You’re pretty…for a black girl!

Too many black women and girls have heard these words uttered at some point in their lives, resulting in either cringes, shock or a quick retort.

Many black women have found themselves compared to white or lighter women to measure or gauge their attractiveness.

It is kind of the ultimate backhanded insult to level at a dark skin woman and, ironically, the men who say it usually dispense it like a compliment. For most, they think they are celebrating you and your beauty.

The reason some men do not see a problem with that statement is because in their eyes being black or dark-skinned is a burden; something to be either ashamed of or carried around like a cross. In their minds, black is akin to hardship so having darker skin means that your life is harder and more dismal or pathetic than everyone else’s.

For some men, complimenting a woman on being beautiful in relationship to her skin colour should be considered a compliment, but it’s far from it.

The comment is one of those preconceived stereotypes that people bandy about. Telling a woman that she is pretty for a black girl could mean that, in past, he has not found other black girls particularly attractive. It actually says more about him than he realises because it can imply that he does not usually look at or date individuals who look like you, but has decided to make an exception.

The statement more or less translates as, “Black girls are generally not considered pretty. Most are unattractive but since you look better than the average black girl, you are better than average. Your looks are acceptable.” It is disheartening to see that in 2020 we still have issues with colour and people still subscribe to the philosophy that ‘white is right’.

Black is beautiful. Period! There is no conditionality or clause to it. There is beauty in every race but the myriad of shades, hues and tones available and created in the black race makes us so unique, so extraordinary, so special that we often do not stop long enough to soak it in and embrace it. It should never be “You are beautiful for a black girl”, but rather “You are so beautiful.” Full stop.