‘You’re pretty for a black girl’
This backwards ‘compliment’ has got to go
Every time I hear someone say “you’re pretty for a black girl,” I lose a little more faith in humanity. I can’t tell if they’re just plain dumb and don’t realize what they’re saying or if they’re honestly just rude and genuinely mean it.
So, I started asking. One friend, who had moved from China to the U.S not too long ago, said she didn’t see what was wrong with it and she was merely trying to call me pretty. I then told her she was pretty for an Asian girl and she quickly realized the issue.
Another friend who tried to pass me that same “compliment” said he understood why I was insulted but didn’t think I should be because “it’s a compliment.”
But it’s not. If you’re one of those people that doesn’t understand what is so wrong with those words, let me tell you what they translate to.
“All black women tend to be ugly, but you’re better than the average – which is ugly. So, you’re less ugly.”
It hurts, a lot. How do you expect me to accept that “compliment” when you’re insulting my entire race and therefore, me too?
I can’t. Not only is it rude, but it’s a lie. There’s a range of beauty in every race. No one race tends to be ugly and neither does one tend to be pretty. If you want to say based on the beauty standards set by certain countries thanks to media and other factors, certain features that are favored are carried more in certain races, then sure.
But beauty varies and is truly in the eye of the beholder. For example, it wasn’t until that same Chinese friend told me that having a lot of junk in the trunk isn’t wanted in China that I knew it wasn’t considered a beautiful trait worldwide.
And yet, Kim Kardashian’s butt is wildly praised here in the US. So nobody can say that one race is beautiful and another isn’t, especially shamelessly like it’s a fact.
The problem with spreading an insulting lie like that to black girls cleverly concealed in the form of a compliment, is that some won’t think about what is actually being said. If you don’t think about it, you can easily find yourself believing it. Or, if you’re egotistical, you may even accept the compliment and look at others as ugly because they don’t look like you – continuing the cycle.
But we can’t afford to spread such nonsense, nor can we even allow it to live anymore. It’s up to everybody to stop it.
Black girls, when somebody tries to pass you that compliment, you need to tell them why that’s insulting and just plain wrong. Everybody else should point it out too when they hear someone say it.
Black is beautiful, white is beautiful, yellow, brown – every one. It’s 2016, lets get it together guys.