Let our next greatest achievement be realizing the dream of full equality for all of us ...

- Human Rights Campaign President, Alphonso David, as reported by Maiysha Kai -


How Being Ashy In Public Is Actually Underrated, Explained


Public Ashiness might be the only thing in the Black community with a 0% approval rating. Even cottage cheese has fans, even Donald Trump has Omarosa, and even Kappas have mirrors. It's the bane of Black existence; a plague we collectively wish to be eradicated. I'm actually shocked we haven't had any "End Ash Forever" telethons. Because we'd definitely raise the capital necessary to ensure every American home had a clean and accessible jar of Jergens Cherry Almond Lotion. At the very least we'd make sure there were no new cases of fresh ash.


But I'm here today to state that public ash isn't really all that bad. That there are actually some positive attributes to violent ashiness. That being slightly or excessively ashy is actually underrated.

How? Well, let's see.

1. People know you're probably clean

A large percentage of agitated ash is caused by what happens to skin after it has contact with water — shower water and bath water specifically. (I have no idea if this is true, btw.) Which means that a large percentage of ashy people you see have washed they ass very recently. Which is a good thing to non-verbally communicate, especially if you're on a train.


2. It saves time

As someone pointed out in a Facebook thread earlier this morning, when the question of virulent ashiness was brought up, sometimes people leave the house ashy because they just don't have time to apply lotion. Which actually might be the real reason for CPT. We plan to be on time, but 57-minute-long lotion regiments prevent that from happening. Just think of how much earlier you'd be to shit if you decided to just arrive ashy.

3. You can write messages to people

Imagine if you were in a hostage situation and weren't allowed to speak to the other people also held captive. How helpful would if be if you could communicate messages to each other by transcribing them in the ash on your shins? You could also use ash to cheat on tests, write notes in church, and keep score while playing Spades. It's like having your own personal dry erase board.


4. Your elbows will become lethal weapons

I don't know what it is about the properties of ash that does this, but ashy elbows are like 75% sharper than lotioned elbows. Adding ash to an elbow is almost like adding a shank. You basically turn into Wolverine. Which can be a very effective strategy for skipping the line at Trader Joe's. No one is going to tell Wolverine Elbows to get back in line.


5. If you're a single guy, women will offer you lotion

There's really no better ice breaker. She'll be perplexed by this grown-ass man who decided to show up to happy hour with a quart of malignant ash, and you can take that opportunity to regale her with tales of your lotion-less life. She might even think that the ash is some form of personal and spiritual evolution. That you're Post-Ash or something. Next thing you know she wants to have your ashy babies.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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one day i'll buy lotion. one day.