I was on social media the other day, Facebook to be specific, and I was thoroughly disgusted regarding what I read with respect to a comment that former NBA player, Gilbert Arenas said about the very gorgeous and talented actress Lupita Nyong’o. In a Twitter response to a tag to his handle @no.chill.gil, he made a grave error in judgment making a negative comment on the picture that he was tagged in. The picture, which became public in July 2017, was of Lupita vacationing in Mexico on a beach in a white bikini looking gorgeous as ever with the sun glistening off her beautiful brown skin and her smile as bright as a star. In his Twitter comment, he said,
“everybody saying her(skin) looks beautiful how about her face tho?? lights off.”
“Y’all tag me like she got a face lift and she went from a 3 to a 10…..nope she’s just a 3 in blue water with some blue blockers on this no diff then [sic] a [sic] ugly girl with a fat ass….I’ll still beat but just with the lights off but she is glowing tho”
Needless to say, the Twitterverse went off on him and rightfully so. His comments were deplorable and this is not the first time he has taken a strike at Lupita. Back in April 2017, he stated that Lupita would look better with the lights off. He made two Twitter comments, which were:
“Can you name a beautiful black woman on the outside…not brown skin…like Tyrese black…top 50 most beautiful women off [sic] all time…the darkest women they have is [sic] (Keishia knight Pullman [sic] aka Rudy) (gab)) union)(taral hicks)(Serena Williams).”
By the way, I typed his comments word for word and you can see the numerous typographical errors running throughout, but I digress.
His second comment in the same Twitter conversation was, “When u say African features black then u have (#1lupita n’yonga [sic]) and she’s cute when the lights are off second is (Ajuma nasenana) sorry but ewww so the beautiful black women u try to boost up is [sic] technically light-skinned or brown-skinned…”
Wow, all those typos give me a headache, but I digress again.
His ignorant Twitter comment from April 2017 was based on a positive comment made by an individual with the handle @Problkthought in which the person said,
“Your African features are all you need for attractiveness. Never tell yourself or let anyone tell you that in order to be attractive you must be mixed.”
Thank God some people see the true beauty in women of color regardless of the woman’s hue.
After reading all of those negative comments, my immediate thought was who does Gilbert Arenas think he is? I take complete offense to his ill-thought out, outrageous, and insensitive comments. Our culture has taken a horrible turn for the worse. This age of social media has given courage to the cowardly by allowing them to troll the internet and make whatever statements that come to mind regarding a person who they feel is less than good-looking in their mind. It’s easy for those people to make those statements from behind the computer screen. Well here’s a news flash – people need to check themselves.
Oftentimes “Venom Spewers” (which is what I will call them) are suffering from issues with their own self-esteem and venom spewing is their only way of lashing out at the world. How dare these people make such disparaging remarks about others? They need to learn that every thought doesn’t need to be placed on social media, and they need to learn to filter their thoughts and censor themselves better. Their behavior is completely out of line and inappropriate, but Venom Spewers are disconnected from the people whom they are hurting because they are sitting behind a computer screen and there is no immediate emotional reaction showing the hurt and pain they cause. My grandmother always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all!”
I have had it with venom spewing cyber bullies making hurtful embarrassing comments by using social media at the expense of others. These types of people are looking for co-signers to jump on their bandwagon to validate their disgusting and insensitive thoughts and opinions. I am frustrated with the way things are going. In Trump’s America, it seems that anything goes. It didn’t use to be this way. Now, people think they can absolutely express every thought that goes through their mind without considering the possible damage it could do to a person. That is a clear indication that the Venom Spewer is lacking in some areas of their life. People should never tear someone down to build themselves up. How do people feel happy with themselves by doing that type of thing?
Lately, victims of venom spewing cyber bullies are not only being color shamed, they are also being body shamed. What’s that about? Recently, another victim of this color shaming has been Comedian Leslie Jones who has been compared to Harambe the gorilla. Serena Williams, has been body shamed and compared to a man because of her toned body. Former First Lady the very beautiful and classy Michelle Obama has been called many names and compared to animals. What is going on? This behavior has got to stop.
I recall as a young girl I was shamed for having distinct African features. This was long before social media, but the sting of individuals’ insensitive and disgusting comments hurt just as much. My lips are full, my body is not skinny, my hair is kinky, and my skin is brown. All of those things make me the individual I am – A BLACK GIRL WHO ROCKS! When I was younger, I had a problem with my features due to people’s mean-spirited comments toward me until one day I woke up and realized the reason so many people were making fun of me. One of the reasons was because they were actually jealous of what I had that they lacked. My self-esteem/confidence flew through the roof when I made that realization and, to be honest, I never looked back. What stands at the forefront of a lot of negative comments, made by Venom Spewers, is the lack of confidence which causes them to deflect their pain onto others. Who knew?
So, the moral of this story is, haters make you greater. When a hateful person’s mission is to speak disparagingly and negatively about another person, the comments hurt like a bite from a rattle snake. However, the individuals, who are hated on, understand that they have something that the venom spewing cyber bullies do not – true beauty, confidence, strength, determination, home training, good values and morals, high self-esteem, and the ability to overcome anything. If you’re the type of person who feels good when you make someone feel bad, that speaks to your character and honey child, you are lacking somewhere in your life. Please check yourself and be sure that the next time you speak, you let God go before you so that the right words come out of your mouth. As for @no.chill.gil, you can have several seats everybody has seen you.
By Antoinette Shar’ron Johnson