Excuse Me Mo

Afrobella is a generally positive site, but every now and then I just need to be real and speak my mind as frankly as possible. So y’all need to excuse me for a minute. I need to address Mo’Nique woman to woman.

Mo, I love you.

I think you are a hilarious and beautiful woman who works hard to empower other women. I was thrilled to meet you when you came to Miami for the casting for F.A.T. Chance. You were amazingly friendly,and talking with you backstage was an experience I will never forget. Everyone was genuinely approachable and sweet, and the experience was overwhelmingly positive. I still remember your stylist well, she was rocking a fierce skirt that day. So when I saw your picture on Crunk & Disorderly yesterday, my heart sunk.

Mo, you don’t need me to tell you that this is not a good look.

There’s a definite over the top, devil-may-care decadence to your appeal, but not shaving for a red carpet event? You’re just daring the gossip bloggers to notice and make fun of you. And why brag about not shaving your legs on The View? Barbara is already misguided enough about dealing with other ethnicities. Being a black woman, I feel pretty confident that I can disagree with you – Not shaving your legs isn’t an “us” thing. It’s just lazy.

Mo’Nique, you are too Fabulous And Thick to have hairy manbeast legs. Uh uh, girl. And what’s this I hear about you teaching a Flavor of Love Charm School? Oh my damn. Think of the children!

I know you’re a busy woman. You’ve got twin boys, a fast paced career… balancing personal care with a hectic lifestyle can be overwhelming. Shaving can be a daily pain, but if you’re going someplace fancy and not wearing pants or an ankle length skirt, do yourself (and everyone else) a favor. There are some practically effortless ways to lose the fur pants.

Start out by busting out the Nair. Leg hair of your um, length and thickness would respond well to a cream depilatory. That’s the laziest way to preserve your sexy.

For special events, I advise you try the Schick Intuition Plus. In my opinion, there is no easier razor on the market. The skin conditioning solid cartridge even contains shea butter, aloe, and vitamin E, so you don’t have to waste your time moisturizing afterwards. But you really should anyways, so right when you get out of the shower, go ahead and spray your legs with Ginseng Miracle Wonder 8 Oil. It’ll leave your legs with a little shine before it absorbs.

I recommend the spray because clearly, you don’t want to actually slather on some lotion. Ideally, you should also get some Aveeno Positively Smooth Moisturizing Lotion. It promises to help you shave less often. And that certainly seems like one of your goals.

I say this all with love. Keep on making us laugh for the right reasons, and stay gorgeous, gorgeous!

Big respect,

Afrobella.

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Comments

  1. When I saw this on the CL site i was so disappointed…..there is no reason why you should be going out like this to a red carpet event……its just wrong

  2. 70ssoulchild says:

    I co-sign with sammie and you Afrobella..why Monique why?

  3. jerseybred says:

    Bella, you are too much. I saw Monique on the view that day and she came from behind the table to show off her legs. And I belive she previously said “hairy legs” are a “Baltimore thing”. Many Baltimore women took offense to this generalization.
    Personally, I don’t have a problem with my leg hair, I don’t have any – never did. But I do use Neet depilatory cream with a bladeless shaver for my under arms.

  4. honey, on my big girl comm on livejournal i said the SAME EXACT THING!

    its like, as a plus sized black woman, we have enough stigmas against us and with her doin this makes us look BAD!!!

    i agree and have said the same, its not a “black woman thing”. i know some white women that dont shave. but yet, there’s men that likes that crap. i aint diggin it

    my moms said the worst thing to be is FAT BLACK AND NASTY!! i aint sayin that SHE IS, but folks think we automatically are

    low down dirty shame

  5. cosign with Keena, all day everyday

  6. I back up Keena and Coffy too.I’m a big girl with a set of twin boys and I manage to put on my “mommy chic” everyday! and she is celebrity with money that she can go and get her stuff waxed and not spend minutes in the shower or bath shaving. As a big girl you must be flawless because everyone thinks you are imperfect anyway because of your size. I consider her role model but this disapointing!

