At first glance, it’s easy to understand why some Black women aren’t the biggest fans of Kim Kardashian. The reality star and entrepreneur seems to perpetually date only successful Black men, the demographic that so many sisters almost exclusively covet. However, Kim is not my concern. My gripe is an even bigger one aimed at Black men.
While I don’t have any qualms about the possibility of Kanye West and Kim dating, as recent rumors suggest, what is curious to me is why successful Black men find Kim and other non-Black women who have common African-American attributes (read: big behinds) so desirable? Kim is clearly an attractive woman, but that doesn’t explain why brothers seem so eager, almost giddy, at the idea of dating and possibly “wifing” her up.
No, I’m not hating. Kim can date whomever she pleases, but would a Black woman who’d starred in a sex tape be at the top of the list for these same successful brothers?
If a Black woman were to have done the same exact things Kim did in her rise to fame, I can guarantee you that she would in no way have secured the same amount of success. I would bet my last dollar on it, in fact. As popular as video chick-turned-bestselling author Karrine Steffans has become, you never see successful brothers strutting around town with her on their arms. That serves to suggest that Black men would not hold a Black woman with a somewhat sordid past on a proverbial plateau. In fact, no successful and popular Black men would touch her with a 10-foot pole. He definitely would not consider marrying her and publicly celebrating her as his queen.
Point blank: the expectations placed on Black women are much higher and almost impossible. Now, this can be viewed as a compliment to some, but this higher standard comes with a double-edged sword and the rationale that our fall from grace is inevitable, fast and much harder.
You see, there is no way that an ordinary Black woman, known for being a groupie, could be caught on tape performing sex acts and then have the media allow her to flip that into a reputable and lucrative career built on perfume deals, reality shows, clothing lines, makeup deals, exercise DVDs and so on. Did I mention that she would not get to bring her sisters Shauntae and Tasha and the rest of the family along for the ride? Nope. Would not happen. Ever.
This is where Black women’s feelings of “resentment” come into play. Black women are expected to follow rules that “others,” no matter how smudged their reputations, are able to resist.
I’m not advocating that Black women should jump on the sex tape bandwagon, but in the same sense, why should one race of women be judged so harshly while others are celebrated for the same actions?
LJ Knight is a freelance journalist who currently resides in Los Angeles but is originally from Chicago. She is dubbed "the voice of the urban sophisticated woman." You can catch more of her opinionated flavor of writing at her own site, YeahSheSaidIt.com.