Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How I Feel About: The Term "Bougie"

I get called bougie sometimes, or stuck up, or whatever. My little sister was telling me when I was home for Christmas that "I think that just because I go to Princeton, I think I'm better than everybody else." I tried to explain that no, because I go to Princeton, I'm realizing that things I never thought were possible are within reach, and I want other people to have the same epiphany, but I'm getting off topic...

I get called bougie. It used to bother me, but this semester I had a professor (Imani Perry) tell me that no matter how much we (Black Princeton students from humble backgrounds) try to distance ourselves from the Black elite, just by virtue of being here and eventually being in the places being here will bring us, we have become the Black elite. And that kind of rocked my entire worldview.

But even if I don't let professors (even really cool ones I want to be like when I grow up) dictate my life, I have observed that people usually throw around the term bougie (and its synonyms) when they want to address the fact that you're not living like they're living, not in the same mindset or coming from the same place. So that's all I take it to mean, because it's usually true (even if only with regard to the specific context you're dealing with at that moment), and I let whatever insult they were trying to throw at me roll right off.

(In response to this post from Clutch Magazine)

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