  7. J, she is like a voice and fae for the big black sistas out there and she messing up like that……i aint wid it…she needs to come correct…..

  8. I have to disagree with y’all on this one. While I would personally never go out into the world with unshaven legs because I still subscribe to those mainstream notions of what is an acceptable public image for women.
    The reality is that some women have hairy legs. In europe women walk about with hairy armpits and legs and bikini areas and no-one bats an eyelid at them. yes, someone like Mo’nique has a lot of attention directed at her but the whole issue of hairy legs is just another of those statements of female oppression. why in order to be considered sexy do we have to have this look of pre-pubescence? well manicured pubes, nude armpits, thin, hairless legs. actually it’s a little sick, come to think of it…
    let Mo’nique and her hairy legs be! if she’s comfortable like that, more power to her.

  9. I appreciate the voice of dissent, Tillahwillah! Thanks for posting. I speak for myself here – if I’m going out where I might be under scrutiny (which is just about anywhere in Trinidad when I am visiting home), I make sure I feel pretty and confident from top to toe. And for me, that means conforming to that standard of pre-pubescence. But I do think that for a woman like Mo’Nique, who promotes and represents “big girl beauty” and always appears dressed and made-up impeccably, to eschew that finishing detail just seems odd.

    This post proved to have some seriously weird coincidential repercussions today… 1. a guy at work randomly came around handing out free razors! I got a brand new Schick Intuition and a Venus. So random! And
    2. I just got a press release that Mo’Nique is coming to Miami to perform on October 28. She’s also coming out with a cookbook, hilariously titled Skinny Chefs Can’t Be Trusted. I’m thinking about interviewing her for Afrobella. What do you guys think?

  10. ok, getting the visual of the unkept bikin area, oh no can’t go for that. i totally agree with the idea of if she likes it i love it. however in the media there are not many positive representations of African American women, let alone plus size. so when she comes out unkept all i ask is don’t say it’s a Black girl thing, say it’s a Monique thing.

  11. 70ssoulchild says:

    Afrobella, I say go for it and interview Monique. She’s done much to lift the self-esteem of plus size women. While you’re at it..please ask her about her red carpet appearance. Much love for all you do.

  12. Speechless says:

    CO-SIGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks Afrobella, I wish I could take a weed wacker to those legs.

  13. go your own way says:

    Yes, do try to interview her! I love her. I agree with Tillahwillah–the notion that we should remove all visible (and some not-so-visible) hair from our bodies (not our heads)is an entirely arbitrary standard of beauty, and a narrow one. You could hardly look at her and say she’s unkempt–just unshaven. And what could be more “natural” than bringing what you were born with?

  14. As natural as one may want to be, hairy legs are not appealing. Ugh!

  15. can you be natural and wear weave, i’m just asking?

  16. I shave my legs because I love the smooth look and feel. I applaud Monique for doing what she feels is best for her. I would hope that she would respect my grooming choices and never feel that I make her and other black women look bad because I choose to wear my head hair wild and natural – just as she chooses to wear the hair on her legs. I think all women should be encouraged to represent themselves in a manner that’s pleasing to them, not me. I’m pretty sure that I think my legs looks best shaven because I’ve been taught to think so. Any woman who can think for and decide for herself what’s attractive gets nothing but kudos from me. I find her individuality and fearlessness inspiring.

  17. Well said, Carolyn!

  18. i personally have never found leg shaving to be something obligatory for looking good. shaving underarms? yes. for me, arching eyebrows? yes. but, and perhaps it’s because i’m not terribly hairy, shaving has always been optional for me. i only experimented with it the first time in college and don’t do it consistently–only when my legs are very very visible, and i actually feel led to. i don’t believe not-shaving is lazy. i think it’s consciously deciding what one will and will not do to be beautiful. and for me, that’s valid.

