How would those same individuals like it if someone they barely knew stroked them?

I don’t care if the gesture is meant to be a compliment – do not touch me without my permission.

I repeat – I. Do. Not. Care. No. Touching.

Yes, that woman looks amazing at 53. And I’ll even let that co-host’s words slide this time (because it’s an entirely different conversation).

But the touching?

Uhhhh…no, no, no.

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Don’t do it. Not everyone will be as polite as the woman in this video. Recoiling like a snake while giving you my “subway” face has been my go-to move for years now because it’s been much more effective than being “polite” by pretending to be okay with it.

Oh…the stories I could share with you but I won’t.

As food for thought, I’m leaving you with a link to “21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear On A Daily Basis“. If you don’t have time to read, the photos speak volumes.

Microaggressions are not limited to “race”. There are many that abound related to gender and sexuality too…

Okay, I’m climbing off my soapbox now. My rant is over. 🙂

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews



“Are You Ready For Me To Speak?” | Snap Judgment #TryPod

There is one word that describes this 10 minute anecdote – RIVETING.

I actually stopped what I was doing, sat down to give it 100% of my attention because I was afraid of how her story would end.

I love Snap Judgment and as part of this March’s Podcast Awareness Month, why not check it out! You could also check out the other podcasts I listed in this Maybe You Like To Watch But I Prefer to Listen and Get Your Freak On .


Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.