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 © 2016 by Lambi Chibambo 

The epitome of beauty in the 90’s was, in my little mind, far from what I looked like. Yet western beauty standards were not the only aesthetic I failed to identify with. Drifting between being called a coconut and an almost uncategorized entity, crossing lines of gender and race my identity growing up was always quite non-descript.

“Being Black also has another side. That is, fitting in to the racialized beauty where white is right. Becoming/Being Black speaks at once both individual and communal because it is based on thinking intersubjectively and relationally. If we do this intersubjective relational thinking we notice that as Black woman – whether queer or not, irrespective of class, age and other differences – we also have moments in which we have difficulties in being admitted to the black community.” (Tate 2009)

In this piece, how TV influenced my identity growing up in particular the notion of female masculinity (Halberstam, 1998). My most prized possession was a tiny pink black and white Barbie television that sat directly opposite my bed growing up. Shows deemed ‘masculine’ or now defined gender non-conforming such as HIM in the Powerpuff girls where ones that really resonated with during my pre-teen years. The Kufi (headpiece worn in the artwork) is one that is usually worn by west African men and is a symbol of wisdom and family patriarchy.