“YOU ARE SO PRETTY FOR A BLACK WOMAN” AND OTHER EUROCENTRIC STANDARDS
** THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY DEMUR.CO IN THE GAB'S AFRO MILLENNIAL HANDBOOK ON THE 19th JUNE 2019
We made it to our second article! I wanted to talk about a lighter subject, but then I remembered the microaggression that has been thrown at me and probably a lot of other individuals too, and if you read the title and you are still here, I assume it has happened to you too and you can relate.
Growing up in a predominantly white country, blunt racism was the tea, it would happen and no one would do anything about it, not even myself, (as a black woman with no martial art background I’d just stand in the corner and hope not to be seen).
Fast forward to my teens and my first boyfriend’s parents, who loved me yet, every time we were seen together they were so compelled to explain the reasoning behind their son’s choice for being with me i.e.: ‘she is so well-spoken/ so smart/ so pretty for being black’. I never made a huge deal out of it as it was in Italy and at the time I could not see anything wrong with what they were saying. I was in a relationship with their son not with them, so the issue was never addressed.
Then I moved to the UK and ‘puff!’ I became ‘woke’, literally, the plane landed and I felt all the pain of the wrongdoings that had been done to me and people around me and felt like something needed to be done, I needed to fight, not with violence though of course (1. Violence is never the answer 2. I still have no martial arts’ background ) but maybe with my writing.
While in the UK I realised that though, it’s a regular joyful thing to see black folks everywhere, it is also very upsetting when Caucasian people do not own to their unfamiliarity with minorities and spiral into unconscious racism through things such as beauty standards.
Today we are led to believe that mainstream media accepts people regardless of their colour, gender and sexuality yet this understanding of beauty is always compared to a standard that does not belong to us, a standard that regardless of how much one tries is unattainable because it has nothing to do with us. Eurocentric beauty standards have been predominant for so long, but I’d like for you to listen to that voice that is shyly trying to prevail all the other voices in your mind and tells you that you are not beautiful but STUNNING, not smart but a GENIUS. Because that voice is actually right, and though there are so many outside voices that might tell you that “you are beautiful regardless of..” I’d like to remind them that you are beautiful period, and you are not beautiful “regardless of..” you are beautiful “because you are..”
I’m saying all of this because black girl magic is real, but we have to be able to perpetuate this message forward, push it harder than we have never done before, because (unfortunately) if we do not do so, no one else is going to do it for us.
Take care of you babe.