25 Things to Call “Ugly” Besides Women

I made a decision to never call a woman “ugly.”

Beauty is a subjective concept, open to expansive interpretation. The idea of “beauty” came into my consciousness when I was in elementary school. I was called “ugly” because my hair was nappy and my skin was dark. I saw the lighter skinned girls with long hair shine as the example of beauty in the minds of 8-year-old boys. They were the most popular girls on the playground, and I wanted desperately to be one of them.

As I got older, the idea of beauty was even more stringent. Throw in puberty, where my large features developed at different stages, and I was a mess. Smeared in acne scars and mismatched weaves, I became even more aware of my looks.

Throughout my journey into womanhood, the media showed me the correct beauty standards. Perfect complexion, expensive clothes, effortless makeup, flawless hair…. it was all enough to send me into psych ward. I couldn’t compete with the parades of women that were universally beautiful.

But, I did feel better when there was a woman I knew was “ugly. I berated her, and compared myself to her. I undermined her existence solely on what she looked like. And, when I started wearing makeup and found the perfect hairstyles, I couldn’t be stopped. I finally achieved a fictional sense of self esteem.

But, as more as I explored the notions of feminism and female empowerment, I realized that beauty was simply a patriarchal method meant to compartmentalize the diversity of womanhood. Fixation with beauty was merely a tool to drive a wedge into the female population; as a way to distract us from what really matters. Why take time attaining political clout, when how we look is all that really matters? No.

And now, I don’t ever call a woman “ugly” based solely on her appearance. And if I do call a woman beautiful, it’s because I recognize a refined spirit within. Subjective looks do not matter to me. It doesn’t matter if a woman is beautiful or ugly, all that matters is her wit, ambition, passions, and diligence. Any woman who is able to fight for her rights and trample the intangibility of patriarchy, is beautiful in my books.

I suggest you all do the same. There are a billion things that are objectively “ugly.” Here’s only 25 of them…

1. The 800,000 people who died in the Rwandan genocide.

2. Bosnian rape camps.

3. Jerome Murdouch, a mentally ill man who roasted to death in Rikers last month… but we’re just finding out about it.

4. The 35.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS.

5. Mothers who are forced to sell their daughters in sex slavery.

6. The rising cost of college.

7. NYC public schools being the most segregated in the country.

8. The potential $6 trillion spent on the unnecessary Iraq War.

9. The dwindling American middle class.

10. Super PACs.

11. How the high rate of European unemployment is fueling Neo-Nazism.

12. Half of Congress are millionaires, the highest in history.

13. Oprah, an accomplished businesswoman and global icon, is still a victim of racial discrimination.

14. American income inequality is growing and growing and growing.

15. Heroin use is on the rise due to prescription drug abuse, accessibility, and cheap costs.

16. 12 million Americans hold $1 trillion in student loan debt.

17. Over 100,000 people have been killed in the ongoing Syrian crisis.

18. Child soldiers who are forced to kill, maim, and rape.

19. The 22,000 homeless children in NYC.

20. High rates of domestic violence in gay couples, and the stigma that surrounds them.

21. Child brides and the socioeconomic hardships they’re exposed to.

22. Hell, gender based violence in general is ugly.

23. People who believe that diversity = white genocide.

24. Police misconduct.

25. The opinions of Rush Limbaugh.

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8 responses to “25 Things to Call “Ugly” Besides Women

  1. Makes sense that women should be fixated on beauty….what if on the TV you got to see all types of women, mainly white women but all types of white women, old white women reporting news, fat white women on sitcoms and esp, black women all shapes and sizes (on the right channel)….but if all the men had to look like like models like the twilight movie, and the only black men were light skinned dudes….men would be f*cked up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lmao… opinions of Rush. Never liked the jackasss either. BTW, if people don’t accept me for who I am… well it’s their loss…

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  3. I love what you take on in your article. You’re a true beauty. However, and I don’t mean to be naive, but do you mean Oprah suffers from racial discrimination due to something specific that happened to her personally or because we live in a generally racist world, and being a black woman she she suffers from it? Maybe I’m nit-picking, but I am particular when it comes to statements about Oprah. The way I see it, she has an enormous, adoring fan base of all colors, her own channel and her best friend Carol King to promote and protect her on corporate CBS news. She partners with the Walmart brand that has outsourced jobs in our country and which ultimately comes down to slavery abroad, leaving an impression of affordable goods that we can decorate our homes with. Thirteen families own all the wealth in the world. The Walmart family are majority “holders” in that number. Additionally…Oprah’s girl’s school that she set up in Africa, had at the opening years ago, the celebrity help of Mariah Carey among others, to give a shout out to “girl power” (Mariah is also the recipient of diamond hoop earrings that Oprah bestowed as gifts to a select few of her dynamic female trendsetters, recognizing powerful or influential women. Maybe Maria Shriver was there. Probably Maya Angelou. In any case, as diamond mines of Africa “employ” and exploit little African girls who bust rocks all day to find them, it was a strange not to mention extravagant gift, even if she does purchase hers, “ethically”…(I haven’t fact checked where she gets her diamonds). To add insult to injury, the school Oprah set up originally succumbed to controversy after a female staff member molested female students. Although Oprah is not to blame for that event, it was a bad start. As for Mariah Carey, she has very recently been known to perform for dictators who commit human rights atrocities. So… that’s what I deem ugly. I’m not saying Oprah doesn’t do wonderful things and I’m sure she is in fact discriminated against… but her level of wealth places her in a dangerously “out of touch” position and I think she suffers more from that than anything else.

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    • Your point is VERY well taken, and I don’t disagree with ANYTHING you said. Oprah, I’m sure, comes with her hypocrisies… no one becomes a billionaire without doing some questionable things.

      But, the point I was making was if OPRAH, THE OPRAH, THE QUEEN OF MEDIA, THE INDELIBLE ICON WITH SO MUCH POWER AND INFLUENCE, can STILL be racially discriminated against, then we’re in a terrible cultural condition. You would think that someone of her stature would be “free” from racism and prejudice, but no. And if she has to go through racial discrimination (which she can fight with an army of well-trained lawyers, etc.), imagine what most Black folks go through without such resources.

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      • Okay, yeah… Thanks for responding! I totally see your point. And I agree, we are in a “terrible cultural condition”. And including Oprah does make your point all the more profound, albeit somewhat complicated. She promotes the beauty industry and standards for women (like stripper poles for exercise and walking in stilettos which she did with some of the cast members of Sex in the City years ago) that often set her up as self-critical, self-loathing, and or stereo-typically feminine while she tries to embark on greater self-esteem and “girl power”. She’s constantly being used against herself as a woman while also creating herself. She’s combating institutionalized racism and sexism and also selling it to us, and makes so much money doing this we see her as successful and powerful. Crazeeee!

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