Carefree: free from anxiety or responsibility; Synonyms: unworried, relaxed, untroubled. The word “carefree” has become synonymous with staying true to yourself, being a non-conformist. The word has also been placed as a symbol for men like Young Thug or Odell Beckham.
Young Thug wore a dress in the new series of Calvin Klein ads. Fans of the artist are therefore not surprised by the decision for Thug to don a oriental-style dress for his new album Jeffrey. Opinions were split between praise and disgust. Some believe that he is making a complete fool of himself and further embarrassing heterosexual black men. The other side of the spectrum believes Thug is shedding light on the oppressed LGBTQ community and wants people to accept their community, and to accept his self-expression.
Thug has a girlfriend, is cis heterosexual and wears dresses. And people have a problem with that, mostly because of his skin and profession. In a world of misogyny, Thug has created his own path. There has not been a rapper who openly “cross-dresses” and still garners a supportive fanbase. Part of the reason for the disdain for Thug has come from his music genre. Rappers are constantly pitied against to seek out the alpha. Hyper masculinity is welcomed. Drake is a sex symbol for women all over the world, so were Tupac and Biggie. Thug is the antithesis of what you expect a rapper to be.
Prince was one of the first black men to explore sexuality on stage, in his music and through his wardrobe. And we love him because of that. Questions about his sexuality followed him throughout his life just because of his pure confidence as a man. His aura on stage made people uncomfortable.
Prince Was An Icon Of Sexuality
But the comments about Prince were disturbing, as they are for Thug. Slanderous statements have been made about the album cover on social media. Prominent Black Rights Activist Deray was one of many to notice the comments about Thug.
It is a complex problem, one that pertains to all communities including the black community. Black men are ridiculed for expressing themselves outside the norm. Odell Beckham Jr. is a wide receiver for the New York Giants. With a single famous catch, he launched himself into stardom. He hangs with Drake in the offseason and has been linked to women like Khloe Kardashian. Oh, and he loves to dance to Young Thug. A video surfaced of him in a hot tub today. Some men will always be uncomfortable with what they don’t understand, and Beckham Jr. is one of those people. But the obsession over his sexuality is concerning, the jokes are concerning. Why can’t a black man, let alone any man enjoy himself without being labeled. Being a homosexual is not an issue and labeling someone as one to belittle them is a disgrace.
Black masculinity is as frail as it will ever be. I hope Thug never stops wearing dresses, and I hope Beckham Jr. realizes his own place in society and becomes a voice for all men. Confidence should not be misconstrued as a negative symbol for any straight or homosexual male. We must embrace self-expression outside of the community norm of masculinity.