  19. I second that emotion…

  20. I’m gonna have to co-sign with you Bella. In fact, the day after Mo’nique made her declaration on The View, I posted this: http://55secretstreet.typepad.com/55secretstreet/2006/07/shes_got_legs_a.html

  21. While most men probably like their woman’s legs shaved, maybe Mo’s hubby likes hairy legs? um, that’s the only thing I could think of. I dont buy the lazy thing. If I’m too lazy to shave my legs, I cover ‘em up! (just like most other women). It might only take Mo and extra 5 mins in the shower to get them hairs off her leg. Hopefully she’ll read this and consider coming over to the smooth leg side.
    This is my first visit here & I’m really like this site already Bella. Keep up the great work! :)

  22. My dear Bella, Go ahead and interview her. I am a big girl who eats and I was planning buying her cookbook any way!!!

  23. i don’t know if anyone watches NipTuck, but Monique will be guest starring next week.

  24. I was feeling you and your thoughts before this. What does her not shaving her legs have to do with anything. Typically women of color don;t shave. having dark skin hides it. Shaving started because white men don’t like the look on their white women. And if she could care less about what you have to say. Please. Save the Drama. Monique has class and enough money to buy your wanna be famous ass. Stick to the positive editorials.

    Stay Focused

  25. We all agree that God is perfect?

    then why are we changing what he created. What does being nasty have to do with not shaving.

    Free your minds people!!!!!!!!

    Please Reply

    This type of mentality is scary

  26. I’m a huge fan of Nip/Tucl, and will be definitely tuning into the episode next week. Can’t wait to see Monique on the show; I’m sure she is going to do a great job!

  27. Quita, you know, I really phrased my thoughts with affection and said what I had to say without judgement. These are my opinions, and I enjoy the dissent. However, for you to come on here and say “Monique has class and enough money to buy your wanna be famous ass,” is bringing way more negativity than I am capable of. And when did I ever say that I wanted to be famous? I want to be known and respected for my writing. That is all.

    I think Monique is beautiful and talented, as I said in the post. I’m just saying if I were walking the red carpet, I would shave. You have your opinion, and I have mine. If you don’t like it, make your own website.

    It’s possible to have a discourse without being ignorant. You should try it sometime.

    respectfully yours,
    Afrobella

  28. It’s all about cultural norms, people. It’s not about what is right or wrong; it’s about what’s acceptable. Culturally speaking, hairy legs are not acceptable. Deal with it. Also in the US, we have the freedom of representing ourselves to the world as we see fit. Deal with that, too. If she were European, this would be a non-issue. But since she’s NOT in Europe, I’m sure Mo’nique realizes that any woman with hairy legs will cause a stir and polarize people. So be it. However, I do think it’s a cop-out when people say, “it’s a Black thing,” or “it’s a Baltimore thing.” Please. Who made you spokesperson for Baltimoreans and the entire Black population???

  29. I live in London and I definitely don’t see women walking around with unshaved legs. Perhaps in years gone by, but not now. Well at least not from what I’ve seen anyway.

  30. Monique is starring in Anthony Hamilton’s new video Sista Big Bones. cute song

  31. Women of African descent are many shades of brown. I’m a caramel colored sista and my hair is pitch black so if I don’t shave you will see it. Dark skin hiding hair is not a solution or a reason not to shave. Obviously Mo’nique choose to not shave and I don’t think it was for a spiritual or political reason.I saw her on The View the day she came on showed her legs to Barbara Walters. Monique explained simply she didn’t shave because she didn’t want to. Bella, keep up the good work and the convo going with topics like these! And back sh*t up!!Don’t let no one disrespect your santuary

  32. I think she doesn’t shave because she feels sexy without having to do that little bit of extra work. Nothing wrong with it to me. Growing up I definately heard many black women say, black women didn’t shave and that it was white thing. So I don’t think she pulled this comment out her azz.

