Danielle Bregoli is a young teenager, an adolescent, a developing human at the beginning of self discovery. She’s articulate, clever, and expressive. Those are wonderful traits. Whether or not Danielle carries herself with a confidence most women 20 years older haven’t yet mastered doesn’t make her a valid target for your contempt or disgust.
Collective discomfort with Danielle is, at its core, two-dimensional; the basis being learned racial and gender bias. Starting there, all manner of subtext are inferred and projected. Every negative judgement spins out further with increasing force in reaction to the subject’s indifference toward criticism, and subsequent self-actualization which is fueled by her haters.
Yes. Channels. Like a fucking medium.
Blackness in all its expressions is typically, initially viewed by American society through the lens of otherness; and otherness is implicitly wrong.
Black speech, dress, and fashion in certain context are associated with crime, poverty, and the ghetto.
When Beyonce channels her Blackness with braids, or a high ponytail accented with massive gold jewelry or a grill it’s magnificent because everything Beyonce does is magnificent and Beyonce is black so Beyonce can tap into any variation of Blackness with little to no pushback because she is Beyonce.
It’s okay for Black people to act “Black” in accordance with certain associations because those associations are how and where America is most comfortable seeing Blackness and Black people.
American culture is not here for white girls or women embracing or reflecting any attributes of Blackness.
White people don’t want to see their little cupcakes twerking or booty popping, with cornrows, or grills, or hoop earrings, or fitteds, or baggy clothes, or anything that might otherwise resemble Black culture.
And you can guess precisely why.
There’s also the portion of the Black population who denounces and rejects white girls’ interest in anything Black – from fashion, to music, to hair, to men.
Danielle pushes this button because she talks, dresses, and acts hood. That her behavior is good or bad (or whether pushing the racial bias button is good or bad) is not even a question I care to address.
But if now isn’t the time in her life to freely try on (yes, like clothing) different identities until she finds one which fits, then when exactly is that time?
Not just for her, but for any and everybody?
This is the foundation, at the individual level, for our collective evolution. We must allow ourselves and one another freedom of self-exploration and self expression.
Let that child rock her grill. Let that child live.
Whether she does this to herself or it is done to her by society (both are true) does not affect the outcome. Water is wet, the sky is blue, and Danielle Bregoli is sexualized.
It’s a given: Young girls are sexualized and unavoidably exposed to the male gaze.
Again, Danielle is 13. She’s an adolescent. She’s transitioning from child to woman, and she’s allowed to embrace, explore, experiment with, and expand on these changes as far as she feels comfortable with.
Granted, she’s not an adult – so how much wisdom can she have in her choices? But age and biology alone do not an adult make. Experience does. And without exploration and experimentation what wisdom can be gained?
I say none of this in a sexual context but the subject inevitably leads there because the vitriol directed toward her is an age-old knee jerk reaction toward attractive women.
It is understood that being too attractive in any capacity is an invitation for all variety of shaming, and almost validation for any subsequent assault. Big ass? Don’t wear tight pants. Big boobs? Don’t show cleavage. Long legs? Better not wear short skirts.
Ultimately the message becomes:
Do not enjoy your body and your beauty because they are not yours and they are not for you. You – woman – exist for men…
If you show off your body you’re soliciting male attention. If you don’t want the attention you shouldn’t show off your body/beauty. And should you embrace and relish your own sexuality, absent of men, you will anger men, and deserve all manner of wrath for the exclusion.
These are very real undertones in society. These are the ideologies that allowed John Hamm and Daniel Craig to comfortably and confidently speak down on the Kim Kardashian in separate interviews when one would think nothing about either actor’s respective lives/projects related to the family, or required any discussion about them.
So pervasive and accepted is the idea of shaming women – especially sexually confident women – that seeking out random male opinions is normal and valid. But truthfully, when you think about it, NAH.
Little white girls “talking black” is not wrong. Young teen girls dressing themselves up, accentuating their new features is not wrong. Intelligent children in single-parent households getting into mischief is not what’s wrong with society.
What’s wrong with society is that it can not get out in front of itself far enough to prevent prejudice, sexism, or broken homes.
What’s wrong with society is the collective baser reactions to freedom of expression, alternative lifestyles, and deviations to the norm. What’s wrong with society is how much it loathes itself and is yet unwilling to change.
A 13 year old girl 100% not giving a fuck about society’s bullshit in any capacity whatsoever, a 13 year old girl being completely and utterly focused solely on her wants and whims and behaving exactly accordingly – middle finger in the air – is precisely the mirror society needs to look in, which it also predictably resents.
Reflection is a red haired, gold-grilled, bad ass 13 year old girl getting paid for being herself.