What in the hell is #BlackGirlMagic ?
If you own a device with Internet, the chances are you have social media. If you have social media on your device, the chances are you are familiar with hash tags. If you are familiar with hash tags because of the social media on your device, the chances are you have seen the hash tag #BlackGirlMagic.
But what the hell does it mean and why do I keep seeing it Aliyah!?
Well I gotchu fam. Let me fill you in.
Searching the hash tag online will give you little to no info on the textbook definition and not many dictionaries knew what I was looking for when I did some research. But according to other sources, the term “Black Girl Magic” is used to express the sheer awesomeness of black women and celebrate anything that we see a need to celebrate in black women. Whether it is beauty, fashion, academics, politics or even everyday activities that black women do and seem like it should be appreciated, it will be recognized.
I asked around my friend group and other acquaintances what they thought of the trend and what it meant to them. Some of their responses were “to exceed expectations!” or “I guess the first thing that comes to mind is Michelle Obama and doing you without caring what people think.” When I received some perspective from outside my circle, the response surprised me. “I see #blackgirlmagic as a way for black women to express their talented and intelligent selves in their perspective fields.” Many men I spoke to, had no idea what I was talking about.
One associate of mine suggested, “Isn’t that for like beautiful black women on Insta?”
I politely reminded him that no, it is not only for “beautiful black women.”
But why the need for this hash tag and why do I see it on my feed sometimes?
I will tell you once again. Women of color in America, especially black women, are far too often pushed to the end of the “importance meter.” Black women are seen as objects and every aspect about them is put down. Black women are often categorized as uneducated, being the opposite of beautiful, and are seen as merely objects for the use of others. Society loves to take the pieces of black women that are “attractive” like big hips, ass, lips and hair styles and market off them, all while continuing to disrespect black women all together. We are very mysterious creatures in the ways we behave and not everyone is familiar with our lifestyles and attitudes.
The new trend of #blackgirlmagic is a way for black women to celebrate themselves in everything they do, even if others don’t. We ask those around black women to join the support!
Though this might be hard to believe, black women are human beings as well! But not all of society treats black women that way. In an article for Elle Magazine, Linda Chavers argued that the movement suggests that black women are superhuman, or something other than human. She goes on to explain how, historically, black women have been seen and treated as subhuman beings. Though the term “black girl magic” is meant to help celebrate all factors and achievements of black women, it can be seen as a way to make black women stand out. Standing out? What’s wrong with that? Well yes standing out looks good at times but in the case of black women, it can be back-firing. Though it’s important to celebrate the things that BW do everyday, to point them out makes it seem unique, abnormal or even points out that there is a need for a difference to be made. Black women want what every non-white woman wants, equality and fair treatment.
One example of the purpose and power of black girl magic is how the hash tag works. In the same way the Black Lives Matter movement works, the hashtag is meant to shed light on the increasing issues within society that effects that specific group. This is not to say that no other women of color or white women don’t possess “magic.” It is simply a focused movement with the purpose of highlighting the struggles this group is currently facing, and trying to make a positive impact on the way this group is seen and treated. The hashtag is not meant to make other women feel bad. Instead, created to embrace the beauty of black women who are more often objectified than is whole heartedly celebrated.
To normalize the term black girl magic is the main goal of the trend. But the goal of society should be to normalize the activities and lifestyles of all women of color. We strive to make it apparent that we are black women, this is what we do and this is who we are, and there is nothing wrong with that. The need for the hash tag shouldn’t even exist because black women should not have to be celebrated on social media in order to be seen as equal to other women. But until that day comes, celebrate black women, empower black women and encourage black woman in a respectful manner.