    When she does something that the majority of people like, she’s a role model, a poster board for big beautiful black women everywhere.Yeah Mo’nique! We love you.

    Now because she done something that the majority disagree with she’s giving ya’ll a bad name?! Shaving is a personal choice not a ten commandment. lol. It’s crazy to hear some say that she is lazy because she decides not to do it.

    Mo’nique do the damn thing! Do you, be you, be fearless!

    And that’s my two cents.. keep the change.

  33. LOL, this was a damn shame! Almost as bad as Julia and her furry arm pits!!

  34. Mo is too Fabu for this. I hope this was an abberation.

  35. i feel like so much has been said and i’m late to the discussion, but i had to say it seems that whether she chooses to shave her legs or not shouldn’t be the point- the point is that as a black woman, i don’t appreciate her referring to it as a “black” thing (don’t speak for me, you don’t know me) instead of claiming it as a “her” thing. if she feels sexy with her hairy legs, that’s cool, but i don’t like her saying in an international forum that black women in general feel the same way. and for those ladies who agree that they’ve heard that before, having heard other black women say it doesn’t mean that most black women agree. i personally have never heard that before in my life, and i was still a black and all-natural woman last time i checked. and for the record, i always have been, even before all-natural was in style.
    walk good.

  36. So ixnay on the Mo’Nique-ay. She’s too busy for an interview, traveling and filming stuff along the way etc. etc. If any of you are interested in seeing her perform live stand-up, she will be in Miami on October 28 at the Jackie Gleason Theater. For those interested in “tasting her hand” as we say in Trinidad, her cookbook, Skinny Cooks Can’t Be Trusted, will be released November 3. Mo is definitely doing big things, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her doing a talk show sometime in the not-too-distant future. No matter how she chooses to wear her body hair, she’s determined, strong, and ambitious. Definitely a bella to be admired, long leg hair or no.

  37. Micessi 1987 says:

    What is manly about hairy legs? Personally I don´t really see the appeal with not shaving them, unless your abit of a “attention whore” sorry for the harsh language. But If God gave her that hair why does she need to opress it to fit into societies ideal.It is not really a good look though, most peole would agree.
    She is brave though for not doing it, but I don´t really get a feel from her that its some kind of feminist statement, hence Julia Roberts hairy armpit on the red carpet. That was worse!

  38. The Empress says:

    Pardon me but what rule says she has to shave her legs? I do shave mine because it looks good to me however, sistahs weren’t shaving there legs until it was introduced to them by white people. It is cutural. I lived in Europe for 3 years and the women there still don’t shave their armpits. Grant it Mo’ is not from Europe but that’s neither here nor there. We are decendants from Africa and our ancestors didn’t shave their legs. So, what its not acceptable. Being overweight is not acceptable either in Hollywood or the US but she’s still just that..being unacceptable. Yeah its not acceptable in most parts but since when do we all do everything that’s acceptable? If you do you’re not living your own life so die now and let others continue to live FOR you.

  39. The Empress says:

    I’m sorry but I meant to say ‘their’ instead of ‘there’ in the second line. I just using the words out of context!

  40. I have to be honest and tell you that I do not like Monique and for many reasons.First, I think she is a modern day Mammy who wears her fat as if it is a badge of honor.I also hate the way she blames all her “ilk” on being a Black woman.She’s fat so rather than own it and her obvious eating disorder, she claims that her fatness is a Black Woman thang.Same with her hairy legs, again, rather than simply stating it is her personal choice, she blames her lack basic female upkeep on being a Black woman.She just disgusts me in every way possible and she is no role model for anyone, skinny or fat.Monique has an eating disorder.She medicates herself with food.She is the opposite of Nicole Ritchie except people show no empathy for the fat.She needs to stop telling Black women that fatness is something to be proud of or even aspire to.

