As soon as images for the new Beats by Dre x Mowalola campaign dropped on Monday, the backlash against the gorgeous photos featuring City Girls’ JT was imminent. Some criticized the way one of the silver headphones covered her eye instead of her ear in a photo.
Others insisted that some of the poses featured in the images were “evil” and that they simply didn’t understand the vision for the campaign. Visceral disdain against dark-skinned Black women, however, is the baseline for all of the vitriol the artist has received—and it remains completely unwarranted.
Anytime a dark-skinned Black woman proudly stands in her hue and embraces her unique features, she is ridiculed and chastised and verbally attacked. If it were Latto or Cardi B, for example, this conversation simply wouldn’t have happened at all.
JT knows that the world doesn’t like to see Black women with deeper complexions participating in anything high-fashion and acknowledged the backlash on Instagram Live: “Campaigns are not just for people who look a certain type of way. Just because I’m from where I’m from doesn’t mean I need to be in Spandex and shark boots every day.”
The emcee also pointed out that when Black women have the courage to step outside the box of visual conformity, they instantly become targets. “Y’all will never have any range, because you care too much about what other bitches think. I don’t give a fuck about what y’all think—I’m going to do it for the hood bitches, the bitches that look like me, because we deserve to be on campaigns too,” she said.
The only thing society hates more than a carefree Black girl is a dark-skinned carefree Black girl. JT’s images for the campaign are stunning and those who insist otherwise just loathe when women who look like JT unapologetically revel in who they are.