Written and Illustrated by Koriander Bullard
I am sorry to report that if you really think that the current trend of shaming Blue Ivy Carter over her Black features started with this year’s MTV VMA’s, you are dead wrong.
This has been going on since her birth.
Blue Ivy Carter is four years old. She is the daughter of singer Beyoncé and rapper Jay-Z.
Blue Ivy is a toddler.
Blue Ivy will not be old enough for her own Twitter, Facebook or YouTube accounts for another nine years, and believe me when I say this, that is a complete blessing.
No, it’s not because she’s a (insert sexist slur here) from a rich family who will flaunt her wealth or act “a fool” as her detractors say. And no, I don’t expect her to flash a nipple on her first year on social media.
It’s because right now, she is public enemy #1.
And she is four years old.
A bulk of the remarks are that because she has her father’s wider, “more Black” nose and because her hair is dark and “kinky” unlike her mother’s “Faux White” blonde hair and brighter skin, that she is “ugly” simply for the crime of looking “ew, too African” and not at all teased and as made-up as other celebrity babies, who start sporting their first designer lipstick at age two.
TEENZ @vexedmentals Oct 21, 2014
"beyonce lightskinned why come blue ivy got that big nigger nose & nigger lips?!" you niggas.
colon thermos @artificialcolin Nov 29, 2014
i feel so bad for blue ivy, instead of getting her moms beauty she got a big ass nose like her daddy. bless her soul
mel @helloMel___ Sep 18, 2015
"Booyyy Blue Ivy looks like a fckin monkey" (Three laughing emoji) my roommate funny af bruh
From briduffy @BriAntonell on Aug 28, 2016
I honestly think all children are beautiful but Blue Ivy is ugly
beans. @AnnieBobay Aug 28, 2016
why don't people talk about how ugly Blue Ivy is???
James Humperphaster @ashleyxketchum Aug 28, 2016
I ain't sorry but blue ivy looks like her dad and he's ugly (Three laughing emoji)
I’m sorry to say that while a good chunk of comments are coming from White America, Black Millennials are not doing any better. In fact, Black adults are just as likely to shame Blue Ivy as their White counterparts.
WillieU. @wiilliiee_U Aug 24
Fam no disrespect but blue ivy is ugly thenna bitch
Not only are these tirades flooding the internet, but the Millennial trolls perpetrating the verbal assault aren’t even adult enough to take responsibility for their tweets. Check out this form of backtracking from a Twitter user, after she deleted a tweet about Blue Ivy:
From: ath!!! @athaneeeee on Aug 29:
thinking blue ivy is ugly doesn't mean you hate black people, thats such a stretch
there's plenty of black men and women with strong black features that are beautiful stop reaching
No young Millennial, with your second grade grammar and inability to properly capitalize words in a structured sentence, you missed the point, as is evident by your unrelenting re-tweeting of the “n” word from around a dozen or so other trash talkers on Twitter. This lazy level of backtracking after your deleted tweet about Blue Ivy being “ugly” is only highlighting that yes, you did in fact harp on the kid because of her wider nose, a prominent feature among more than half of all African-Americans living in the United States.
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, it’s only been one year since an episode of Hulu’s sitcom Difficult People ran a tasteless joke in which one of the characters said aloud: “I can't wait for Blue Ivy to be old enough for R. Kelly to (urinate) on her.” Clearly if we’re not above telling a sexual exploitation joke about Blue Ivy when she was three, then we aren’t above trolling her when she’s four.
Another good reason I shouldn’t be surprised stems from a Cheerios ad from a few years back. You may recall that a six year old little girl with dark skin and light hair was bombarded with rape and death threats from adults, after appearing in an ad in which she had a Black father and a White mother. Similar to Blue Ivy, while a good selection of tweets came from White adults, she had her fair share of Black haters as well. And why? Well, she’s mixed of course. But she still had Black features.
And can we blame the media? While it is clear that certain tabloids for years have run a “who wore it better” column against other celebrity children, such as Suri Cruise and the parade of children from Angelina Jolie’s camp, in recent years, many of today’s grocery store rags stop from going to the extremes that they pull with late teen and adult celebrities. Don’t get me wrong, the slut shaming is immense, but there is not one tabloid on the market that has gone after Blue Ivy with half as much malice and belligerence as the rest of the world has on social media.
But for as badly as we treat Blue Ivy, let’s not forget that for every time her mother has appeared with Caucasian-friendly permed blonde locks, we have called her a sellout, wannabe-whitey and a good litany of inappropriate names.
So what do you want, America?
If Blue Ivy or her mother have their Black features front and center, you call them “ugly” and accuse them of not taking care of themselves.
But if they do try to look a little more White, you say they aren’t being true to their roots.
And woe be onto Beyoncé if she appears as slightly Black AND slightly White, for then we accuse her of looking “too mixed” for her own good.
And if the way you overreact to other Black celebrities is any indication, they can’t protest anything without being “a monkey”, they can’t not-protest without being considered to be insensitive, they can’t be rich without being “sellouts” anymore than you’d want them to be poor or middle class without them being “thugs”. They can’t die, because depending on circumstance, they would either have deserved it or would have been “stupid” about health, but they can’t live either without you picking apart their every move. And if Twitter sets any examples, they can’t be abducted by aliens, lest you accuse them of going back to “their home world” any more than they could have been sold, and they can’t go to Africa without you calling them anti-American, but then sending them to Africa is also what you request every time Beyoncé buys Blue Ivy a new pair of shoes.
You didn’t want Beyoncé to have had an abortion, you were mad when she miscarried, but you didn’t want Blue Ivy, or any of her siblings to ever have been born either.
What do you want??
Maybe the only way to appease these wastes on the internet, is if Blue Ivy just doesn’t exist at all. Remember, she can’t die, so the only alternative is for us to wake up and learn she was just a bad dream with African features.
But logically, that can’t happen. So instead, we’ll have to act like adults, fight back and put these internet trolls on check.
Twitter is leading the charge by pulling select tweets and whole accounts, but they do need our help.
Next time you see an ignorant tweet against four year old Blue Ivy, hit the report feature. If we band together for our youth, we can set a much better example for the next generation.
Or at least remove from the internet anybody who can’t properly capitalize their hate.
Koriander Bullard is an author, cartoonist and human rights advocate. Keep up with her on Facebook!