by Shivani Mangar · 01 Jul 2020 · 6 min read
In a world of Instagram influencers and social media marketing, there appears to be a trend emerging in the fashion world far beyond what purse or shoes your favorite Instagrammer is flaunting; instead, appealing to a topic of more depth.
The state of gender parity in media has been revealed... and it's upsetting.
Growing up, I hated how I looked. My mother is Irish, Polish, German, and Dutch, while my Dad emigrated from Nigeria. I was a biracial girl living in a majority Caucasian town. Not only was I surrounded by people who looked different than me, but I also rarely felt represented in the media. This lack of community during my adolescence gave me little to no self-esteem, self-worth, or self-confidence, which led me to want to change everything about myself: my hair, the accent I picked up from my African family, and even my skin color.
Now is actually a very exciting time to be alive. Fear and uncertainty might be taking over our world but I really do believe that underneath it all, this is a time of transformation for our planet.
Some outfits will forever remain ingrained in our subconscious long after we remove the clothes from our bodies. These articles of clothing often remind us of pivotal memories, from the first day of middle school to our senior prom. If you are fortunate, your garment will never carry traumatic memories, but for those who are victims of rape escaping these memories is almost impossible.
In the the wake of Mr. George Floyd's brutal murder, the United States of America suddenly had something monumental at the forefront of its dissonant mind. The protests and the unrest that burgeoned across the country, and tellingly, across the world, simply said, "Enough, is enough."
I don't know what my race is. I mean, I know I don't identify as one race. And to feel forced to choose is a specific cruelty that I would like to uproot. My skin is brown, so I knew the road of least resistance would be to identify as Black. Any hints at suggesting otherwise would accost me as one who is trying to deny my "race." I was born in the beautiful land of Guyana, known as "the land of six peoples." I grew up there until age 12, and I think it is for this reason that I never saw myself as any one thing. Indeed, it was even strange to me to have to identify my race in America, as I found it such an odd and useless construct —useless that is, other than for racism.
While we continue to be shocked by the horrific abuse in the Epstein case, let's not overlook what the media coverage itself reveals about a pervasive sexism and misogyny that is deeply embedded in our society. From what is said and how it is said to what is conveniently left out, the coverage reflects and perpetuates long-held attitudes about male violence against women. Much of the Epstein coverage refers to the victims as "underage women"; that would, of course, be girls. There is also reference to Epstein and other powerful men "having sex" with underage women; that would be rape. And the Epstein case is not singular.