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Black Girls: Forced to Grow Up too Soon

The issue of hypersexualizaton is the fault of the black girl when she’s born. Her appearance and behavior is strictly monitored. The endangerment of her body begins the moment she’s potty-trained. She is warned to be cautious around men, both family and strangers. Why is it her burden and not those of her predators?

Slave owners consistently tainted black women slaves with the trauma of rape and sexual assault. Unfortunately, that occurrence sewed its way into the treatment of black women today. More than 18% of black women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

Black women, by their biological nature, have remained a spectacle in the societal eye. Sarah Baartman, put on display like an animal, was humiliated so black women now could have confidence in their curvatures. Black women were treated as objects, exotic and meant for possession before they were treated as human beings deserving of affection.

Media endorsed the images of black women as video vixens and sexual objects praised for their lack of clothing and sex appeal. Little black girls then paid the price, even wearing their school uniforms. In comparison to their white counterparts, they are more likely to be undressed by the eyes of perverted men, unable to express themselves through something as simple as clothing.

No short skirts or shorts. No tight clothing. Cover your chest. Cross your legs. Beginning from the age of four, black girls are given a uniform and behavior guide to follow. As they dream about girly things like makeup, nail polish and pretty bras, their desires to elevate their self-confidence work to their demise as they grow older.

Shopping becomes a game of “what you can wear to keep eyes off of you.” Cat-calling becomes as common as bird chirps. Being a black girl becomes a fight to stay alive and maintain dignity.

Their innocence is stripped, opening the opportunity for fetishization and sexual abuse at young ages. 11% of black girls in high school reported being raped in 2018. Almost 60% of them reported to be subjected to sexual contact by 18 years of age. From both strangers and family members, black girls are subject to trauma jeopardizing their ability to feel comfortable in their skin when they are adults.

Telling a child how she’s filling out “just like her mother” is far from a compliment. Placing your eyes onto a child’s body she isn’t even aware of yet further constitutes the issue. Somehow, the creepy uncle is never reprimanded but the black girl is advised to watch herself.

The fight against negative stereotypes toward black women has been embraced through the very things used to keep them in a box. Embracing sexuality has become a frequent and shameless form of expression. The fear remains for black girls, however. As their idols set examples of how to change the narrative, the bodies of little black girls remain in danger of being violated.

Featured Image by cottonbro on Pexels

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