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Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Keepin it Real?
I got an email yesterday from an old friend/associate (we've gone down differing paths over the years, but still remain fairly close), and in the footer of the email, she had some random quote from Ghandi and "Keep It Real". I was sort of shocked to see that in the footer because over the years and currently, she makes it her responsibility to follow the latest trends to a T and to try her damndest to keep up with the money makers and the Joneses (on a teacher's salary), even though she admits to not liking half of the things she's purchased, etc.

Then I got to thinking about all the rappers and media people forever drilling "Keep It Real" or some version thereof into the minds of the masses, but at the same time trying to harangue everyone into buying their movie, CD, or whatever have you. Last time I checked, keeping it real involves me being comfortable in my own skin, liking what I like, being who I want to be, and doing what I want to do unashamedly. It doesn't require being told what to buy, what to like, what to wear, especially if those are things I don't want to be doing.

I know that sounds all elementary, because I guess in theory it is. But something just doesn't sit right with me about hearing "keep it real", especially from the media. How you gon' tell me to keep it real when you're the fakest thing going? Your whole image is created by someone else, and expertly maintained, so where do you come off trying to sell "keep it real" wolf tickets, when you can't practice that which you preach?

When I was growing up, I had no problem dancing to my own beat. I guess I was that little oddball girl. Sure, I listened to the same stuff everyone else listened to, but I had interests that didn't fit the profile of a black girl being raised by her mama. I loved camping, cars, tap dancing, and dinosaurs--everything that was real to me. But I got called out a lot for being 'different'. Some people thought I was strange because I was living my kind of real...not the real that I was 'supposed' to be living. In high school, I got told by some asshole boy that "you ain't keepin it real, girl why you frontin" when he saw me jamming to No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom" CD. I mustered up the nerve to ask him what he meant, and he couldn't really explain. His statement was invalid to me, so I kept on jamming.

"Keep it Real", "Keep it Gangsta", "Keep it Gully"...if doing so means that I have to be like everyone else, act like an ignorant azzhole, or be on the block for no good reason instead of doing what is realest to me (whether that's being on the block, or being in the classroom) then I want no part of it.


7 Comments:

Blogger Miz JJ said...

I agree. Keeping it real just means being ignorant as far as I can tell.

Anonymous Sugar said...

Keeping it real is such a cliche at this point right!? lol Great post!

Blogger Minerva Exertion said...

I can't stand that phrase. I have a friend who uses that phrase whenever she wants to be around certain people, but then switches it quickly when she's around the "Joneses". Ugh!

Blogger Bklyn Diva said...

*high five* another excellent commentary.. :)

I agree.. and I teach my kids the same thing...

Blogger Ladynay said...

I agree wholeheartly...everyones "real" isn't gansta! *smirk*

Loved the post!

isn't it great to trust that what's real for you doesn't need to be real for everyone else?

Freedom!

Anonymous ARgal said...

Great post!

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