What I Look Like

by / Wednesday, 11 March 2015 / Published in Something to think about

What I Look Like

 

I keep hearing “she may be African-American but she has white features. She may look white but she has got to have something in her. Look at her nose, her lips, her butt.”

In college I had a beautiful African-American dark chocolate skinned friend with long thick hair and what would be described to some as traditional “African-American” features. Now, when I say beautiful, I mean traffic stopping. Whenever we went out, guys threw themselves at her while the rest of us, not unattractive by any means watched in awe.

In college, I had a beautiful African-American light skinned friend, with short thick hair and what would be described to some as traditional “Caucasian” features. Now, when I say beautiful, I mean traffic stopping. Whenever we went out, guys threw themselves at her while the rest of us, not unattractive by any means watched in awe.

Was it the color of their skin or their traditional features that made them so attractive? Or, was it the fact that one was short and one was tall. Could it have been that one was a Business major and the other a Social Science major? Could it have been that one was in a sorority and the other wasn’t? They were both from the same city, only children, spoiled rotten, had flat butts and most importantly both African-American.

I have read and heard so much lately about black features and white features and I find it disturbing. Why do we as a society still hold to the notion that looking black means we do or looking white means we don’t have thick lips or a wide nose? What if my naturally curly hair has a softer looser curl versus a coarser tighter curl? What if I am the color of cinnamon, caramel, chestnut, cocoa, mahogany, honey, wheat or have a little cream in my coffee? What if I have medium lips and a medium nose? What “box” do I check then?

A 2013 Census Update  reported there were 7.5 million people who identified as being more than one race living in the U.S. That was only 2.5% of the population but that number increased four fold between 2010 and 2013. Now that it’s 2015 I have to imagine there are way more people walking around with a beautiful mix of traditional “Black”, “White”, “Hispanic”, “Asian” and other features. They have noses, lips, eyes, and butts that run the entire spectrum.

It’s time to discard our antiquated beliefs of white features and black features, of traditional standards of beauty and start referring to our inner beauty, our compassion for each other, and our desire to make the world a better place. It’s time to teach our children that beauty comes in all colors, all shapes, all hair textures, and all sizes of noses and lips. It’s time for our magazines, television shows, movies, toys, books and dolls to reflect the diversity that is our world. But, most importantly it’s time for us to open our hearts and minds to each other and stop trying to look for superficial cosmetic reasons to accept or reject each other.

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