  41. I AM A WOMEN WHO STARTED SHAVING HER LEGS AT THE VERY YOUNG AGE OF 11.YOU CANJUST IMAGINE MY FACIAL EXPRESSION WHEN I SAW THOSE LEGS ON THE VIEW, I DAMN NEAR DROPPED MY CUP OF TEA.BEING A BIG SEXY CHIC MYSELF I HAVE LEARNED THAT SHAVING YOUR LEGS GIVES THEM A SEXIER APPERANCE ESPECIALLY WHEN WEARING DRESSES AND SKIRTS.SO MO PLEASE GET TO A SPA AND HAVE THOSE GAMS WAXED. PRONTO!!!!!

  42. Newlywed Diva says:

    To shave or not to shave…I’m sick of that question.

    In response to the comments I’ve read so far all I can say is wow! There is so much negativity towards not shaving legs. If that is the case, then we should pluck out all our eyelashes and nose hairs! Let’s just go bald!

    I hate shaving/waxing/or using creams on my legs only to have the hair grow back with scratchy stubble. The irritation is no fun! Neither is possibly harming myself with chemicals that are absorbed into the skin, just to appease the public! Does that make sense? Furthermore, people should be more aware of how other people feel when they make such negative/hurtful comments. I developed a complex about having hair on my legs simply from hearing repeated comments as the individuals have made on this blog. When I want to wear shorts or skirts because it’s 90* degrees outside I always end up wearing jeans because I’m so concerned about the way people will think about my legs.Do you know how nerve racking that is?! I wish I had Mo’nique’s confidence and I’m a slender chic!

    People, we have to be concerned about the message we are sending to young girls out here! Did you know that Nair is making a product directed toward tweens and teens. So we must think it’s ok to tell a ten year old,” from birth until 9 your legs are fine, but after 10 your legs are just like men”? That’s a bunch of bull!

    Finally, as I end my venting session…I’m thankful my husband has enough God-given sense not to care if I shave or don’t shave, but is only concerned with my happiness. I ask him all the time “Boo, what do you prefer, hair/no hair”?, His answer is always the same, “Woman, I just like yo’ legs”! See, answers like that means he gets some evvvvvvvvery night!

    Mo’nique do ya thing.

  43. God Bless you Newly Diva as you took most of the words out of my mouth! What a bunch of narrow minded misguided self-delusional American Black women are! All this donkey braying over some hairy gams and not a single word on how obese this woman is! Her overweightness will kill her long before displaying her fur on the red carpet will.

    And since most black women tend to fall over themselves believing in the almighty god, then why when god gives you something like excessive body hair, you have the audacity to turn your wide noses up at it??? Let some white man call you a bunch of nappy headed so and so and you get your necks bent all out of shape. How dare you think such nastiness is any better coming from yourselves. You ought to be ashamed.

  44. patricia says:

    I was hoping they were varicose veins or sumthin’, or atleast bad circulation…but no.

  45. I really love what you wrote to Mo’nique! Very nice one and very frank and honest!

  46. Like Monique said it is a black woman’s thing. The darker the skin the less visible the hair and even when it is visible there is not drastic contrast against the legs like on white women. She has hairy arms too. Should she shave that. That’s just ridiculous.

    We as adults have a lot of growing to do when we can’t come to grips with body hair that comes with adulthood. Her man likes it thats all that counts. A lot of you all are mad because you don’t have the courage to do what Monique did because some guy told you he didn’t like your body hair.

    I say let it wolf up all outside the bikini line and all down the treasure/happy trail. Mo power to Monique. Peace.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I dive headfirst into answering, I gotta say… the topic of body hair removal has been surprisingly touchy on this blog in the past. The decision of whether or not to shave your legs, or to wax the hair off your body, goes directly [...]

  2. [...] I’ve written a while ago and totally forgotten about. Just last week I got a comment about Excuse Me Mo, an irreverent open letter to Monique that I wrote in 2006. I figure my post ranks high up in a [...]

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