Quit Frontin': Stop Feeling Guilty For Being Proud of Who You Are

You see it in young adults all the time. Not very much in young children or quite so much in people over the age of, say, 45. But you see a "normal" amount of uncertainty in people between the ages of say, 13 and 35, give or take a half-decade or whatnot. Uncertainty about how they look, how they represent. And college is rife with people pretending not to be uncertain about themselves when they are some of the most uncertain people among us.

Adolescence and young adulthood all about uncertainty. Questions arise about the future, about relationships, and mostly about appearance. That's very normal growing up shit. And I could get all Developmental Psychologist on you but I'll save that for another time and place. Again, it's "normal."

What I'm so slowly getting at is how people--especially young adults--totally front like they have this whole self pride, world pride, and race pride thing all going on, which is great, but most know-it-all kids simply lack the skills to sustain their card condos. In college, the black kids from the deep white suburbs would act all AfroAmerican prideful (think: Tribe Called Quest meets Dwayne Cleophus Wayne from A Different World), the white kids from the deep, homogenous suburbs, would go over the top with the argyles, pressed shirts, gold-buttoned blazers and shit like they're Trace Crutchfield or Thurston Howell III or somebody. And the gays were all fruity like Hawaiian Punch. African American Alliance, College Republicans, and GLBN! We're here, we're queer, get used to it!

College is pretend. Small top-tier residential schools are complete fantasy worlds. But people don't know that at 20.

But people get out of college and into their first realwork career job employment gigs and suddenly they get all awkward and embarrassed about being proud of who they are. Suddenly the kids are extremely flimsy with regard to how they now fit in, I suppose. Insecure. Pride? What's pride, a brand of casual Friday pants?

The one thing that Michael Jackson and George Hamilton have demonstrated to the universe about insecurity is that once you get the least bit fucked-up about the size of your nose or the color of your skin, you may be on a slippery slope to the kingdom of freakdom.

Don't believe me? Two words: breast implants. Really?!

I remember as a kid looking in the mirror for hours wondering why my nose was so much wider, my skin so much darker, and my hair so much curlier than ALL THE OTHER KIDS in my all-white world. Why couldn't I have braces? I bawled like Nancy Kerrigan, "Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?! It's just not fair, mother!" Shit, I even tried to comb that shit straight but try as I might, I wasn't going to make my hair look like my grandparents immigrated from Norway. I mostly ended up looking more like Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy than Billy Eckstine.

But I didn't have to worry so much about my Angela Davis natural because of that equilateral triangle of an African jack-o-lantern nose I have was always going to be the very first thing people noticed about me, after they saw my black ass skin and switched their purse to the other side. Genes are a motherfucker.

White girls? Out at a club? The club sisters aren't laughing because you have neither a top lip or an ass to speak of. They're laughing because you can't fucking dance. That shit is funny as hell to black women, especially if you came to said club with a black man, then it's hysterical. So please don't let that shit stop you from dancing like somebody is shooting AIDS darts at you from a blowgun. That is some funky dance shit you do. And you shouldn't not go dancing because you look like you do. Nobody cares for realzies (they're just mad you have a black dude with you). And you needn't wear a Phish-show tie-dye muumuu to hide your deficiencies either. Let your, eh, freak flag fly, girlfriend!

Fat dudes? Self conscious? Two words: Hawaiian shirt. Then you're the par-tay guy. Everyone loves the par-tay guy. Just shower regularly.

Instead of hiding, fronting, or feeling any of The Guilt about how you look, focus your attention on ways to make you more desirable to the rest of us (or entertaining to me). Get yourself a good real education and by "real" I mean from an accredited school with science and philosophy courses. Read some books so we can have something to discuss as I avert my gaze from your horribly disfigured face (and no, James Patterson and Dan Brown doesn't count). Travel outside of your city, state, and comfort zone. Look at some art. Listen to some music. Have a passion or, at least, have a hobby. Write.

We can all live in, what Rodney King or Martin King (or one of them Kings from Africa) said, "...a nation where [people] will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Exactly. Content. Character.

People! I am here to tell you something important. Listen up! In Barack Obama's New America you can be proud of who you are instead of what you look like. If a black man can be our newest U.S. American Corporate Media Superstar Nazi Muslim Socialist Elitist President, then anybody (who also happens to have movie star looks, an infectious smile, radiant and magnetic charisma, and superior intelligence) can be president too. Like me.

Be proud of who you are and what you look like and where you came from (especially if we think you are cool, hot, and came from somewhere fab like LA or Claremont).

So, yeah...quit frontin' with your fat ugly ass.