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8. Pretty Hurts: Confronting Desirability Politics (feat. Tiffany Lacroix)

For this episode, I am joined by the insightful and lovely Tiffany Lacroix, a fellow Black blogger, owner of Black Woman Empowered and future doctor. In this episode, we discuss desirability politics.

Hari Ziyad defines the term as:

"the ideal that desire is political–both affected by and simultaneously shaping systems of power and oppression."

Da'shaun Harrison defines the term as:

"the methodology through which the sovereignty of those deemed (conventionally) attractive/beautiful/arousing is determined. Put another way, the politics of desire labels that which determine who gains and holds both social and structural power through the affairs of sensuality often predicated on anti-Blackness, anti-fatness, (trans)misogyny, cissexism, queer-antagonism, and all other structural violence."

I'll be honest, when I first asked Tiffany to be apart of the show and she said she wanted to discuss desirability politics, I was excited. I was excited to speak with another fellow Black woman about a subject which greatly affected us. I assumed the episode would be primarily based on our experiences as the unfortunate victims of desirability politics, especially after re-reading her blog post on love and dating.

But the episode is more than my original assumption. Don't get me wrong, we do both touch upon and speak from our experiences as Black women but Tiffany greatly takes the stance of how the politicisation of desire has affected our society as a whole.

Tiffany stresses that we, winners and losses of the desirability hierarchy, are all duped by the same system. Tiffany combines vulnerability and openness with accountability and action.

Tiffany does not simply identify desirability politics and calls it out but also calls out, the methods in which we call people out. As Tiffany notes, we don't allow people time to reflect, reframe and reform our thought processes. We haven't created a society that is forgiving, so people don't want to reflect because they know they can be cancelled, exiled for one mistake.

The takeaway I took from this conversation was assessing, not just the ways society implements desirability politics, but my own desirability bias.

We're all being duped by the same system.


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Music by:

Matthew M. Moore

Instagram: _iammattmmoore


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