I slipped up on a new IKEA ad this week that was a bit disturbing yet typical for mainstream media. The commercial entitled 'Getting Ready' was about creating your dream bedroom and featured everyday, happy looking couples getting cozy in their beds. There was only one problem; the black woman was the only woman getting cozy alone.
As black women, often times we are hit with the same old tired lines; "Nobody wants a black woman", "Most black women are not marriage material", "Most black women can't get a man". Then on the flip side, we hear black women saying how we are "independent and don't need a man". Even still among all the noise, 78% of black women marry in their lifetime.
Some attribute the later in life marriages mostly to economics, but we are pairing up then eventually tying the knot nonetheless. Yet despite the numbers, society is still holding onto these ridiculous ideas that we are incapable of commitment and finding love. Sure, we can talk about the high divorce rates in our community or the country for that matter. Sure, we can discuss the out of wedlock birthrate and single motherhood but this isn't about that. This is about black women obviously being worthy and able to find love.
I personally don't believe that marriage should always be used as a badge of honor just as remaining single shouldn't be seen as a badge of shame. The truth is that some people are happier single and without families and that isn't a crime. I do however think that our black female youth don't need these kind of false tropes, and intentionally disparaging comparisons being pounded in their minds making them feel inadequate and unwanted. We caught the shade IKEA, and it's not cool.