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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Jody Watley Speaks Out. An Open Letter To Whom It May Concern

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Over the weekend, I read a fascinating blog post by Jody Watley. 

Yes, that's right: Miss Jody Watley, the Queen of Cool

She took to her blog to write about people who attack her on social media on a daily basis. And I can testify to seeing it. Social media can be a great tool for artists to connect with their fanbase. Unfortunately, there is a negative side to it as sometimes people say the meanest things from the safety of being behind their keyboard. And Jody has had to deal with more than her fair share of "Internet trolls." It isn't nice. Nor is it kind.

I am a gay white man, who happens to be a feminist, and I completely support the Black Lives Matter movement. So when I read the following quote from Jody, I had to share it.

It’s no secret that Black women are generally the most marginalized, disrespected, diminished, and dissected across social media and in society. It makes no difference if you’re the First Lady of the United States, an Olympic gymnast, the greatest women in tennis, pop stars, actresses like Leslie Jones attacked for taking a role some thought she shouldn’t be in, executives, journalists – who came to defend mega -star, my colleague and more than baby sister of King Of Pop Janet Jackson, after the Superbowl..or you could be working mothers or students who take heat for wearing cornrows or natural styles, welfare recipients, “baby mamas”, too loud, too spirited, too quiet, too reserved – and so on when so many of us are working our asses off to make things happen and hold things together.
We get demeaned constantly – it’s our hair, our weight, our looks, never good enough for some – doesn’t matter the socioeconomic background or level of intelligence either. Often some of the negativity and hate sadly comes directly from other black women and men. In the midst of being an artist it was my duty to raise another intelligent, strong daughter knowing the challenges not just of being a human being, a woman – add to the mix a girl and woman of color.
—Jody Watley, via www.jodywatley.net
The whole piece is a very interesting read. But it was those two paragraphs that really made me think: What can Poptastic Confessions do to help?

Poptastic Confessions can help by being kinder, and we will encourage our readers to also be kind. It is true that we might not always like everything about our favorite artists. But we should remember that it is their careers, not ours.

I encourage you to read Jody's blog post called Jody Watley Speaks Out. An Open Letter To Whom It May Concern. It is rather long, but it is really good. And there is also a followup interview she did with Michael P. Coleman for Lee Bailey's EURweb (Electronic Urban Report) that is worth reading, too!

I don't remember the original Shalamar. Even if I did, I've seen some of my favourite groups split (Bananarama, Duran Duran, Spice Girls, Ace Of Base,  Sugababes, etc.). Sometimes a reunion works, but most times it does not. And as for Jody's situation, she has moved on. She has a new group called Shalamar Reloaded, and she legally has the right to use the name. You might not agree with her, but you ought to respect her as an artist, as a woman, as as the beautiful person that she is. Enough with the negativity already. Just be kind.

Here at Poptastic Confessions, we will continue to support Jody and Shalamar Reloaded. And anyone making unkind comments here will be deleted and blocked.

On a brighter note, Shalamar Reloaded has a new song coming our way called "In The Mood" and it will be on their forthcoming album Bridges. You might remember that they've already released two songs: "SlowDance" and "O.R.I.G.In.A.L."

And we just found out that Jody Watley and Shalamar Reloaded are heading back to Yoshi's in Oakland on November 11. HOORAY! Sadly, the meet-and-greet tickets are sold out. But we will be there!

Just be kind. To quote Miss Jody Watley, the Queen of Cool: "BE fabulous!"

Cheers then,

P.S. Like the Facebook pages of Jody Watley and Shalamar Reloaded to keep up to date with the latest on them. And while you are there, you can like our Poptastic Confessions Facebook page

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