There is a saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This has been known to be true since time immemorial. When Black people find themselves in juxtaposition with white people, however, many tend to second guess their beauty. This is true in spite of the subjectivity of the concept of beauty and has its roots in oppression.
It is very common to hear Black people refer to themselves as being judged based on the “color of their skin.” This has become true around the world with Black people and other people of color. If truth be told, the sociological processes evident between Black people and white people are far more than mere differences in skin color; there are differences in temperament, musicality, cultural preferences, and much more.
With that said, let’s look at the superficial differences in what we call “beauty.” There is an obvious colorism among Black people wherein light skin tends to be preferred over dark skin. Light eyes are often preferred over dark colored eyes, and so-called “good” hair is preferred over kinky hair. Keep in mind that there is nothing inherent in straight hair, light skin or light eyes that lends value. Clean, kinky hair is just as beautiful as straight hair. Regarding skin color, darker skin seems to have more “durability” than whiter skin, as evidenced in the saying that “Black don’t [sic] crack,” but that doesn’t denote value.
The late, great Black Panther member, Eldridge Cleaver, actually wrote in a book that all Black men secretly desire lighter-skinned women. Also, recently the leader of an African country had to actually pass a law to make it illegal for Africans in his country to use skin lighteners due to the prevalence of their usage!
Black women tend to bear the brunt of these attitudes, with some pundits pointing out the notion that they are the least desired women on the planet. Black women tend to not be as valued, especially among some Black men, as women of other races. Recently, a Black NBA player, Patrick Patterson, implied that Black women were Bulldogs! How ridiculous, and more importantly, how embarrassing.
Fast forward to TRUTH: can the world be finally waking up regarding the beauty and power of Black women? Incredibly, on Sunday, December 8, 2019, South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe 2019! She won out over women from 89 other countries worldwide!!! The pageant took place in Atlanta, GA at Tyler Perry’s Studios; Steve Harvey hosted the event. Ms. Tunzi is not a light-skinned Black woman with long flowing hair; in fact, she is beautifully brown with a short natural! This is indeed a new day, and Black women all over the world should feel vindicated by this demonstrated appreciation of Black beauty. Ms. Tunzi said, during the pageant, “I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin, and my kind of hair, isn’t considered beautiful. I think that it is time that stops. I want children to look at me, see my face and see themselves.”
In addition to Ms. Tunzi’s triumph, during the past year, Black women’s beauty was honored in all of the major pageants for the first time in history. Nia Imani Franklin was crowned Miss America 2019; Cheslie Kryst was crowned Miss USA 2019; and Kaliegh Garris was crowned Miss Teen USA 2019!!! Black Girl Magic is in full effect. And keep in mind that these pageants do not just highlight physical beauty; brains are also a factor in judgment.
Ultimately, anti-Black attitudes among Blacks are evil, and more importantly, stupid! To devalue each other is counter-productive and injurious to the Black community. The triumphs witnessed by Black women during 2019 hopefully represent the beginning of a new direction for Black women and, by extension, Black people. While the world is beginning to take notice of the beauty of Black women, let’s hope that people closer to home do the same. Let’s hope that Patrick Patterson and other Black men of that ilk who thumb their noses at Black women come to their senses in order to appreciate the women in their own back yards. After all, they came from Black women, and when they devalue them, they are dissing their own origins. A Luta Continua.