just something I got to thinking about the other day…
my white friends tell me a lot that they wish they had my physical appearances.
I wish I had your thick curly hair.
I would do anything for curves like yours.
You have such nice skin color.
And I know they mean perfectly well. They think I am beautiful, as I do them, but my answer is pretty much automatic and always the same.
No you don’t.
I always answer this because I never thought of myself as being particularly attractive and because I think my friends look fine the way they are.
But now that I that I think more about it, part of the reason I tell my white friends that they don’t want to look the way I look is because my features are simultaneously exoticized and demonized.
You want my thick curly hair? Be ready to deal with being called messy, dirty, and unprofessional for leaving it natural.
You want my curvy body and butt? Go ahead and deal with being called fat and lazy and unlovable. Alternatively, being ogled and fetishized for being “thick.” (And this is coming from someone who pretty much has a lot of thin privilege, but in my culture, being chubby is tantamount to really fat.)
You want my skin color? More fetishization for not just being brown, but a lightskinned brown girl. I’m more acceptable, but oh the microaggressions are everywhere.
And even if a white girl happens to have one or ALL of those features, she would be praised up and down for it, but still get to be just a white girl.
I understand that ALL girls regardless of race go through self esteem issues with their appearance because of society standards, but you, as a white woman, are the literal standard of beauty. If I looked like my Typical White girlfriend, with her pin straight hair, super fair skin, and straight, small hipped body type, my family wouldn’t give me as much shit as they do now. And yet you want to look like me…why?
So white friends, when you tell me that you wish you had certain features of mine…think about how you’re reducing me to certain features. I appreciate you trying to make me feel good about myself…but it kinda isn’t tho.