Why do so many adults hate on Blue Ivy?
The little lady is one of the most divisive celebrity children of all time but why?!
To say Blue Ivy leads a charmed existence is a gross understatement. The 6 year old regularly attends award shows, flies in private jets and has the arduous job of following her superstar mother Beyoncé wherever she goes. It's a hard life but someone's gotta do it.
Blue Ivy's latest appearance at the Grammys sparked a debate over how appropriate it is for a child to wear heels Despite wearing sparkly kitten heels, barley an inch off the ground, Blue caused a ripple all over the world wide web. Sadly, at 6 years old, this isn't first brush with internet trolls.
The Backlash Against Blue's Hair
The first wave of Blue Ivy hate came when it became clear that Beyoncé and Jay Z chose to let their child's hair grow naturally. Instead of scraping it up into tights buns and blowing it out, they let Blue's hair grow as nature intended and people were genuinely angered by it.
People were furious that the daughter of Beyoncé dare step out of her house not primped and preened to perfection despite being barely old enough to walk. The majority of the hate came from, unfortunately, people who were old enough to know better. Adults, predominantly women, who had become so invested in the lives of the Carters that they believed their opinion on their lives was necessary and valid.
Colourism in the Black Community
A majority of the mocking of Blue comes from the fact that she takes after Jay and specifically the black traits she has inherited from him. His full lips; the kinky, afro hair; the wide nose. Many have become comfortable with criticising and teasing women of colour for not fitting the stereotype of Western beauty and the heavy and uncalled for criticism of Blue Ivy is symptomatic of a much larger issue of colourism and self-hatred within the community.
Since the day black people were taken from their homes and colonised elsewhere around the world, black people have been conditioned to hate the colour of their skin, the texture of their hair and any other characteristic that deviates from a white standard of beauty. Killing someone's self esteem, in essence kills their sense of self-worth, which results in a myriad of issues, many of which we still see today.
People feel completely at ease with openly mocking black children who don't fit into a perceived standard of beauty which have been deeply ingrained in us by the mainstream media.
This was particularly evident when people drew unnecessary and downright cruel comparisons between Blue Ivy and mixed race North West who has decidedly more Western and therefore acceptable features such as a small nose, sleeker hair and lighter skin.
Is Blue not deserving of the same assumption of innocence given to North West, simply because her wide nose and chubby cheeks are deemed 'not pretty enough'?
Black Girls and Attitude
Having grown up in the limelight, Blue Ivy is very used to a lot of attention and having parents like the Carters, it's no wonder she is a confident and self-assured child. However, Blue's has often been mistaken for being 'rude or a brat'. The 6 year-old is often (and quite worryingly) described as a 'diva' and whilst most of the jokes are innocent, it does point to something more sinister about how we react to confidence in young black girls.
The reaction Blue elicits feeds into the stereotype that black girls have attitude or are inherently rude. This idea is so damaging to young black women and often grows with them and evolves into the 'angry black woman' trope that has plagued black women for decades. There's something about a confident black girl that makes people uncomfortable.
The media often describes blue as 'sassy', 'precocious' and 'high-handed'. Whilst these descriptions may seem innocent, they are micro-aggressions which build up over time to have a damaging effect on one's development.
Whilst, we are sure that Beyoncé and Jay-Z are doing their best to shield Blue from the negativity, there will come an age where she will be old enough to use the internet and understand what has been said about her.
Let's hope that Blue and beautiful young girls like her can grow into a world in which the adults in it aren’t imposing self-hatred on them long before they have a chance to learn how to be truly happy in their own skin.
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