Day 25

Crazy for feeling so blue
I knew you’d love me as long as you wanted
And then some day
You’d leave me for somebody new

Worry
Why do I let myself worry?
Wondering
What in the world did I do

Patsy Cline – Crazy

I started using OKcupid this Saturday. My longtime friend and her roommate had me sign up. And as expected the messages and likes began rolling in. It was so cool to see my phone light up. When I finally checked, my inbox was filled with men. I started scrolling through…I couldn’t find a brotha no where! I immediately thought I should have put up a picture of my shape…but wouldnt that be twisted? In order to spark interest the interest of a black man, I thought I needed to show my body. How did I get here? How did we get here? Was Wale’s apology enough? Naw….

There’s a statue (and many photos) of the Black Venus, this woman carved to command beauty. Standing bronzed, her face, hips and hair are unapologetically black. She used to be the mold of beautiful. Once could even argue she is still the standard of beauty. We see it most commonly displayed by the Kardashian family, the co opting of hair styles, ass and skin color is something white women have and continue to steal. However, black women are still disrespected. Even by our own….

Amandla Stenberg, a rising figure of black womanhood, posted to Instagram about how this phenomenon of a blatant double standard is foul. Black women are ostracized and denigrated for having naturally thick hips, full lips, dark skin, full hair, style and word play. But all the Beckys are allowed to take these attributes, apply them to themselves and then make literal money and grow capitol from stealing from black women. But that isnt my issue, stealing from black folks is as American as apple pie.

My issue lies in the fact that black men and women tear down black women for fun. I’m pissed that as a black girl and now as a black young woman, I have been shitted on the most by black men. Yes, I know its a marker from slavery that we have to learn to resist, but it dont mean it doesnt hurt. I grew up in Tacoma and lived on the white side of town. When they started busing in black kids to the middle school, I finally had contact with black boys who dug me. They didnt mind that my hips and butt were wide and round. The played with my relaxed hair (and as an adult loved putting their fingers through my fro). But that soon gave way to me meeting the girls where they were from.

I was considered brown skinned, medium toned, but they called me a “red bone“. Huh? I aint mixed or Creole… I talked “white” (it wasnt until much later than I would finesse code switching) so I was different. As I grew older, the boys who I thought liked me for me, always chose lighter versions of me. Alot of the girls they chose were mixed race with 3B curls. That wasnt me…

I didnt get it, I didnt understand what was wrong with me. Middle school, turned into high school, where I attended Bellarmine Preparatory School – a private Catholic school in the Jesuit tradition. Even though I was on student government, participated in debates, gave speeches, kept private, I was still deemed a stereotypical black girl while the boys could be straight up goons and be applauded.

I’ll never forget that all the girls had crushes on John. I sat next to him on my first day. He was so fine. He had beautiful dark skin, a pretty white smile and muscles. He kissed me once, I was so shy that I couldnt make eye contact with him the next day. He brushed me off and started dating Alex. Alex was white, freckled, with braces, no lips, and no figure. Once again, I thought it was me. I tried to be more chill, ignore how I felt, remain lonely. Who cares?!

College was a whole other ball game! But I still got passed up for lighter, thinner, “better” women. Even brothas who rocked an ankh chain, loved having a white girl by their side. Nothing made sense. It still dont! The black woman is the most disrespected person in this nation, let alone the world. Look how we treat Africa, the mother of all lands. Look at the statistics on rape and prosecution when the victim is a black woman. Look at the literal statistics of black women on welfare, recognize that we are not abusing or using the system any where near white women, but who is the welfare queen?

I know the odds are stacked against me institutionally. I know that black folks have many issues in this area of black beauty. But what I do know is that no matter what my past feelings have been, I am a black woman and I am beautiful. I still have hope in black love and I’ll keep looking for a man who matches and loves my blackness. I have hope.

“black women were created of
brown sugar and warm honey.
the sweetest thing to bless the earth.
be wary of anyone who tells you otherwise.”

-Alexandra Elle

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