Thoughts & Feelings:
Honestly, I think there’s something in the air. This week I’m been getting a lot of compliments.
I like compliments just as much as the next person but I remember when I used to feel awkward. I was one of those people who didn’t know how to respond.
It’s got me thinking about the growth of my self-esteem. And more importantly about black women as a whole – and how we are perceived in society.
I’m part of a group chat at my new university and we were discussing black women and why they didn’t or don’t get praise for who they are or their appearance. It seems like something so trivial but as we unpacked it i was aware that it’s quite a touchy subject. We spoke on why as individuals and the opposite sex, shy away from black women. It was interesting to see people’s thought processes as the conversation went on. It really hit home for me. Because i remembered how I used to be and who I sometimes slip back into being.
No matter who I came across, I always had the question in my head: I wonder if they like me? I used to really want people, no matter who they were to accept me. In some capacity, I always felt i needed validation. Whether it was what I wore, how I spoke or even the type of music I listened to.
Because in my mind I felt inferior.
I used to think that people automatically chose to dislike me because of the colour of my skin and because of the stereotypes that had already been formed about the”typical black girl”. In making that assuming, I was already spoiling my chances… I was already putting myself in a box. That was damaging because it meant that I was subconsciously stopping myself from being my true self.
It wasn’t until the late teens that I realised that it’s not my job to get people to like me. and I should be comfortable in the skin I have been blessed with and have confidence in me. I am constantly evolving constantly working on being better. That’s my job and no one else’s.
While we were on the subject, I asked the question “why is it that black men don’t go for black women?” Now in asking this question I again was putting myself in that box. But I was being realistic to what goes on around me today.
The “love” and “attention” I receive is mostly from people who aren’t black.
Sidebar: I don’t mind this at all! I’m just opening up to you guys about my personal experiences.
As I said, most of the attention I used to receive came from people who aren’t black – hence the question. I was curious; the group was dominated by mostly black men. My issue was the response and some of the reasons why they came up as to why they didn’t “go” for or promote black women:
“They have too much attitude.”
“They’re too rude.”
*cue eye roll*🙄
These excuses don’t have any substance. Unfortunately, this is how black women are portrayed in most industries especially in the media.
That said, I do think we are doing a lot better than we were a couple of years ago. I mean it’s a lot better now… SO MUCH better! In the discussion it was even concluded that opinions and perceptions have changed as people have matured and learnt life lessons.
“Why don’t you like me?”
I’m pretty sure many, many, MANY black girls ask that question. Hell, even I’ve asked that question when I’ve interacted with people. I mentioned before about how I always wanted validation. The need was from fellow black women.
I decided – if black men wouldn’t and didn’t hold me in high regard – they would.
The tides are definitely changing now. We all still have a long way to go, but people are staying to take notice or black strong women, in leadership, in the media, in life. Viewing black women like the queens that they are.
I’d like to end by saying that, it’s okay to want compliments it’s okay to want people to notice you. We just have to be careful not to isolate one group in favour of another. That goes for everyone regardless of your skin colour, culture or location.
I’m now completely and utterly comfortable in my own skin. It took me a long time to get to a point where I didn’t need validation. I’m worth more and I have a lot more to offer than just my outward appearance.
And so do you!
It’s okay if people don’t like me. I like me. That’s the mantra.
It’s so SO important…
LOVE YOURSELF! And the rest will follow.