Travel & Sexuality Series: United States (Adina Howard: A Story of Sexual Liberation)

I have now lived in for 10+ years, and I have drastically changed how I view sexuality based on my experiences here but also since I have travelled. In light of my own background and upbringing in Jamaica the view of sexuality is quite different.

Sex Appeal/Beauty

Who says sex appeal can't be beautiful/handsome? Here in the US, I have rarely seen the symbol of sex appeal and sexiness equated to being beautiful or handsome. When you think of a a girl or guy being sexy... what you see is a half dress, in shape person... while the second you think about being beautiful or handsome the clothes are back on, and the sensual yet almost shy man or woman is being portrayed. To test this I simply typed into Google (because google knows everything) 4 search topics "sexy men" "handsome men" "sexy women" "beautiful women". As expected the results changed based on what I was looking for... (See below) Simply by typing in "sexy" the idea what that means is the removal of clothes, men and women looking seductive. Where as "handsome" or "beautiful" portrayal includes clothing.

 

Travel & Sexuality Series: United States  (Adina Howard: A Story of Sexual Liberation)

 

The real question is- does less equal more?

As you can see, even searching on google the depiction of sexy is half clothed male or females with seductive faces. The moment a more endearing term such a beautiful or handsome is put into the description not only does clothing get added on, but the entire facial expression changes to an almost innocent yet bold look of confidence. Why do these two things in our society have to be so different?

How about we take a look deeper into just how maybe our music has changed how we see sex appeal and beauty when it comes to women.

Adina Documentary: A Story of Sexual Liberation

Adina Howard took the world by storm with her hit song “Freak Like Me.” Never before had a solo R&B female artist made such a bold and controlling stance sexually through song. Adina Howard’s performance allowed young women of color and future recording artist to express their sexuality without shame. But let us hear how Adina in her own words share the impact that she made during the 1990s and thereafter through the thoughts of fellow entertainers, educators, feminists, family and fans.

Beyond sexuality, Adina even gives details on her relationship with Tupac Shakur, the banning of her music video from BET, landing a cameo role in the movie “Waiting to Exhale,” her encounter with legendary vocalist Nancy Wilson, working with Hollywood giants Jackie Chan and Jamie Foxx and the sudden halt to her stardom due to her comments about record exec Sylvia Rhone.

So while the documentary shows that Adina Howard has definitely helped us as woman confidently own our sexuality and all that comes with it, we are still faced with the inability of people around us, even our own women, prejudging my short skirts to my maxi dress and determining that who I am based on just what they see.

I say all this to say, beauty comes in so many shapes, sizes… but what happens when we do not fit the sexy and/or beautiful descriptions our society has put on us.. we begin to have surgeries to enhance all we think we do not have. It is not uncommon for people to get nose jobs, breast and butt implants, tummy tucks.. why? Because if you sit and you have rolls you are consider unflattering? 

Before getting into the video, I urge you all to LOVE WHO YOU ARE! All of you! All the imperfections! All the great things! All you wish to change someone out there wish they had... Enjoy the documentary and let me know what you think!

 

Gender Roles

 

I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what that means? As I have embraced the American way of being the independent woman and flaunting it, I can't help but also bring up the reality of what that all truly means. Women are no longer expected to be at home to take care of the house. If we want something, we just get it. We are very much looking for the equal playing field here in the US. So even though you will still see gaps in male vs females in some working environments and even unequal pay this does not change the fact that every woman is trying to step out of the "I'm helpless save me" role, and "do it all."

How does this then affect the American society? Well the problem is, we as women want to wear the pants, but still have the doors open for us. We want men to take out the trash, but you don't see men choosing to walk on the outside of the road with their "homeboys" do you? Now, don't get me wrong I am very much a "independent" woman.. I can get it all done by my dang self, with or without a man in the picture. However, when do we draw the line between wanting to be his equal and allowing a man to be a man?

All I am simply saying from my experience here in the US, is as more women become the breadwinners, and do the jobs typically men would do, Men either need to step up and take charge when dating one of these women OR women need to allow a man to provide the things she still wants even though she is able to do it by herself...

Thoughts???

 

Sexual Orientation

Homosexual! Lesbian! Transexual! Asexual! Heterosexual! The list continues... when it comes to the differences in sexual orientation the culture here in the US has dramatically changed. What do I mean?? Well having conversations with a few friends on the topic... While there are still struggles for couples that are not heterosexual the US is one of the few countries I have visited with a high tolerance and acceptance for same sex marriages. But while it may appear that gay marriages are being accepted more, there is still a fight for their rights as many law makers are trying to fight against it. Just the other day I recall the law being passed that businesses can resist serving homosexuals... So while America isn't exactly killing homosexuals or placing them in jails as other countries have visited.. there are still many struggles that have yet to be acknowledged and accepted about the lifestyle.

More over the media has drastically changed how we review couples that are not heterosexual. I remember when tv shows used to have heterosexual couples about to kiss or make love and you see it almost happen and then it blacks out. There was a lot left for the imagination... did they kiss? did they have sex? what really happened when the door closes.

Now, in many shows you get to see not only heterosexual couples kissing in very popular shows, but sometimes very intimate sex scenes with clothes coming off, in the sheets and all kinds of positions. Same sex couples, transgender, heterosexual.. it doesn't matter what orientation, there is at least one being portrayed in a tv show you can watch each week. But it doesn't stop there, there are family shows presenting same sex marriages on tv. While it may be subtle, there will be that one kid in a show that has a friend with 2 moms, or a little boy having these strange feelings for his new best friend that is also a boy. So, as we as a society become more accepting of the differences in sexual orientation/preference, the media also aids the process as well.

 

Marriage

To me, courtship in America is a joke. People get married for hours or even days if they want, and then end it. They fall in love this month, and the next few months they realize they should not have eloped to Las Vegas? The ability to divorce to me is a bit too easy here in America. The vows are taken so lightly, and the responsibility and stigma after marriage is really not a big deal. But it all stems from the dating game, where men and women are just trying to get their quick fix, and people are not willing to truly give their all to one person. I guess there are too many fish in the sea? 

 

So these are my thoughts on American Culture and having lived here now 10+ years? Do you agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts?

The post Travel & Sexuality Series: United States (Adina Howard: A Story of Sexual Liberation) appeared first on .