Dear Video Girl,
Where the hell are you?
You don’t ever come around anymore and I’m beginning to worry where you ran off. I checked the movies, and you weren’t there. I checked the television, and you weren’t there either. So I went back to videos on 106 & Park and I didn’t see you there either. I mean, I heard some of you all were doing reality television, but eh, my DVR can’t fit another show. Then, I heard the most famous of you is doing Broadway (Melyssa, whattup? Why don’t you call me anymore?), but that’s local.
We need you back home, in these 3- or 4-minute music videos. It’s like you all went the way of a training bra after puberty hits, and now I want you all to come back (the training bras can stay where they are though).
Now, look, I know back in the day I said some things about you all that weren’t so nice. I know a lot of my boys treated you all wrong and didn’t give you the respect you deserve. Hell, even some of my girls disrespected you too. We called you video hoes, an insult to women like Rosa Parks and all the other beautiful black women who paved the way for equal treatment in our society. But look, forget all that.
It’s 2010, baby! I don’t know if you all follow politics (I remember back in the day you used to claim to do stuff like that) but in case you don’t, we got our Black President, and his beautiful black wife, so it is now basically impossible for you all to be the face of beautiful black women anywhere. Michelle Obama got this! There is now diversity in the ranks, and now you all can go back to your rightful position as just eye candy and not spokespeople for an entire group of women.
I don’t think you all realize how much you did for beautiful women of color everywhere. We can point fingers all day and blame you all for a lot of the misogyny that still runs rampant in hip-hop today, but honestly, that’s like blaming the victim for the crime. A lot of men were to blame for your mistreatment, and didn’t learn how to separate their fantasy from reality. All the working women in the world who chose not to wear scantily clad clothing and show off their bodies in front of a camera grew so frustrated with these obtuse-minded brothers, but instead of demanding more from them, they started demanding more from you, and that wasn’t fair. Not when all you sisters were trying to do was be beautiful for the camera and show off your dance moves. I mean honestly, that’s been going on since the days of Dorothy Dandridge.
I also realize the music video isn’t what it used to be anymore. MTV doesn’t even show them on their main channel anymore, and most of them are being watched on YouTube and OnSmash.com, but don’t let that stop you. Men certainly don’t let the size of the screen stop them from downloading all that free porn, and a lot of these video websites have HD technology so your beauty can shine in all its glory! There are plenty of brothers still watching Beyoncé videos on mute and tuning into women’s tennis just to see Serena serve other women some hot ones.
The fact is, hip-hop and the video has changed a lot over the years, but one thing that has never gone out of style is a big butt and a smile, word to Bell Biv Devoe. You saw Erykah Badu stripping down to nothing in her new video, right? You see all the critics and fans calling what she did “art”, right? How are you all just going to stand there and let that happen? Once upon a time, what you all did was art too. Erykah Badu, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, they’re taking your spot, looking all beautiful and sexy, trying to tempt me into some fantasy when I know they have men at home. I’m tired of it video girls, and you all should be too! Whatever happened to the beautiful face and body that said nothing at all; that just danced there and looked cute? Where did you all go?
Come back. Please.
Your Man In His Dreams,
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Jozen Cummings is a frequent contributor of VIBE.com and hosts his own blog Until I Get Married.