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Candace Owens: Double Standard or Double Consciousness?

Updated: Mar 25

The term “double-consciousness,” coined by W.E.B. DuBois described the psychological struggle of once-colonized groups, which causes them, constantly, to see themselves through the eyes of the dominant group. This might manifest as a rejection of one's racial identity or a pathological preference for dominant societal norms.


Conservative commentator Candace Owens is often labeled an “Uncle Tom” for her unapologetic denouncement of Black culture and almost exclusive praise for white culture. Owens’ recent opinions reveal that her double consciousness extends far beyond just race.


In 2023, Owens commented on a nude photo of singer-songwriter Lizzo, writing on Twitter: "Only women could be fooled into supporting a death cult of 'fat acceptance.’” While many have commended Lizzo for breaking down barriers of conventional beauty standards, Owens maligns Lizzo’s concepts of full-figured body positivity as irresponsible.


Whereas former First Lady Michelle Obama’s fit frame has graced the cover of health-conscious magazines such as Prevention, Owens lambasted Michelle Obama’s 2018 healthy eating initiatives, alleging that they were an attempt to “control” people’s eating habits. Seemingly at odds with her own recent opinions, Owens then argued that individuals should have the liberty to consume whatever they want, regardless of the health implications.


Owens’ bombastic opinions on June 2, 2023, were aimed at women’s weight gain, both after marriage and in general. Owens opined that women who gain weight after marriage have committed a scam having effectively tricked their husbands out of the benefit of their assumed bargain.


The apparent hypocrisy in Owens’ discussion of "marriage weight" reveals an internalized misogyny, indicative of a woman being seen through the eyes of a man and the dual consciousness of a Black woman desperately advocating for the adoption of Westernized body norms.


These remarks are at odds with Owens’ 2019 criticisms of Michelle Obama and her efforts to promote healthy eating during her time as First Lady. This reveals a fear of losing the autonomy to choose what one eats.


Vacillating again, Owens’ cruelty toward actress and singer-songwriter Lizzo reveals an internalized preoccupation with obesity-induced social stigma and a willingness to project it onto others as a means to control.


Owens opines that Lizzo’s actions are not empowering, but signs of a lack of self-respect. Recently, Owens revealed that Lizzo had blocked her on social media.

As Owens attempts to construct her identity against the backdrop of white America, she is dismayed to be holding a brush soaked in brown paint. Her nuanced opinions of weight, however, are an acknowledgment of the internalized struggle that we all face to some extent, as we continually redefine the boundaries between identity of self and identity as society sees us.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author.



Sources


Du Bois, W.E.B. “The Souls of Black Folk.” 1903. Chapter 1: “Of Our Spiritual Strivings.” https://www.gutenberg.org/files/408/408-h/408-h.htm#link2HCH0001


Candace Owens says Michelle Obama 'is a sore spot for this country right now. USA Today. 7 Feb. 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/07/candace-owens-says-michelle-obama-sore-spot-country/2808883002/


Newsweek. Candace Owens Lashes Out at Lizzo Amid Fatphobia Discussion. RYAN SMITH ON 6/02/23, https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newsweek.com/candace-owens-lashes-out-lizzo-amid-fatphobia-discussion-1804100%3famp=1

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