Glamour magazine recently reported that out of all the women they surveyed for their “50 States of Women” series, sponsored by L’Oréal Paris, black women report feeling the most confident, beautiful and successful than all other women surveyed.
In survey question after survey question, a pattern emerged: Black women consistently reported higher self-esteem than white or Hispanic women and—among other things—they were far more likely to describe themselves as successful (44 percent said so, compared with 30 percent of white women and 21 percent of Hispanic) and beautiful (59 percent, versus 25 and 32 percent). That’s consistent with other studies, says Jean Twenge, Ph.D., who has examined the effect of race on self-confidence. “Research shows black women score higher on self-esteem than women of other races and ethnicities, which may seem surprising, given the long history of prejudice and discrimination they have faced,” she said.
Yeah. We talk a good game, don’t we? While I would like to truly believe that black women feel this way, experience in this space tells me different. Warning: If you want to maintain your comfortable delusion that black girls rock and we really mean it, I would suggest you stop reading.
It’s not that we don’t want to feel like we’re the most beautiful and successful and most desired, we do. The facts suggest the opposite is true. Black women have been taught to be strong and show absolutely no vulnerability. There is no tolerance for weakness, and any show of emotions that other races of women are allowed to do (e.g. white girl tears) are mocked. You become a laughing stock.
So we lie about feeling strong, as we continue to lead the country in obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. We literally eat our emotions, and we’re especially not going to reveal to WHITE PEOPLE like L’Oréal Paris about what we truly feel. That’s a definite code violation.
Just look what happened last week when a black woman cried on camera that no black men were checking for her when she went to a Chris Brown concert. The comments blame the victim, and the black people are complexly merciless with their contempt. Note the phenotype of her appearance. This is detail will matter.
Her crying LITERALLY went viral. Not because people felt sorry for her, but because black people thought it was FUNNY. Those who didn’t laugh, blamed HER. Her hair is too short. She is dark and ugly. She dressed too slutty. She swirled with a white man and is therefore sullied. Her lipstick is wrong. She went to the wrong kind of concert. She was too short. She was too skinny. She was born in February. Her house faces North. You get the idea.
When there is no compassion for you, no empathy for your sadness, no real way to talk about your anxieties, you portray a false bravado just to survive. Asian people call this, “saving face.”
Even the article alludes to this. Jasmine Zapata, 30, a pediatrician from Madison, Wisconsin, understands that phenomenon and says her family helped build her self-confidence. “I was brought up to be resilient and tough and to make it work despite your circumstances,” she says. “That definitely [raised] my confidence and optimism.” Translation: You knew there wasn’t going to be any protection or safety net, and your mother raised you to be independent because that’s literally all the choice you have. Read Toni Morrison and Motherhood, and you’ll get the idea.
So as the white community gazes down in wonder at how such a downtrodden group of women can continue to tell them they feel more beautiful and confident than everyone else, I would challenge you to look deeper. We’re not doing ourselves any favors by parroting things that we don’t really internalize.
❤️ If you think you’re the most beautiful, stop running after and blindly worshipping the type of men who think your authentic African features are ugly. Beautiful women need not be supplicants.
❤️ If you are the most confident and successful, stop throwing your fellow sisters under the bus for a pat on the head by people who express contempt for us through misogynoir.
❤️ If you have the highest self-esteem, then stop giving your immortality so cheaply with high out-of-wedlock birthrates. Recognize when you need self care, which includes mental health. People who love themselves don’t sacrifice their own health and well-being.
In short, I want black women to KEEP saying they are beautiful, confident and successful, but I want them to really MEAN it. The only way you can “mean it” is if you make the necessary changes to remove yourself from emotional dependence of toxic people who tell you that you can’t be like other women. You need to seek love and acceptance from men (of all races) who will celebrate your unique beauty. You will travel and read books, and open your mind. You will challenge yourself. You will eat wholesome foods and take care of your body. You will give your time, energy and emotions to worthy causes, but never too much that it becomes a burden to you. You will put yourself first, and stop being a living sacrifice.
Follow Christelyn on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our You Tube channel. And if you want to be a little more about this online dating thing, InterracialDatingCentral is the official dating site for this blog.