I am a dark-skinned African American woman with features that reflect my ancestry. It is a fact that many African-Americans are often mixed with an array of other ethnicities (as am I), which allows for the spectrum of our features to be as distinctive and special as we are diverse. Why is it felt that the more diluted our traditionally African features become the more aesthetically acceptable we are considered?
Often dark-skinned women are considered mean, domineering and standoffish and it was these very labels that followed Michelle Obama during the campaign for her husband's presidency and which she has had to work tirelessly to combat. I was appalled when I heard a Black woman refer to Michelle Obama as unattractive. The conversation turned into why President Obama picked her as his mate.
As I began to delve into further research on this topic, and the more I read, I concluded that many of our people do not like what they see in the mirror. There is an adage "hurt people, hurt people". If this is true then we must examine the root of negative words and judgments that are passed on people. Perhaps we show progress in our wallets and lifestyles but not in our mind set. I nearly lost my life over something as superficial as having a flatter mid-section and trying to adapt to society's traditional definition of beauty. I truly believe that everyone has a right to delineate what they deem is attractive, but we must not confuse perceived "attractiveness" with authentic "beauty." It is important for African Americans, especially, to realize that true beauty is a spiritual element that lies deep within an individual's spirit.