This week, a miserable journalist from Harper’s magazine and another equally misguided colleague from Vanity Fair decided to kick off their 2020 with a big L, by having the audacity to go after Blue Ivy Carter on Twitter.
In case you are just as confused by this foolishness as I am, yes, Blue is still the the 7-year-old daughter of Beyoncé and Jay-Z (i.e an innocent minor), who at the time of the verbal attack was probably laid out on a chaise in her penthouse suite scrolling through pictures of her and her mama at Megan thee Stallion‘s New Year’s Eve party the night before.
“I have a feeling the jay z face genes are about to really hit Blue Ivy and I feel so sorry for her,” Vanity Fair film critic K. Austin Collins responded to Meg’s tweet which showed her, Blue and Beyonce smiling for the cameras.
To which Violet Lucca, a web editor for Harper’s, issued a snarky reply to Collins’ tweet with, “They haven’t already?”
“Or she’ll just get plastic surgery at 16 a la Kylie Jenner,” Lucca mused, adding, “and we’ll all have to pretend that she always looked that way…I can’t allow myself to feel too sorry for the incredibly rich!”
— HOT GIRL MEG (@theestallion) January 1, 2020
Oh, so now you’re sorry?
After these asshats spewed out their vitriol towards a child whose age is still in single digits (despite the plethora of zeros in her bank account), anyone with good sense dragged them within an inch of their edges and read them for filth. Because that is what decent people with twitter fingers do when they see a child being unfairly smeared by adults.
And not surprisingly, after a tidal wave of “I know you f@*king lying,” backlash from the Black Twitterati, these journalists who I personally think need to reconsider their professions and perhaps take up being pundits on Fox News, came out with the standard weak apologies that all bullies copy and paste after they realize their target has more backup than they expected.
“I’m sorry about the Blue Ivy tweet — bad joke, and black girls in particular deserve better,” Collins tweeted Wednesday.
And when user advised him that “some tweets should be left in drafts,” he responded: “you’re right. Poor form on my end. Thanks all for calling it out.”
Over the next two days a more verbose Lucca responded in a series of passive aggressive tweets stating Wednesday evening, “Sorry I was cleaning my apartment while this blew up…children of famous ought to be off limits, but time and again they haven’t been. So I said something petty and have been called ugly, old, and a racist.”
When people pointed out the obvious about how she was playing victim despite being the aggressor (which is like page one of the White Woman’s Tears Handbook), Lucca responded, “I’m not playing the victim…sorry that I insulted Beyoncé’s daughter by suggesting that she might get plastic surgery some day, like many children of famous people do.”
Clearly Lucca never learned how to use the word “sorry” properly, which is odd given she’s allegedly a writer and gets paid to know exactly that sort of thing.
The 2 things that unite Black men and White women
Now, let’s be real clear about this, the optics of this controversy tell us much of a story as the offensive tweets themselves.
If you pan out and look at this from a bird’s eye view, what essentially took place was: A Black man made fun of a Black girl, and a white woman jumped in to help him roast her. And when the Black community gave them both a slap on the wrist, the Black man instantly realized the odds were against him and shut up while the white woman, emboldened by her… well whiteness to be honest, played victim and acted like she didn’t have any idea why anyone believed her to be at fault.
Bruh. This is a tale as old as time and a song as old as rhyme.
And I’m clear that Beauty and the Beast over here felt froggy enough to attack Blue Ivy Carter for a bevy of reasons, the main one being that even though both groups hate to admit this in public, the two things that often unite Black men and white women is 1. Their resentment towards white men for being above them in the social food chain, and 2. Their comfort mocking and dismissing the Black women who they know are below them.
As we embark on the roaring 20’s I’m making it a point to call a thing a thing even more than before, and this thing reeks of anti-Blackness cloaked in misogyny and sprinkled with a failed attempt at humor.
Oh but there’s more… I have some thoughts on those of you who were mocking Blue Ivy well before this too. Wanna hear em? Good. Let’s go!
— Deborah L Smith (@tohimiowe) January 3, 2020
Let’s be honest here
I’ve never been a fan of revisionist history, so when I saw some of the very same people who used to clown Blue Ivy Carter suddenly coming to her defense this week — I legitimately gave ya’ll the side-eye. The same side-eye I’ve been giving you for years.
At this point every Black cultural critic worth their weight has touched on all the reasons why it’s damaging and all around funked up to attack a child — particularly a Black female child — on their appearance.
But there’s one question I have yet to see explored in depth, and that’s why is it that in a sea of Black celebrity children it’s Blue who’s gotten the strongest and most adverse reaction?
Rest assured, I won’t get into a beauty ranking of children based on appearance because that sort of pettiness is below my pay grade. But we all know that Blue Ivy is far from being the least attractive high profile child we’ve ever seen come across our timelines. And yet the almost visceral reaction that some “well meaning” Black folks have had while scolding her parents for her appearance would have you thinking she looked like a gremlin.
And I have a theory about why that is, a theory I’m inclined to almost accept as fact at this point.
In a nutshell: Ya’ll are disappointed that Beyonce didn’t have the wavy haired, light eyed, delicate featured, racially ambiguous baby doll that you were banking on.
There. I said it. Good ole colorism and anti-Blackness rearing its ugly head once again in places where it doesn’t belong.
blue ivy appreciation tweet cause she’s too adorable not to post pic.twitter.com/UkWTCnVc19
— 🌉 || fan account (@motivatefenty) January 2, 2020
For those who are unaware, despite the name, Colorism was never just about color. At its core it’s about one’s proximity to whiteness, which means factors like facial features and hair texture also play a major role in setting off people’s biases.
That point of nuance actually explains why browner skinned women like singer Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas from TLC and former daytime talk show host Ananda Lewis were still afforded a bit of “light skin privilege” due to their fine features and silky hair, despite having much more melaninated complexions than other women given that grace.
It’s also why despite the fact that Blue Ivy isn’t even dark, she is still being roasted as if her mama was Lupita Nyong’o instead of Beyonce.
As her grandfather Mathew Knowles has even admitted to at this point, despite Beyonce’s work ethic and longevity in this industry making her the rightful heir to her self-created throne, it would be intellectually dishonest of any of us to pretend like her light skin, looser hair texture and creole features didn’t have some hand in helping her in her bid for global dominance.
Many of her fans and casual followers alike, all expected her daughter to be of that same ilk, or maybe even more so. But unfortunately for ya’ll, Beyonce is a lot more pro-Black than you expected. And had the nerve to fall in love with a Black man with kinky hair and Black ass features that his strong genes very decidedly passed on to their children.
So in essence, Blue Ivy’s biggest sin in the court of public opinion, was never about her parents “not combing” her hair. The only thing that child has ever really done to offend her “haters” is have the nerve to look so unapologetically Black. That’s it. Because in reality she’s actually quite beautiful and has always has been. He hair, her skin, her lips, the fullness of her cheeks, it’s all lovely.
The only thing truly ugly about any of this is that people have been taught for so long to find Blackness “unruly” and “umkempt” that they keep finding ways to lie to themselves when that self-loathing mentality rears its ugly head. Even when it involves innocent children.
We just started an exciting new decade pham. If there was ever an excuse to check yourself and commit to doing better, why not let this be it?
Follow writer Blue Telusma on Instagram at @bluecentric