Amber Rose, Wyd Sis?
By: Kayla Pasacreta
Amber Rose has come to be a champion of feminism and body positivity. Reclaiming words like slut and hoe, Amber has made it her mission to stop slut shaming. I agree that under no circumstances should women be slut shamed. It doesn’t matter how short a woman’s skirt is or how low cut her shirt is, these are simply not invitations for sex or the entitlement many men feel they have to a woman’s body.
When Amber came to speak at my school, Syracuse University, she let students ask her questions, and some of her responses concerned me. When asked about feminism being intersectional (meaning inclusive of all races, there are some challenges black women face that white women would never have to), she shrugged off the question and gave an All lives matter type response, saying that we shouldn’t focus on just one group of women. But that’s not the point of intersectional feminism, the point is for all women to understand that because of many different factors, they all experience sexism differently. However, Amber Rose, a self-proclaimed feminist and woman of color, didn’t seem to understand that.
Because I feel so strongly about feminism, I’ve always tried to align myself with Amber Rose and support what she does. However, to be frank, sometimes she crosses the fucking line. Sis just does too much for me, y’all. During game 4 of the NBA finals, Rose posted a photo wearing only a bikini top, choker, and fur coat with the caption, “#amberroseslutwalk.” The rest of the picture donned her oiled up skin and vagina out for the world to see. So, Amber basically dropped a nude on the timeline. Amber, or her loyal followers will probably call this body positivity and appreciation for the female body. But let’s be real here: it’s not. It doesn't send a message of body positivity, and it certainly doesn't have people talking about feminism, either. The tweets and comments are all about Amber's bangin' body - not sexual freedom. Meek mill commented on the picture, "Amber rose box! Good day :)"
This idea of the naked body being solely a form of body positivity is not something that should be normalized. For one, equating the naked body with feminism sends the wrong message. Is the body really the main thing we should focus on when determining a woman’s worth? I call myself a feminist because I fight for equal pay, equal rights, equal treatment, and equal standards for women. Amber Rose tends to make women empowerment all about sexual freedom, and I don’t think this does feminism justice.
Amber Rose started Muva Management in August 2016, with the goal of helping women “find success in the entertainment industry”. The idea of putting women on is great, but the first person she signed is Tori Brixx, a Wild ‘N Out girl and premier Instagram model…I’m not trying to hate here, by all means, promote that Flat Tummy Tea and Fashion Nova jeans if it’s getting you a check, but why is something so mediocre what Amber chooses to invest in? “Instagram models” often give young women unrealistic expectations about what their body and goals should like. Why not put the spotlight on black women in the entertainment industry looking to play roles that depict black women in a light that’s positive or innovative, or women trying to make it out as directors and game changers in the film industry?
I appreciate that Amber Rose is trying to put feminism on the map, but the only way this will ever be truly effective is if she embraces its other aspects just as much as she embraces the sexual freedom part. I can’t help but think that the philosophy of feminism Amber Rose abides by overwhelmingly benefits her. As reported in the Washington Post, for Rose’s Slut Walk, “According the Eventbrite description, “The VIP Experience guarantees admission to this event that has limited space, VIP line and VIP tent privileges and preferred access to the stage and performance area.” This sells very much like a party or club experience rather than a walk to support the cause. Instead of teaming up with a corporation like Planned Parenthood, Rose has gone about doing the walk as entirely an Amber Rose Production. This attention from her feminism efforts landed her a book deal, thousands of followers on the Gram, and a pending reality show with Blac Chyna. I can’t help but wonder if Rose is really a feminist, or just into it to keep people talking about her.
As a feminist, I really, really want to support Amber. But for the life of me, I just can't get behind what she's doing. I don't want feminism to only be talked about when a naked picture or meme about sex is being posted. As someone with such a large platform and social media platform, Amber needs to start doing feminism more justice. This opinion may be unpopular, but I truly believe Amber does a poor job of embodying feminism.