Erykah Badu: We love your nakedness

I was really, really shocked at the negative response that many Black people have had to Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat” video.  Outside of the fact that filming was done without a proper permit (which could bring some legal heat from the City of Dallas), I really didn’t understand the drama.   Then I remembered that she’s a black woman.

  • She is a black woman who has not allowed her image to be over-sexualized in the media.
  • She is not Trina or Lil Kim.  She’s not a video vixen
  • She is a “natural sista” and “earth mother goddess” whom many have put on a royal pedestal to be held up as an example of truth and light
  • She’s done something shocking and many are not comfortable with it.

How dare she make you uncomfortable?  How dare she try to do something different and strange?  How dare she be so “out of the box.”  Right?

This is all about the boxes that Badu is metaphorically evolving from in the video.  The boxes that say in the Black community only video hoes, strippers, female rappers and the like can take their clothes off in public.  It’s ok for them right?  The boxes that are at work right now telling us that we should not THINK that this video is ok.  We should think what THEY say we should think, right?

Of course, sisters with wisdom and truth, who wear their hair without chemical straighteners and understand mathematics would never expose themselves to make a point, right?

If you agree with that, I’m sure you’d  agree that Black people don’t do performance art anyway?  We can’t possibly understand all of the symbolism in the video because we are so caught up in the “groupthink”.  The same groupthink that says Waka Flocka Flame and Soulja Boy make good music.  Isn’t that right?

So let’s all just take this video at face value and join in the chorus of people who don’t get it and can’t accept it.  Let’s stay on the surface and not dig deeper.  Let’s assassinate the character of the beautiful black sister who is trying to speak to us from a place of vulnerability in her art.  Let’s do to her what she’s already symbolically done to herself…strip down her motives and assassinate her character.

“As soon as the thought came to my mind, I decided to assassinate myself as a gesture. Because it was going to happen anyway. The video is a prediction of what is happening now. […] I would like to say that it was a protest to awaken a term called ‘groupthink.’ It’s a term that was coined in 1952. It’s the recognition of a state of being for humans. It’s human nature for a person to be afraid to express his or her self in fear of being ostracized by the group or general consensus,” the singer explains.  – source

I don’t know about y’all, but I’d rather see a video like this, something risky and artistic, than 90% of what I usually see in the media.  I’d much rather see nakedness with a point than random booty shaking and bikinis.

Erykah Badu, I love your nakedness, your vulnerability, and your strength.  I hope you sell lots of downloads and CDs.

11 Comments

Filed under african american, art, beauty, black, black women, booty, celebrity, news, opinion, race, sex, video, women, youtube

11 Responses to Erykah Badu: We love your nakedness

  1. Malcolm X

    First, of all, before I comment on the said subject matter let me just keep it real. Speaking from a male point of view, the sista has a lot of junk in her trunk. I must say I luv every inch of the BOOTY, lol. As for as the topic at hand I totally agree that we, as Black people, have been programmed by white people on how to think, what is considered beauty and the whole nine yards; let`s just call a spade a spade.

    As my grandmother would say, (RIP) “the truth hurts”. We are indeed a people who will not and who can not understand individuality. It`s the order of the day. Unless one conforms to society standards then you are an outcast. Sometimes, if not oftentimes, the one whom society deems as weird, strange or a misfit is the very one whom holds a lot of wisdom/knowledge.

    Society tends to ostricize what it does not understand. Take for example my fav. artist Michael Jackson (RIP). I would recomend to anyone to buy his book of poetry. Mike exemplified such an abundance of wisdom/knowledge as he demonstrated how well read he was. The “WHITE MEDIA” and some Black media didn`t understand him and considered him weird and strange.

    Now being objective, sometimes, Mike would do things which would leave one baffled. However, if one took the time to really observe/study him he was quite intelligent. Sorry to digress but I was making a point. Another point I vehemently agree with is all the booty-shaking, over-sexed images of some artists. The first one who comes to mind is Beyonce. Now I`ll be the first to admit that I`m not a fan of hers or her music obviously.

    I don`t watch vids of todays` artists or listen to their music. I find the music to be very shadow with no since of direction. I don`t listen to mainstream radio because all the music, for the most part, is in the same box. Now sista, you know that I visit your site quite often and you may have come to the conclusion that I have what society may call, “EXTREME” views thereby making me an “EXTREMIST”, LOL..

    Well if you judge my views by societys` standards then one is quite right to consider my views extreme. I think outside the box, I reject societys` rules, I don`t trust/like the Government, I don`t trust/like the “White” media nor do I watch them. So yeah, I am indeed a “NON-CONFORMIST”.
    I was given a brain so I therefore intend to use it and think for myself and not by led around on a leash by Government and The “WHITE” media.

    Yes, The beautiful “MOTHER GODDESS” was indeed making a point which unfortunately goes over many of our heads…

    Peace, in the spirit of my “HEROES”, Brotha Malcolm X and Fred Hampton…..the struggle continues.

  2. I came here from the Field Negro’s site, though I have visited before. I am LOVING this video!

    LOVING IT!!

    I just heard the song on the radio this morning, and I liked it. Id seen posts on other blogs regarding this video, but I never delved deep into the meat of those posts, nor watched the vid. But Im glad I finally did!

    While girlfriend does “got ass” I loved the artistry and creativity behind the song and video. Especially with the tie-in to the assignation of Pres. Kennedy (at least I hope thats what it was, Im at work and trying to do this quickly, lol).

