Stolen Goods

Instagram Baddie. Urban Dictionary’s definition of the persona says that it is a woman who is famous for being beautiful, staying on trend, and having brows and makeup that are always on fleek.

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There are no synonyms for Instagram Baddie on the site, but I can definitely suggest one:

Thief.

Okay, maybe that shade was a little too thick. Secondhand thief is more accurate. This new style trend that dominates social media and society’s beauty standards is, in fact, inspired by the Kardashians, who are revered as beautiful for constantly stealing trends begun by Black women—even going as far as getting plastic surgery to mimic the features that Black women are put down for (Kylie, what’s good?). They’d get too much backlash for altering their skin color to be darker than tan, but these exotic-looking white women are now credited for starting trends that are called ghetto when on the faces and bodies of Black women.

As a Black girl, it was easy to know which trends were seen as good or bad depending on which school I was at. When I went to school in my neighborhood, the only proof that white people actually existed were the teachers and the two or three random students that were definitely white—but after failing to fit in with us, they’d try to speak Spanish and say they were half, a quarter, an eighth or even a sixteenth something else so they could fit in better at a school of people of color. They were fooling no one. Micro braids (colorful or not), long and intricately designed acrylic nails, baby hairs, and our natural plump lips were the gateways to fulfilling the beauty standards in our community. Not once did I ever think these things were “ghetto,” or lesser than the Eurocentric beauty standards that were on our TV screens every day.

And then, I transferred to a predominantly white high school for my sophomore year of high school. When I would look out at the crowds of students during lunch, it was always a sea of white with small islands of people of color, all of whom were separated by race. Here, in this white sea, Black girls were judged for wearing weaves, acrylic nails were considered ghetto, and you were deemed a thot if you wore anything that accentuated your curves (unless you were white—then, you were a shoo-in to be nominated for homecoming queen).

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Learning from my white peers that the features and styles that I saw as beautiful were actually ghetto was wild. Those white people fooled me for three years! If I had ever heard people call these trends ghetto at my previous schools, it was obviously due to some self-hatred issues, and we all know the source of any kind of Black strife: white people. But now, white people have the audacity to take those very same styles they looked down on and use them to achieve beauty and fame on Instagram. Now, Black Instagram Baddies, keep slaying it, but white Insta Baddies? Chill. To be quite honest, it’s frustrating, and at the same time, it’s flattering. White girls are overlining their lips, literally painting $30 liquid lipstick on their upper lip and chin to achieve MY lip shape. They’re watching tutorials to braid their hair in cornrows, a style MY people created. But the compliment becomes backhanded when these white people show again and again that they couldn’t care less about the lives of the people they steal from. They gain followers, fame, free makeup (the thing that pisses off my makeup-addicted self the MOST), and are revered as beauty goals, even though nothing about their style is their own. Black trends are a goal, but when our trends are on ourselves, that’s when they become “ghetto.”

I guess acrylics aren't ghetto when they're on white hands. (Source)

I honestly don’t know when white people will try to create their own shit. From music, to clothing, to slang, to hair, they just keep on taking.

To all of the white women out there who are trying to alter their lip shapes and wear Spanx to make their ass look bigger, to the ones whose hands are cramping while trying to get their hair to stay in cornrows, and to the ones buying snapbacks and Nikes because it’ll get them more cool points on Instagram: Give it up. Just stop, and try to love yourself. White people and confused people of color may call you a Baddie for looking the way you do, but all of those looks are thanks to the Black women who created them, and were born with those features you have artificially obtained. I hope you like rocking stolen goods.

Keep killing that eyebrow game though!