Comedian Mo’Nique’s heart may have been in the right place when she shared a message about young women carrying themselves with respect in public, but even her loving tone couldn’t fend off backlash.
In a three-minute video posted to Instagram, Mo’Nique began by saying, “Hey my sweet babies, so … it took me a minute to say what I’m getting ready to say because I want to make sure I’m not saying it in judgment, and I want to make sure I’m saying it from a place of love.”
She went on to acknowledge some of her fan base have lovingly referred to her as auntie over the years, and with the comes a responsibility that she check her “sweet babies” when they’re not quite falling in line.
“I’m honored that y’all do that, right? But there comes a time when auntie got to talk to her babies and say some real s–t,” she continued. “The Parkers” star went on to share that while traveling through Atlanta’s this Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport she encountered and observed countless women and girls wearing bonnets and nighttime head scarves on their head, and house slippers on their feet while in public. Mo’Nique mentioned that the number of women she spotted was overwhelming to the point of not being able to privately address the matter with them all individually, so instead she made the video.
“I saw so many of out young sistahs in head bonnets, scarves, slippers, pajamas, blankets wrapped around them, and this is how they’re showing up to the airport. And I’ve been seeing it not just at the airport, I’ve been seeing it at the store, at the mall … and the question that I’m having to you, my sweet babies, is when did we lose pride in representing ourselves?”
The “Queens of Comedy” headliner continued with her message by stating that the representation of bonnets and sleep attire may prompt onlookers to question what type of pride, if any, Black women have in themselves. But by no means did the comedian suggest that a full face of makeup or adopting expensive wigs while outside the home equates to pride, but it is instead the decency to look put-together in public.
“I love you for real. Always have pride in your representation in you of you, it’s not to get a man, it is just your representation of you, my sweet babies. So, I’m just giving you a warning, if I see you in the streets, in the airport, in the Walmart and you got a bonnet on, and you got slippers on, and you looking like what the f–k auntie gone tap you and say, ‘Hey, baby girl, show you what you worth, show you what you deserve’ … because if you look like you don’t give a damn, how you gon’ be treated?”
The comedian’s fanbase heard her message loud and clear.
“Aunty!! This needed to be said 👏👏👏👏”
“❤️ We are better than what we are showing the world! Thank you Mo!”
“👏👏👏👏 can’t even be mad when you say it like this 😂😂❤️❤️”
But on the other hand, some of her followers felt her words amplified the messaging of those in society who judge Black women.
“I hear you auntie but respectfully, I’m over people policing black women.”
“How come when a black woman presents her self in comfort it means we don’t care about our selves?? This is very disheartening to see coming from you.”
One person also pointed out that Mo’Nique may have been the pot calling the kettle black, because she opted to record the video in a gray robe.
“Ok but u done made a WHOLE video in a full bathrobe in the bed 🤔. I am unmoved 💅🏾😴”
For some picking a side was less of a concern, with those saying allowing Black women to present themselves to the world in whatever way they choose to do so in peace is the priority.
“I just feel like we need to kind of mind our business…and stop forcing Black women to perform ALL THE TIME ….”
Link to original Atlanta Black Star