Just My Thoughts
I plan to start dress shopping in the next month for my wedding and decided to watch, “Say Yes to the Dress.” I found myself just as excited as the Brides were when they found their dress! While watching the show, I noticed the disparities between the women and it just made me sad.
Many of the Brides came in with their entourage of family members and friends. Some had budgets ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 just for their dress. Some were planning their ceremony and reception for as many as 650 guests! A few Brides had beautiful heirlooms they wanted to incorporate into their gown. Out of the 10 plus episodes I watched, only two Black women were featured. Of course one had the lowest budget of $3,000, I think her parents were deceased and she was marrying a Caucasian man (nothing wrong with it, just found it interesting). The other Black woman was called a b*tch several times by her own friends and wanted a naked dress that showed off her behind. I will say there was also a White woman on the show who wanted a “slutty” dress as well, but eventually settled for something classier. It was just all too familiar and stereotypical. I found it odd that the two Black women were not as traditional as the other ladies on the show. One lady did not want a traditional dress because she was older and already had kids, but so did other women and they still opted for a traditional look. Although I think it’s weird to go dress shopping with your mom, dad, sister, aunts and cousins, it was noticeable that most of the White women had a larger crowd with them than the Black women which sent a subliminal message that we don’t have family. While I understand the audience you bring is a preference, the representation was off.
A lot of women were Greek, Italian and Irish and were having multiple ceremonies to honor their heritage. I was just sitting there fuming with jealousy thinking it must be nice to know you are Greek, Italian or Irish and not just Black. It must be nice to have customs passed down to you from several generations ago. It must be nice to trace your ancestry back to your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother because I can’t and yes, I feel some type of way about it. I firmly believe that one of the reasons why Black people are lost is because of our lack of understanding our ancestry. We have a severe identity crisis. We don’t know where we came from and ultimately we really don’t know who we are. It is difficult to find your purpose when you don’t know what the plan was to begin with. Our lack of identity is destroying us and White Supremacists knew it would which is why they immediately dismantled our families when we reached the Americas.
I was amazed by how many parents were paying for their daughter’s dress or their entire wedding. I thought about how much this probably does not happen in the Black community. Most people can barely get by let alone pay for their kids wedding. Of course many adult couples pay for their own weddings, but how nice would it be to get married without both student loan and wedding debt? The Black family has become nonexistent and we must understand that without family you cannot build wealth. We need family to support us while we conquer our dreams. We need family to be a blueprint so we know how to model our lives. We need family to influence us to dream bigger and unfortunately most Black people just don’t have that. Either they don’t know their family, have an incarcerated family or are the first generation to go to college and get a career. How many Black-owned businesses do you know that have been around more than 50 years? How many Black families do you know who have passed down their wealth and expensive jewelry? I’m not saying there aren’t any out there, I just recognize that there is not enough.
Instead of receiving reparations that people would just spend on White-owned merchandise, I wish America would pay for each person to get a thorough DNA test so they know exactly where they came from. I wish America would provide all available family history to each Black person living in this country. I wish every Black person received land and 0% interest rates to start their own businesses and build their own homes. I would like to see our own elementary and high schools being built so that our people can learn their history and be taught to want more than just a career. We need to change our mentality and understand that yes, knowledge is power, but so is money if you truly want to make a difference. Marching and protesting will never be as effective as the almighty dollar and unfortunately, Black people don’t have a voice because our purchasing power is too low.
All of this just ran through my mind as I watched the happy Brides try on dresses. It just shows you how much we have not progressed. We are just living and maintaining. While I do believe we are quite resilient, we need to be more than that. We need more than 5% of our population to make it. We need to learn to be successful and build wealth together. We need to redefine who we are. These are just my thoughts.