There is something highly suspect about white feminists getting defensive when woc attribute negative comments to white female physique/appearance.
It shows the lack of knowledge white women have about the history of woc being attributed as “ugly,” “excessively grotesque,” and other negative descriptors for centuries to present. That there are studies published in respected magazines announcing the “scientific” proof that black women are “naturally ugly.” That chola style sensibilities are seen as gross and cheap on a Latin@ body, but gorgeous on Gwen Stefani’s. That Lady Gaga gets to pretend she’s East Asian and South East Asian on fashion mags, or white models get to walk on the runway in blackface, and that fashion designers consider actually Asian or African women to be too unattractive to be on the actual cover or runaway. That white women are seen as the beacon of attractiveness.
Is it mean to call someone ugly? Yeah. But you’ve been doing it, and continue to do it, to women of color forever. You don’t even have to say a word to woc to tell them how ugly you think they are: any woc can walk into a department store or magazine and barely recognize themselves in spreads or lipstick advertisements.What you’re telling woc when you say “what Lena Dunham said was awful, but two wrongs don’t make a right and calling her ugly is sexist” is that you don’t understand/care about the history of devaluation of woc, you don’t want to hear their pain in experiencing both sexism and racism, and that you’re feelings are more important than the oppression they face on the daily.
And you’re also saying to woc that you probably just read Jezebel and Jessica Valenti and have never read a woc feminist writer.