If you would have told me that when I found Cardi B videos on Tumblr over four years ago that we’d be witnessing one of the best transformations ever I wouldn’t have believed you. I loved seeing her videos come across my Tumblr timeline, because they were always laced with humor and straight up FACTS! And with all great things that come our way in life… comes people’s opinions.

I Have Two Degrees And I Love Cardi B… & Here’s Why

I stopped watching Love & Hip Hop four years ago, for my own judgmental reasons/purposes. Reasons that I never wrote about, made petty shady posts about, or even discussed/argued about. I simply stopped watching and that was that. So when everyone started talking about this new character on Love & Hip Hop I was immensely disinterested. As I was scrolling through Tumblr during a girl’s night I ran into one of Cardi’s viral posts and had to show my friends the greatness that was Cardi. It was then they informed me, that Cardi is the greatest thing since slice bread on the latest Love & Hip Hop New York season.

I watched two episodes of her first season and instantly fell in love. I couldn’t watch any further… because I’m just going to say it straight forward: Love & Hip Hop is trash… but that’s not what we’re here to discuss. I took an interest in all things Cardi B because she was saying things that spoke to who I am as a person, living her best life to achieve her dreams, and doing it all with a unique type of grace.

As I continued my fangirling moment, the slew of text messages, social media comments, and side eyes I was receiving because I was a fan of an unconventional feminist started rolling in. “How could you like her. She’s so stupid and uneducated. She used to be a stripper”. I get it, I really do. She’s unconventional and she can be a tough pill to swallow. But… the problem is what?

Let me tell you something about me… I am an extremely intelligent woman. I have two degrees, a career and I own a business. I’m not tooting my own horn, or bragging by any means. I’m setting the stage for my response to the people who have told me that I shouldn’t like Cardi B because of who they think she is. Assuming you know who some one is, or who should enjoy their presence because of what you’ve seen is complete and utter bullshit. How many times, and in how many different ways do we have to be told that everyone is not the same.

As an educator I can not apply a one size fits all method with my students. I can not force square pegs into round holes. Within the classroom, the state requires (demands) that I provide differentiated instruction to my students. While lesson planning I am often faced with the task of providing challenging thought provoking lessons that are engaging for the different levels and learning styles. I must challenge the gifted and talented students in a different manner than the struggling learners. Scaffolds must be provided, multiple entry points, and incessant checks for understanding. Now, if that is a requirement for teaching, why is the same not required within society. We’re teaching our students to learn in a differentiated manner, yet we are judging a woman for delivering her message her way because we deem it to be “ignorant and stupid”.

People who glorify Beyonce (and trust me.. I big love Beyonce) and think that Cardi B is a disgrace to the feminist movement because she is uneducated are not only hypocritical but are being ironic AF. Women who express their sexuality and speak their minds in whatever manner they see fit will always have a special place in my heart. Using profanity doesn’t make you uneducated, just like wearing a short skirt doesn’t make you a whore. GET OVER IT! The way you want to live your life, should not be discredited because it is not how others choose to live theirs.

People are “offended” that Cardi B has risen to this level of fame because she was a former stripper. Her overt sexuality and choice of words make her a target for constant scrutiny. There’s the constant banter of: She should be ashamed, she should know better. Yet when she reacts to being groped with out her permission she is told: “What do you expect you used to be a stripper”. Let’s put the immense rape culture aside for just a moment, and focus on the gross double standards that we already know exist. Because Cardi B was a stripper, her body is no longer believed to be her own. It doesn’t matter how far she has come from that former life, or how many times she has blatantly told women that it is not a route that they should take. Her uplifting words of encouragement, and immense business savvy often go unnoticed, as mannerisms and speech take center stage.

The intentional vulgarity of Cardi B’s messages speak to an audience that is often forgotten. That audience is the same group of people that sat in front of me in my class room day after day. They are the ones who saw “Not Guilty” flash across their screens trial after trial. They are also the same ones who have been subjected to the continuous hashtag memorials on social media to mourn the loss of people that look just like them, that are deemed unworthy of justice. Do I think Cardi B should be the sole role model for the youth? No! Do I think she has a tremendously inspiring story, and something important to say to society: YES!

Before this becomes too preachy… because I can go on forever about this… I just want to end with this. Intelligence should not, and  is not measured by what or who you listen to. If I want to bump “Bodak Yellow” in my car all morning, and turn on NPR all afternoon I shouldn’t be judged, questioned, or praised for either one. I do what I want, and that will always be my favorite part about Cardi B, because it is my favorite part about me.