My thoughts continue to be stunted by the lack on sunlight in my environment. My tiny melanin rich skin cells are starved of vitamin d like those kids locked in the attic by their grand mom -- What was it?? Flowers in the attic?? Can someone tell me why we were reading such a traumatic book in fifth grade....how were they described? Four beautiful orphan children, tall, willowy and very very pale. Hmm, I bet if I were to reread those books I would get some specific sense of beauty and it would not look like me - read: the early hidden inculcation of proper beauty.
Where is this coming from right? My soul! (Joking but serious). Confrontation with my own wavering, sensitive and delicate self-esteem? (willowy and frail in a sense) Very likely.
But also this article I read about interracial marriage - they had this wonderfully 'objective' chart that described who married whom and at what rate. It makes sense, most 'races' - or more accurately cultures and skin colors - married themselves and then, in ranking order, asian, indian, and finally black. Okay I thought - I've been black and not Kerry Washington (thanks John Mayer and by thanks I mean FdotUdot) and so I get that black features etc. are the least desired. I was expecting that result and my shield was up and ready -- but then I spied with my, well, rather huge eyes a tiny innocuous line that read something like "Black women bear the brunt of white men's dislike" -- okay, maybe it wasn't innocuous. How (not) surprising! Really? White men dislike how we look the most? We're kinda told that everytime we ... dam near awaken. Was that a positive injection to the tall willowy self-esteem? No, but I ignored it.
What else happened you ask?
Well, let me tell you. This is another episode in the "This shit only happens to me" show - starring me every single sunless rainy day. A friend of mine and I went out this weekend, hanging out against our better judgement, invited by a very well to do and generally friendly guy friend of ours. Did I stuff enough information into that sentence? Apologies... I'm always rushing to the end (bookmark that for later).
We show and have a good time. He (well to do) is refilling the drinks with the (as he mentioned) no limit Amex and therefore folks get a bit ... friendly a.k.a 'filterless'. I did not mention that my girlfriend is a stunner - even john mayer would go for it - seriously. Tiny waist, light skin (I'm coming back to it just hold your breath!!!), hips and this long thick wavy midnight black hair. Soooo we are having a break from the revelry (I suspect they had entered the "what song is that phase of the night - aka "get another drink and let the 'feets' rest" set) and my friend inappropriately reaches over to my girl, sticks his hands into her hair and says "see kebs, I can get my hands through her hair...."
Well, now the cool thing to do would be to come back with some snappy comment about his appearance or penis size (I said it) or something of that vein - then everyone could have an uncomfortable chuckle, happy that I have defended myself and stood up for the beauty of blackness and counteracted the internal pain of white supremacy that would make a proud black man say that in jest to a dark skinned natural sister. The sucky thing is that my friend loves me (?)(...book mark book mark!!) and yet deeeeeep down still struggles with accepting the shape and color of black beauty.
How did I respond?
Too tired for clever quips. I simply said, "You know what friend? Many people find the way I look to be quite beautiful." Nothing like a sober comment to ..well sober up the moment!
But Ug. I'm tired. I'm tired of stealthy being told in so many creative ways (go ask some black women - any woman- [read:patriarchy/omnipotent] I don't have time to explain it to you) that my version of blackness (not kerry washington) is not beautiful. It takes alot of work to remind yourself [because few (not none)] will do it for you and they don't buy billboards on houston street, commercials on bravo, or ads in vogue -- so that leaves little 'ole me and my band of darkies always reminding ourselves -- yes sweety, you are beautiful...kinky, knotty, short black hair and all.
Please remove your foot from my neck. Thanks. kebs.