I’m not very attached to New Year’s resolutions, but I end up making them every year anyway. They’re usually vague and pretty universal like gain more confidence, work harder and stop watching crappy TLC reality shows (jokes, as if anyone wants to let go of My Strange Addiction).
But resolutions are a lot more attainable when they really clue in on specific challenges that you face. I have plenty of those, but my most cathartic gripes are about being a young black woman who is single and ready to mingle. Yeah, we have to put up with a lot of shit on a daily basis—in the media and everyday life–so why not center some hopes and dreams for 2014 on being the best kind of angry black chick I can be?
Here are 10 New Year’s resolutions every young black woman should adapt this year:
1. Test your white friends’ ride or die status: If I can refer to “white people” while complaining about racist bullshit without my white friend looking constipated, then they’re a keeper. Ditch the ones who aren’t down. Side eye the ones who go to great lengths to remind you that not all white people are like that. Side eye and then ditch the ones who who call you a reverse racist.
2. Go natural without turning into a monster: Believe it or not, not everyone who gets a relaxer is self-hating and not everyone who gets a weave is an honorary white devil. Just because some other naturals only deep condition with the oil of a coconut just picked from a goddamn coconut tree while listening to Erykah Badu doesn’t mean you have to. Embrace your curls without being a pretentious asshole who rocks Ankh earrings. Unless they’re some really dope Ankh earrings.
3. Listen to empowering music throughout the year: Play “U.N.I.T.Y.” by Queen Latifah at least three times a week and Beyonce’s “***Flawless” twice a week. Unwind with “Back That Thang Up” by Juvenile every other Saturday. I think this is how feminism works, right?
4. Don’t flirt with folks who act like they got the black stamp of approval for basic shit: A few months ago I was having an in depth chat and flirt session with some dude and I mentioned that I went to Howard University, a historically black college. I swear, the next thing out of his mouth was about this book he was reading by—wait for it—a black woman. I guess I was supposed to be impressed—I mean, I definitely let dudes who went to Ivy Leagues know that I’ve read a few books by dead white men. So his little act might seem harmless, but this is a bad sign in my book. Next thing you know he’s going to start talking about how much he loves hip hop (conscious hip hop, though) and talk about how underrated Do The Right Thing is.
5. Learn how to twerk as an act of resentment: I can’t twerk because I just don’t have the hip-butt coordination to do so, but I’m going to learn how to this year if only to counter all the embarrassing Mileys out there who thought they were twerking their way through 2013 when they were just jiggling their thighs. I’m not one to wax poetic about the roots of twerking and its appropriation, but the mockery that has been made of it in the media after these clowns tried to do it makes me want to learn just to spite the haters.
6. Keep all the good slang on the DL: Seriously, remember what happened to ratchet?
7. Judge your friends’ worth by their knowledge of 80s/90s black sitcoms: If they haven’t seen every episode of Fresh Prince and haven’t accepted Denise Huxtable as their personal lord and savior, why bother talking to them? I’m so serious.
8. Find out if you’re someone’s Sassy Black Friend: Here’s the best test: Say something vaguely snarky and see if your non-black friend starts saying “Yas, girlfriend!” or “Gworl, please!” in the most square, stale way someone could possibly say “Yas, girlfriend” or “Gworl, please!” Walk away, boo.
9. Be yourself: This sounds like a throwaway resolution but let’s be real: It’s already hard for most of us to be ourselves, but it’s even harder when you’re already socialized to speculate how others might perceive you based on your skin color. People constantly want us to fit into boxes that conform to the narratives they’re comfortable with, only to get confused and thrown off when we—believe it or not—end up being more than ignorant stereotypes. I swear, I probably confound at least one white dude a month just by wearing a Joy Division shirt and rocking a bright red afro at the same time (the ultimate question: Do I look post-punk or post-ghetto?). Honestly, keep them guessing and keep being yourself. I’m so over worrying about whether or not I’m conforming to people’s shitty assumptions about black women and you should get over it, too. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
10. Buy more coconut oil: Good for the hair, good for the skin and good in a stir fry. So why not?
What other resolutions are essential for black chicks in 2014? Share them with us!