It never fails. I give someone my business card and I get an, “Ooohh, what’s theHotness” and, usually if it’s a dude, a raised eyebrow and a wink will accompany this sentence. Um no. Sorry, wrong kind of hotness, sir. I’m not running a Heidi Fleiss den of sex and scandal. “It’s a dotcom… we celebrate the brains, backbone and beauty of brown girls,” I respond. I hate to do it, but I always put brains first and beauty last, to make a clear point that theHotness ain’t just bout boobs and booty straight-up (indirectly, yeah we go there). The truth of the matter is that separating brains and backbone from boobs and booty, especially when discussing women of color, is kinda like the U.S.’s attempts to separate church and state—it’s not realistic. Brown girls have had to struggle to claim, reclaim and re-reclaim our bodies as a means to assert ourselves, empower ourselves and to make our backbones titanium tough. It’s all connected. I’m brave because of the confidence and love I have for every limb, every stretch mark, and every cocoa-complected fiber of my thick-thighed body. So even though I say I chose theHotness, in fact, it probably chose me— the title and the content. Like hip hop, theHotness is a witty, head-turning, subversive way to feature and promote the sister savvy, punanied power, and inspirational intellect of homegrrrls like Erykah Badu, Michelle Obama, Jumpha Lahiri, Majora Carter, Imani Uzuri, Rosario Dawson, Tamarkali, Wangechi Mutu, Esperanza Spalding, Zadie Smith and Sarah Jones.
March is Women’s History Month and it also marks the 11th Anniversary of theHotness. Check out my interview here on Yahoo’s Shine where I talk about theHotness and how I rep for the outer, but most importantly, inner-fire of grrrls like me. I was bubbly and so amped because I had just met the Jimmy Dean Sun and then ravaged the all-you-can-eat dessert table munching on cannolis, cheesecake tarts and an éclair. It’s a fun, albeit hyped clip on theHotness:
THANKS so very much for your support, comments, retweets and all around love. Y’all make theHotness so hot!