She’s pretty. For a dark girl.

Now, maybe this article might or might not be what you are thinking.

I have started a conversation like this before. It was on my quick thoughts surrounding the reality of Chimamanda’s book Americanah here and how I did not think that the reality of her protagonist tells the story of many African women in America. I explore a similar issue in this article.

I have had this conversation with a million and one people by now. I strongly believe that when it comes to love and attraction, amongst other things, the black women always place last. Over the years, with media and colonialist mentality telling us white is beautiful, we have slowly begun to accept it in our unconscious. Black women themselves have had to battle this manner of thinking through movements such as natural hair movement etc. Because the truth of the matter is, white is not what is beautiful. We have many kinds and variations of beauty, white, black, brown etc.

Unfortunately, this manner of thinking has equally affected men all over the world. But the men I am most concerned about are black men. When looking at women, black African men have slowly fallen prey to the understanding that the foreign, fairer, curly haired or even white woman possesses more beauty than that of the darker, kinky curled black or African woman. Now shhh, shhh, shhh before you start coming up with all your “buts”, yes there are exceptions. But look around you, and think about it. If the African man standing next to you, your brother or your friend had to choose between a black woman and let’s say, a biracial woman with the same  characteristics, which do you think he would choose? And what percentage of men do you think would choose the latter?

Now I’ve had people ask me why I am so concerned about this issue even if it exists. I am concerned because as the popular saying goes “there are levels to this sh**”. Yes, I may be biracial but I am half Nigerian, half Indian. I bet you the biracial woman who’s half European Half Nigerian is one level above me with her looser curls and lighter skin. Even more I do not believe that black women deserve to always come last.

Another reason this is an issue for me is because, not only do African or black men go after more “foreign” women, but that white, Indian etc. men stick to their women. So let me ask you then: where does that leave black women? With nothing. That’s where. From my experience, a very low number or percentage of white men approach black women unless maybe they appreciate the fact that you are “authentically” African. Which means that you probably have to look like Lupita Nyong’o or Alek Wek to get that sort of attention. As I mentioned in my “Americanah” article, I feel like white men cease to see black women like me as romantic interests, even though they may laugh or joke with me.

Some men have tried to explain to me that black women just come with more stress. Really?? Maybe that’s because more than any other race of women, black women have constantly needed to defend their intelligence, beauty and sexuality. To date a black woman and think she is crazy means that you need to recognize that that is no fault of hers but rather an inadequacy of yours. And every woman, like every man comes with faults, white, black or yellow. Another excuse has been the need to experience the “foreign”, and I agree with that. However, what is foreign? As a Nigerian, foreign for me could constitute anything from Ghanaian to South African to Egyptian. So why exactly do black or African men get more intrigued with what’s closer to white?

At the end of the day, my heart breaks to see the African or black woman abandoned and considered last option. Because guess what? I am pretty and not just for a black girl.

P.S: If my article seems too short and rushed, I apologize. I am so much better at speaking than writing. Maybe I will post a video up of my opinion. Let me know if you would like that!


19 thoughts on “She’s pretty. For a dark girl.

  1. “buts” and “generalisation apart”, This is so true. Especially, when our (intellectuals) black men are the first ones to praise that black beautiful mama Africa, but when it comes to choosing…

  2. It isn’t the hair, it’s got nothing to do with the hair… Maybe the hairstyle or the fallacy of weaves sometimes, but not it’s nature( I’m attracted to Natural). Now I don’t really know why, you probably don’t know why, everybody can guess why- but it will most likely always be a mystery.

    My guess: it has to do with one of two things:
    1. Faces- specifically eye color and cheekbone placement, on a general level. I usually don’t notice that but this article made me figure it out. I also imagine that because white girls are often brought up under better living conditions they end up generally healthier and thus, generally more beautiful.

    2. Personally, I think there’s almost always some fraction of attempted transformation to a white look (unconscious or otherwise). And it just cannot work. I see a beautiful black girl and she’s wearing a white-ish hairstyle- it can’t compete with the completed look. Even though, when I think about it, the prettiest girls I’ve ever seen are black or biracial. Most girls make conscious efforts with their beauty- when white girls do this, they keep their look. Success! Most black girls who do this end up going after the same look (blame it on history, propaganda, media, contemporary fashion, whatever). FAIL.

    a black guy
    P.S. Biracial over Black AND White. Anyday

  3. Such a great and intelligent post your so right when u say that black is always left for last. People need to understand that beauty has nothing to do with the outter being, its mainly about the inner self.

  4. Anon’s response just leaves you agreeing that this blog post is spot on. When you use words like Fail to describe most black women, then it just seems so sad that a person’s effort regardless of how she ends up looking is based on the color of her skin.

    1. I used the word fail to describe a black girl attempting a look prehistorically based on a white culture, as opposed to a black culture. There’s an incompatibility there and it easily shows. Specifically when a black girl wears a weave. That’s the kind of effort at beauty I don’t appreciate. I wouldn’t appreciate a white girl going for a historically black look either. You can wear someone else’s hair on your head, just don’t expect me to pick you over someone wearing their own hair if you do. The fine black girls I know could keep their hair and use no makeup and I’d still acknowledge their beauty.

      1. Well a white woman does not grow up being convinced that kinky hair is more beautiful than long straight hair. So she has the privilege to remain in her long hair and feel comfortable and beautiful in it. It has taken a damn long time for black women to accept their kinky hair and till today it is still hard because black women have ALWAYS been made to believe that theirs is what is not beautiful and either bigger curls (biracial hair) or long straight hair is what is beautiful. So for you to just point fingers at black women and claim that they are unattractive because they decide to wear weaves etc tends to show the shallow nature of your contemplation. Because that decision is not one made by black women alone, but one that society joins hands and pressures them to make. Wake up and smell that coffee dear

  5. Then deal with it. So society pressures black women into it. Whose fault is it then? Black men? I point this out because the focus of your article was black men not appreciating black women. Not black women. Not society. When girls who actually believe in their own natural beauty are not a minority among black girls, maybe you should start complaining about black men. And I don’t know if you noticed, but whining about pressures of society doesn’t change anything. You don’t think the message should be something like, “Hey black girls, your hair is beautiful, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise”? Other demographics have their own pressures to deal with without the problem of unappreciated black women, most of whom fuel the same problem. So to point fingers at black men is a sign of a loser’s mentality, which in itself is unattractive. And at the end of the day if black women accept their beauty as it really should be and no one wants them, no one is worthy of them. That simple. I smelt the coffee a while ago. It just isn’t mine to sip.

    1. If you think it is whining, and this is your response to my article, then we are most certainly not on the same page and you do not understand the article. Thus, conversing with you would be futile.

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