Friday, March 21, 2014

Black Girls are Easy...

... evidently--to mistake for one another.
Especially if we're "weird"or "alternative".
Someone said I "looked exactly like [Tamara of] I Puke Glamour" and then snarkily added "Hmmmmm", regarding my assertion to accept no imitations (which really was a disclaimer for people to distinguish me from a particular... person).

C'mon, dude. I mean, I'm how much darker than she--?
 It got me thinking, though, about how when black girls have coloured hair, awesome, unusual clothes, and express themselves in a different way than what is expected, suddenly we're all Lil Kim or Nicki Minaj, or George Clinton-- anyone but who we actually are. Or we're intentionally twinning ourselves if we have similar hair. In my case, I do actually have a fax, but I've only ever been influenced by what I see.

It's unfortunate, but no other race accuses each other of "trying to be like (fill in the blank)" or "the fake (fill in the blank)"more than black people. I mean, c'mon: non-black girls wear synthetic dreads and straight fringe in all the colours of the fxcking rainbow all the time, and they don't get accused of trying to be, say, Kerli, or Machine Sex or Lady Gaga or whatever. I do it, and I'm suddenly Bitchface/Tamara/I Puke Glamour, I'm Yo-Yo Suicide, and the people I mentioned above--Minaj, Kim, and Uncle George (who, by the way, doesn't have the coloured hair anymore, so I say this to you: :oP). I have big "normie" hair, then I'm Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, Patti Labelle.

Is that really the best we can manage, in lieu of just taking me as I look--does everything have to be identified with someone famous? Last I checked, my name was GATA, not any of the above. Nor am I "George Clinton's wife/granddaughter/whatever".
Yes, that actually happened. More than once, and once from a band on stage performing at the time.
There is a huge difference between imitating and being influenced.
I've been influenced by people from the eighties like Cyndi Lauper, Jody Watley, Eighties Prince and Eighties Madonna (important to say "eighties" because they reinvent themselves so often), hip-hop culture, geek culture, movies, books, subcultures, video games, Japanese street style, mangas, comics, and God knows what else. I'm one of those people who throw stuff together, make it coordinate somehow, and hope it sticks. For as long as I've been able to choose my own clothes, I've been that type. I always expressed myself through my gear, long before Minaj, Gaga, Kim. I used to colour streaks in my hair with eyeshadow and rip up my stockings, cut my tees, slaughter my pants, shop at thrift stores. I was making jewelry out of baby shower favours, doll furniture, and discarded pieces of other jewelry (waste not, want not). I would find a place between eclectic and "me", and that's where I was comfortable.
This always got reactions like this

Or this

Or this

And a lot of this.

Once in awhile it was strange, but nice, to get this...

I still get these reactions. I pretty much expect it. It's one of the perks of being meows truly.

Unless someone is doing this

to their fellow so-called "weird", "alternative" black chyck, or doing everything like this

constantly (::ahem::) , then I don't see how we're all running around trying to be like each other (or celebrities). It must be some odd offshoot of "(fill in the blank) people all look alike". Generalizations; blanket statements. Ignorance. Indifference. Not thinking.
It would be nice to wake up one day and live in a world where this doesn't happen. Where I don't get, "Who you s'posed to be?" Me, duh. I can't be anyone but me, a living mash-up of stuff I really like. And I do it organically. It's something that can't be helped, I'm afraid.
Try and see each person for who they are, rather than think they're just cloning someone else.
Unless, of course, they actually are--and it's blatantly obvious.
Knock yourself out, then, LOL.