acrylic on canvas
decided to name this painting “Society’s Glitch” as it reflects upon the African-American woman’s experience, specifically those who have darker skin.
African Americans and black people around the world fear of persecution on the daily for being noticed and at the same time they don’t feel noticed enough in regards to proper self representation. •
It was historically preferential to have chosen a lighter skin or even a mixed heritage black woman to represent all black women in the media. Therefore establishing a beauty standard that did not include natural curly/kinky hair textures or darker skin color. The natural black woman was labeled as “too distracting” or “ghetto” for no intelligible reason. So when attempting to blend in with the straight blonde wig, blue eye contacts, and skin bleaching, the dark-skinned black woman was labeled as “crazy” or “whitewashed”. Hated for being herself and hated for trying to blend in, society has for the longest demonstrated its frustration with her existence, unknowledgeable on what to do with her, they’d just prefer to ignore her and pretend as though she doesn’t exist. Out of sight, out of mind.
That is why I’ve decided to pixelate her entire image because we can make out what she is from afar but you cannot see who she is. So you get up close and personal, then you realize you actually don’t really see her at all anymore. You see the hand-painted pixels, and you debate if it’s flawed or intentional but overall once you realize the complexity of the blocks that made her, you reveal the stunning effort of artistic presence. Just as the dark-skinned black woman was/is in the representative media today. Dear melanated woman, you are art 🖤🖤🖤
oil on canvas
This embodies me as a Black and Native American woman. I can go for days talking about the (mis)treatment of ‘mixed-race people’ but I summarized the sensation in an image. Having a double perspective is like a double edge sword. You stand for one side just to offend the other side. Some mixed people will even close one set of their eyes forever in favor of the other, but I cannot. •
I embrace being #afronative and whenever I can I self identify as a Black (Navajo)Native American because I was raised just like that. I grew up in a Native American family and some of us just happened to be black. As a kid, I didn’t know what it meant to be black or native. And the lack of self-representation in the media didn’t help much either. So I had no concept of race or color, regardless I was visibly different, and growing up that meant getting bullied for it. I didn’t understand the pedestal and I will not deny I got favoritism from boys and at jobs I’ve received over the years. I didn’t want to participate in it though, it made me uncomfortable to the point of tears. I feel it’s evil to use my features to get opportunities. I also cannot be insecure about myself out loud because some friends or family might say some very self-bashing things about themselves because some piece of shit made them feel that way. •
This fuels me to empower. educate, and seek justice for those who have felt the pain of being invisible due to colorism and racism. The problem however is that mixed people are not always welcome to speak on the subject. And when they do speak out on a large platform, their opportunities are cut and the favoritism expires. And even in our own communities, what does a mixed girl have to say about anything anyway? I got told multiple times I’m only a certain amount of what I am, so what I have to say doesn’t count… MY VOICE DOESN’T COUNT. Now I cannot say that I’m entirely invisible, but being in limbo is no paradise.
This piece is strictly dedicated to the brave men and women in my life. Ending an unloved relationship is no easy feat. Inspired by her podcast, Amanda Seales: Small Doses on Spotify, I was able to recognize the repeated behaviors in the lives of these brave individuals and that they were all dealing with a narcissist. Statistically speaking, many people of color we have to cope with our own and/or our significant others’ PTSD, depression, substance abuse, anger management issues, and many other complex mental illnesses.
We want to blame gang affiliation, poor communities, the war on drugs, the industrial-prison complex, toxic-masculinity, colorism, and systematic racism. The strong empathetic people of color will fold like paper towards our significant other to sympathize and try to gain understanding and patience with the pain our people survive. However, it should be noted that if a person continually makes excuses for their unloving and even abusive behavior, just to center things about themselves and their issues, that person is acting in a narcissistic way.
If agreements to protect and defend and love unconditionally are broken when it comes down to addressing their behavior, it is called being gaslighted. Narcissists will control how we felt about ourselves. Usually in a way that ultimately serves them.
Strong individuals who have gone through the process or are going through the mood swings of still trying to make a relationship like this work, this one is for you. Regardless, narcissism isn’t a treatable disorder or mental illness. And as stated in Amanda Seales’ podcast on Narcissism, the difficult thing to do when dealing with one is telling them they’re being narcissistic. A true narcissist will not admit or even know they are a narcissist because every time someone confronts them, they will gaslight.
So the best way to avoid dealing with them is to leave them alone. It is extremely difficult finding out your significant other is a narcissist because of the guilt that comes with leaving them for your own sanity. Sharing a family with them as well can make it extremely difficult. So I salute anyone who has made the choice to leave that toxic situation or is aware of being narcissistic.