The Carefree Black Girl movement is undoubtedly one of the most popular to spawn from social media in the past few years. Black women have come to use it as a hashtag as a way to declare their freedom from society’s typical boundaries on beauty and black culture. If you have any questions about what it is, enter it into the search bar of Instagram to get the best idea.
A Youtuber who goes by the name Philogynoir says she’s not here for the movement, nor will she ever be. On her recent video addressing the topic, she said:
…being carefree is literally impossible for me – and SO many other black girls. In essence, the movement obviously means well, but unfortunately continues to exclude black girls who don’t represent a specific tax bracket, who aren’t of a certain skin tone, body size, hair texture/length, and/or physical ability.
There are ways to take control of how we are portrayed in the media without dissociating from black girls who just so happen to match the characteristics of overused stereotypes.
THEY are not the problem, those who are deciding these “types” of women are unworthy of respect ARE.
For these reasons, I am not a carefree black girl.
She definitely makes great points. However, like any hashtag, there’s freedom in the use of it. A woman who is down on her luck could smile, take a selfie, and post it on a day she chooses to not allow her problems to define her. That’s the way I’ve always interpreted the movement. Being carefree doesn’t mean you’re free of problems, it just means you’ve made a choice to be free from the weight of your issues, even while you’re in the trenches. It’s an affirmation that many women are beginning to adopt as their truth simply based on the use of the term as a hashtag.
I also consider Zeba Blay, the writer who is credited for starting the hashtag when she posted it back in 2013 to caption what looks like fun and carefree photos of her and other black girls. Blay herself is a dark skinned woman who has written about a number of issues black women face, including how she doesn’t believe she is “black and beautiful” based on society’s definition. What if labeling herself and her friends #CareFreeBlackGirls in that moment was a way to actively set herself free? Every woman should be allowed to have that power, even if only for a snapshot.