ThickLeeyonce has redefined what’s ‘pretty’ and ‘sexy’

ThickLeeyonce is challenging every deeply embedded notion of beauty ever held by society, writes Haji Mohamed Dawjee. (Supplied)

ThickLeeyonce is challenging every deeply embedded notion of beauty ever held by society, writes Haji Mohamed Dawjee. (Supplied)

The thing about ThickLeeyonce is she challenges every standard of beauty that’s ever been deeply embedded in society. She embraces the fact that as a woman, you don’t have to be classified as thin or fat to be considered pretty. And she isn’t afraid to reaffirm that she does it better than any armchair feminist.

Whether some find her approach aggressive or not isn’t really the problem.
The problem is the old school stigma she faces – and not necessarily because of her opinions, but because of how she looks.

I’ve always felt that when a person’s only point of entry for engagement is to insult how you look, that very person needs to … okay let me rather not say, but you get the point. Also, I always think, “Wow, you’re stupider than I thought possible, please go away.”

But that’s the beauty of ThickLeeyonce. She doesn’t just think stuff like that. She isn’t afraid to tell people to go away. Instead of cowering in the background like a lot of people, she isn’t afraid to face the horrid white noise and tell them to piss right off, blocking them on Twitter, getting rid of the rubbish and swiftly moving on to her next, very poignant point.

In other words, if you think your reaction to her opinion is forcing her to give a fuck, sit down, it’s not going to happen. She isn’t worried about being called a man-hater, or a bra-burning-diesel-dyke, or whatever the latest insults are that are dished out to feminists that we’re supposed to find offensive. If you don’t follow her strategy, do. If you don’t follow her on Twitter, do.

Okay, back to basics. Who, exactly, is ThickLeeyonce?

ThickLeeyonce is on Twitter @ThickLeeyonce, she’s a University of the Witwatersrand student and a photographer. She’s a walking version of everything people think Beyoncé isn’t, except she is beautiful because she does not subject herself to that very limited category and instead seeks to embrace and reappropriate what sexy really is.

Where Beyoncé’s pretty might hurt, ThickLeeyoncé’s doesn’t. Simple as that. And it doesn’t because she does not let it. Although others might think differently. But she’s a woman, and she’s talented, and she’s verbose – so obviously none of these things are mentioned. Did you not get the memo? If a woman is any of these things, the only thing that matters is how she looks. If a woman is none of these things (which I highly doubt), the only thing that matters is how she looks. 

Oh, another thing that obviously matters is if she has a man or not, or if she could ever possibly get one because she has a pair of ovaries big enough to raise her voice.

Here’s a taste of what some tweeps think about her:

One Twitter user: “This @ThickLeeyonce says all men are weak, she need to stop confusing us with her father.”

Another user: “Pity @ThickLeeyonce wasn’t around when the Titanic sank. She could’ve been used as a life boat.”

And another: “Someone please get ThickLeeyonce a man.”

Now you don’t have to agree with the way this woman goes around sharing her opinions. You could argue that she comes across too strong and many people aren’t amicable to aggression because it doesn’t change mindsets etc. Those who perceive it as aggressive will say that it’s counterproductive and it just calls for rage. Well, rage if you must, but let your reaction at least contain some semblance of intellectual discourse. Which, in fact is something, regardless of whether you think she is too aggressive or not, she can’t be faulted. She does always react to the reaction with reason.

ThickLeeyonce’s top five sexist truths. All true by the way. 

[Some of these have been paraphrased].

1.  Everyone defends dudes who are ugly to people with statements similar to: “Oh, but he’s really funny though.”

2.  If a woman is ugly to someone, people generally tend to trash them as though they might as well not have a personality.

3.  “It’s not my job to meet your beauty standards. I’m not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.”

4.  If you’re fat, you don’t have to say “it’s genetic” and “I’m trying to lose weight.” And if you’re thin, you don’t have to say “but I eat all the time” or “I have a fast metabolism.”

5.  “You don’t need to explain to anybody why your body is the way it is. Your body is your body, and that’s all the justification you need.”

I wish I could say that she was preaching to the choir, but she isn’t, is she? Regardless of whether that choir is made of men or women or both, everyone needs to stand up and start singing a different song. Because in the name of the uterus, the record of your old tune is seriously scratched.

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee became Africa’s first social media editor in a newsroom at the Mail & Guardian, where she went on to work as deputy digital editor and a disruptor of the peace through a weekly column. A stint as the program manager for Impact Africa – a grant-disbursing fund for African digital journalists – followed. She now pursues her own writing full time by enraging readers of EWN and Women 24 with weekly and bi-monthly columns respectively. She also contributes to the Sunday Times and a range of other publications. Mohamed Dawjee's inaugural book of essays: Sorry, not sorry: Experiences of a brown woman in a white South Africa, is due for release by Penguin Random House in April 2018.Follow her on Twitter: @sage_of_absurd Read more from Haji Mohamed Dawjee

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