Black beauty

Black beauty…black beauty…this phrase has been a preponderance of mine for some weeks now. I don’t know how, I don’t know from where, but I started to think about the implications of such a phrase and the origins thereof. I mean at first hearing it seems like a compliment right? I mean they’re calling you beautiful, very kind, chivalrous even.
However, on deeper thought, I started to see the twisted meaning of such a phrase. This might be just a fabricated and over emotional conclusion of mine (one of very many) but I think I’m actually on to something here. I concluded that black beauty is a derogatory statement, synonymous with the dreaded “pretty for a dark skin girl” rhetoric. I say this because I believe beauty should be beauty all across the board. I think one is beautiful and that’s it. Not Asian beauty or white beauty (these don’t even exist, just saying), or black beauty, just beauty. By saying black beauty, it seems as if this particular person is surprisingly beautiful especially because they’re black or dark skin, which points to the obvious idea that you truly believe that black people as a people are not necessarily beautiful, because once you do see a beautiful person and they happen to be black, they’re not just beautiful but what?…they are black and beautiful!
So I’ve spoken with people who don’t agree with me on this matter because they believe that it’s a term of endearment which I understand. They believe that calling someone a black beauty is acknowledging their beauty, a beauty that comes from their being black. And I always ask myself, if that’s the reasoning, why don’t you call the whole race of black people black beauties, because you’re ascribing the beauty to their being black? But you’re calling one person who happens to be darkskin and physically attractive a black beauty because you believe it’s a 1 in a million chance to find someone like that (dark skin and beautiful) in this world, which is completely erroneous, might I add. I’m completely aware of the underlying idea of colourism in this which I ask you to ponder deeper for yourself. I use the term darkskin deliberately because these are to whom the phrase is mostly directed. I am of the strong opinion that everyone in this world is beautiful, irrespective of physicality because beauty is deeper than what you look like, but the way this phrase is used is pertaining to the phenotype of a particular creature (I say this because horses have been called black beauties too). Furthermore, I’m also a strong participant in the loving your melanin movement, because due to colourism and other pests that attack our communities, I think my darkskin brothers and sisters need to be told that they’re beautiful and don’t need to alter their appearance to please a diseased society.
My whole idea in writing this is to make you think about the colloquialisms we use, if the ideas they possess are in relation with what we truly believe. If I haven’t changed your mind about this phrase, and you still feel the need to use it, please by all means do, but if you think I have a solid point, stop using the phrase. You find a person that happens to be black and beautiful, call them beautiful. Don’t categorize their beauty by saying black, instead appreciate it (compliments never hurt anyone).


One Reply to “Black beauty”

  1. Yup… I completely agree!! A simple ‘you’re beautiful’ or ‘beautiful’ is enough without having to add colorism. I feel like this whole ‘black’ beauty is another form of division, although I understand it’s somewhat done for empowerment .. but subliminally.. it’s still a divider

    Liked by 1 person

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