But seriously: Politics of class and liberation

Johannesburg – There are words that have become synonymous with celebrating being black, especially black women in this era of the hashtag.

Thick is one of them.

And it is not describing her skull, as was – or sometimes is the case – when the colour of one’s skin is used as a gauge of one’s intellectual capacity by some bigots.


The Urban Dictionary defines thick as having a nice a**, nice legs, not skinny, with meat on your bones.

Even the new meaning of thick, supposedly positive and meant to stretch the borders of what is considered attractive, one has to admit it’s flawed.

It is yet another word whose point of reference is framed around what has been defined as attractive, beautiful and pleasing to the eye. And yet, here it is embraced, celebrated and acknowledged as the new skinny.

There are other words too; melinated or highly melinated depending on how dark one’s skin tone.

“Melanin popping” is now a favourite caption to describe the different shades of black that the fashion, movie and music superpowers are finding appealing. Oh yes, melanin is the new tan.

There are also hashtags that have come to represent black excellence and have become part of everyday speech that they are used outside the context in which they started.

There’s #blackgirlsrock and #blackgirlmagic celebrating the different talents of black women in all different spheres of American society.

It is now acceptable to put black and magic together without invoking some witchcraft. #blackgirlmagic or #blackgirlsrock are the new empowerment slogans. Fashion cities in the US and Europe have been dictating what is beautiful, what is in, what is “curatable” – and even as Africa shouts “your time is now” – it still is a long way for the Motherland to influence and define beauty in its own terms and standards and to set trends in its own time and way. So, this month when France had a blister; the whole world felt the pain.

The sales of lingerie have been declining steadily especially with the Covid-19 pandemic. Some well-known brands have closed their doors.

Even here at home, some familiar brands have folded. So when the sales of lingerie fell sharply in France, the country wellknown for its sensuality and romance, it is a big deal.

Oh yes, France, widely considered the cradle of lingerie, is facing a rebellion from within, by its very own, against what has become the national symbol of seduction.

The plummeting sales figures of lingerie showed that the women of France are tired of being in bondage in the name of feeling beautiful from the inside out.

They are making their voices heard at the till. They have had it with sexiness.

They want comfort and undergarments that are more practical.

How long do you think it would take before the word lingerie is referred to as archaic in the English dictionary?

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