The Year of Cardi B. & What You Won't Do
I've always seen it for Belcalis Almanzar. I naturally gravitate towards personalities like her's. She is ratchet, honest, genuine, vulnerable, and relatable. Her attitude and approach are authentic; she does not dabble in false pretenses. She is lively and optimistic and hungry for all that can fill her plate. She is drinking from her champagne flute's overflow. Cardi B. is the embodiment of Beyonce's holy hands pose in the "Say Yes" video, and absolutely no one can tell her no. How can you not love her? Cheer for her? Embrace her expression of feminity, womanhood, and blackness? She is the personification of when the Holy Spirit quoting, "It's Fresh and Stunna, and we like brothers/We shine like paint daddy, it's our summer" Big Tymers' lyrics over your life. She is the evidence of when you determine to become your ancestors' wildest dreams and highest expectations, and successfully get your parents out the 'hood.
But, what she isn't, is here for you and your jealous mess. And neither am I. Is she undeserving because she is loud? Uncensored? A former sex worker? Sexual? Young? Not White? Not the pristine example of respectability politics? Securing the bag without a degree? Making history without a man? In love and engaged? Is she any less because she does not fit into your status quo of what an Afro-Latina should be in order to succeed? Because, y'all still disrespect the very Black women who do. Not only is she winning, but this is her year. This is her time, and there is no reason, whether you ride for her or not, for anyone to hate on her success.
So, if you can find the time to dismiss and degrade this young woman's story, struggle, and success, then it's very important that you also find something productive and lucrative to do with your own life. You were not with her while she was stripping to pay her bills. You were not with her when she was running from the the strip club to the studio. You were not with her whenever she was crying out to God about her future, wondering how long it would take Him to tell her she was ready. She is the exemplar for when you know your worth and keep the change, except she knows her worth and secured the bag and the teardrop diamond ring. She's doing what you won't do, want to do, and haven't done. So, now that she has finally ascended into her rightful place of glory from all her years of blood, sweat, and tears, what you will not do is discredit her validity and devalue her labor while you sit on your roach-infested, tattered couch munching on a stale bag of poorly dusted Cheetos.
Not on my watch, Beloved. She is running the race she's trained for, and she is winning. She has more greatness coming her way, and I hope she never stops.
So who can stop her? Better yet, who should?