    Badu is an artist and artists take risks in bringing their message to the world. She knew that some folks would hate it, wouldnt get it, but she held hope that some would. And Im glad she did.

    I just wish more folks were.

    L

  3. I think the issue is less that she is a naked earth mama than it is with the fact that she is butt-nekkid in a video.

    There are plenty of people who still think nudity is automatically sexual. E. Badu is supposed to be “better” than that. After all, “she is a black woman who has not allowed her image to be over-sexualized in the media.”

  4. c

    I think the issue for people who’ve criticized it- is that this Black woman, who is truly beautiful rather than “hot”, and a deep woman, has the audacity to show her body in a non-sexual way.

    Alanis Morissette was nude in her Thank You video and I don’t recall the words ‘indecent’ or ‘disrespectful’ being used then.

    Our society only wants to see a certain type of Black woman. Sexy and gyrating. They don’t want to see a real Black woman who possesses many characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, feelings, opinions, beliefs. Who has depth. Who seeks meaning and shares meaningful ideas. Who is real and an individual.

    And that just proves Badu’s message about ‘group think’.

  5. KBliss

    People — and I’ve seen this sooooooooo much with my Sistas — tend to be uncomfortable with their OWN nakedness, therefore other people’s nakedness gets them all discombobulated.

    God made us naked. Then we got un-naked when Eve bit the apple, it got too cold, or we got too modest or what ever folk want to believe.

    We ain’t gotta be naked all day and everywhere but a little nudity to make a point (or in some cases, to pay the rent) ain’t nothing to get all up in arms about.

  6. ARNEADER

    Logically, there is something wrong with a person walking naked in the park (period). Erykah Badu got the idea from Matt and Kim Times Square http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJkymylTNU4 two white freaks! In their blog Kim says Matt had to convince her to do it—she was embarrassed jumping up and down. That’s just like white men… they always want their women to do freaking things. During the early 70s white people were the ones who started streaking. Ray Stevens came out with a song about it. We would listen to it and laugh. We did not have blacks streaking, just crazy white people. This was a hippie culture with a lot of drugs. Those honkies were just high on LSD and coming out of their clothes. During the 60s and 70s the Women’s Liberation Movement was started by white women because they were having problems with their white men. They drugged black women into their movement with them. Black women were not having any problems with their men. Blacks were trying to get/and just got their Civil Rights. Erykah Badu is trying to sell albums and make money. Her voice is impeccable I love her sound but I’m personally I’m not tripping with her. How would she like it if a woman stripped butt naked in front of her two kids? Can someone tell me how were Erykah Badu’s record sells prior to this new album? I remember after Toni Braxton filed bankruptcy she took her clothes off on her next album. We have a black President we want to go forward and not get distracted with BS. I think April 19 Tea Baggers, Pro Gun Progressive and/or Conservatives are suppose to get the on the state line of Maryland and DC with their guns. These honkies are SERIOUS and we have to STAY FOCUS. We don’t need to get busy watching Erykah show her @ss and these honkies want to pop caps in ours. WE HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT they are mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore they want their country back.

  7. cici

    dont forget shes vegan! i love women who dont become whores and stand up for whats right! go Erykah!

  8. daki

    Thank you for posting this. I too, was wondering what the fuss was about. Of course, I understood some backlash but not to this degree…esp by black ppl, and “fans”. Now, though I do love Erykah, I am not bias to any celebrity (or anyone for that matter).
    As far as people wondering, assuming, and asserting that she did this for more money and fame, that’s ridiculous. She could just as easily be walking around “flossin” as many celebrities do…she has been a Grammy-nominated double (and triple) platinum selling artist since the 90s. She has NEVER had a dud…in terms of quality or sells. She has never had to use sexuality. I mean come on people, that’s too easy…be intelligent. While she is naturally beautiful and as the fellas are saying “she got booty”. Sexy is not waiting until your 35 + (no offense, I do NOT think that’s old…just follow the point) with 3 kids, and a freaking wig cap or whatever the hell on walking down the street. She has a near perfect body and pretty face, if she was going for the “sex sells” even in “naturalness” I’m thinking she would have made a bigger statement, maybe in an uninterrupted studio, perfect lighting, etc.

    So that’s a sad point. She’s no dummy. Like it’s been said the only “wrong” thing is not having a permit, therefore subjecting passerbyers to the display. BUT come on, I’m sorry your kids are going to see naked people. They DO actually just turn to your local video station, or shoot just watch a commercial. Now THAT’s sex. Not this.

    Bold. Political (and I’m not talking about the JKF ref.)…regardless of whether you agree, it isn’t that bad. The truth of the matter is, the booty scared the white people. Seriously, Alanis, Lady Gaga, Blink 182, Red Hot Chilli Peppers…naked naked NAKED. Erykah Badu (*gasp*).

    I get it from “them” but my people, esp. the “awake” (lol) folk…come on. Don’t be so close-minded, it doesn’t suit you.

  9. Is it at all possible that, the problem is that Erykah stripped naked with other people’s children around, it was in public with families outside–not expecting this. Or, is it just a little disrespect to where a man/president was shot and killed? How about either of these? And, since black women seem to be seen as just “houses of ill repute”, why add to this even a little–are we not having a hard enough time? Also, could the same point have been made in another area/licensed for a reason, and, her need to express her point in all its fullness still be made. Think about it, just a little. And your website title, –really? When we make it hard on ourselves and one another, I pray God comes soon and early and takes everyone home.

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