A new think piece from ELLE.com entitled "Here's My Problem With #BlackGirlMagic" pretty much has the Internet shaking its head.
#BlackGirlMagic was started to give us black women a space to give each other a boost and celebrate the unique things about us, from our versatile hair and flawless selfies to Serena Williams and Viola Davis — picture a collective group hug. But the author of the article, Linda Chavers, read another message in the phrase.
Chavers' main issue with the movement is that she thinks the term is more of an extension of the idea of the "strong black woman," which has a history of dehumanizing black women.
She elaborates by saying #BlackGirlMagic makes black women seem "superhuman" to the point of being "subhuman," or animals. That's where readers started to lose her. The article came out Wednesday and many took to Twitter the same day to point out that the movement was started by black women to uplift them, not degrade them.
The article comes just after ELLE put out its most diverse cover spread yet, featuring Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis as well as Priyanka Chopra.
CaShawn Thompsoncreated the phrase "Black Girls are Magic" in 2013 to celebrate black women who are usually underrepresented in the media and fashion. Unlike most viral trends that fade out, it's used steadily, being added to tweets, T-shirts and articles.
At first, some understood the personal issues Chavers took with the term "magic," which came from the perspective of a black woman with a disability. Chavers says living with multiple sclerosis made her feel anything but magical, but the more points she added, the less people could see it her way.
Pretty soon a parody hashtag came about with clever suggestions for #ChaversNextArticle, pointing out that a literal approach may not be the best route to take.
One Twitter user did warn people not to take a joke too far, reminding people that severe stress can lead to MS flare-ups for the author.
To clear the confusion up, Thompson tells The Huffington Post, "I say magic because everyone doesn't always get it. We seem mysterious and even otherworldly in some of our achievements and even our everyday ways — but we know we are just human like everyone else. That's part of the magic."
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