Creative Writing

An Ode to Black Beauty

Photo Credit: Asboluv

The standard of beauty….. ahhhhh…..don’t you just love talking about it? I’m like literally itching to get this out on paper (I’m not literally itching but the point was made wasn’t it?)

I’m thinking of all the ways people of color have been oppressed, mentally and physically and recollect history lessons, particularly about African Americans who were made to feel inferior. No, they weren’t made to feel inferior. They were. Still are. Not because of their actual inferiority but because of a legal system that made it so. And after that legal system was attacked and dismantled (see Brown v. Board of Education, Loving v. Virginia, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 just to get your feet wet) white privilege still exists, but that’s a topic for another day.

The programs we watch on television, pages we flip in magazines, and all forms of media entering our easily manipulated psyches portray images that so easily and obviously translate as “white is smarter, prettier, and all-around better” and juxtaposes those images with mug shots, dancing, and sport playing that translate into “black is criminal, unattractive, and only good at these few things.”

Heavy ish for a Friday morning huh? Yes, I know but not as heavy as the conversations moms all across the country have to have with their daughters like,

            If you must have weave, can it at least be something with a little texture? I would love to get out of these Indian women’s heads.

A nose job? I’m not Kris Jenner and you, boo boo, are not Kim Kardashian. *walks away muttering something about Ray-J and that girl nasty and Kardashians ruining the whole d*** world*

Your lips and nose do go together. I don’t even know what you mean when you say they don’t. Both are big. Perfect match!

No baby, mommy is not ready to put a perm in your hair. I think your hair is so pretty the way it is right now, and we will wait until you’re a teenager before I let you start making semi-permanent decisions about it.

You want contacts? But your vision is fine isn’t it? Color contacts? Just for the color, not because you need help seeing? Michael, come talk to your daughter because she done lost her mind and you know how I feel about talking to the mindless.

So this is an ode to your beauty, black girl. Your undeniable, acutally-sets-the-standard-for-beauty, African-features-on-blast, you-didn’t-wake-up-this-way, hundreds-of-generations-of-blackness-made-you-this-way beauty.


Fi fi fo fum

Everybody wants to get them some

Of her chocolate caramel cocoa nutmeg

She’s something like a multi-layered, every shade of black and brown pastry

It’s so good

It’s alluring and exciting

I get riled up just writing

About it

This ish

Black beauty

Its greatness


Her wide nose

Her fat lips

Her dark eyes that don’t lie

And tell a story of a thousand years

She’s been revered

She’s been hated

She’s been sick and tired of being sick and tired

But she can take it

Those skinny legs and that strong back

You can’t break it

Cuz it’s built strong

She got a Levi’s body

And she’s Ford tough

She’s down to ride

Her hips this wide

Or she’s on the light side

With freckles and green eyes

And hair that lays down on her temples

My God, she treasures her temple

Her personal sanctuary

Her most treasured refuge

And from her face beams a light that’s dim

But you know it’s there

She’s bare

She’s her grandma’s brow bone

And her mother’s hard stare

You see Ethiopia and Brazil

She’s coffee and a carnival

Be a carnivore. And eat her up.

She’s just that good.

That black girl is undeniably beautiful

I'm Mariah. Jesus is my homie. I live in (and was raised in) the south. I am, as often as possible, actively grateful for my family because I understand their life giving power. Really dislike melodramatics. Really love reading and writing so much so that I aspire to be an author. What else?

2 comments on “An Ode to Black Beauty

  1. Well said! Let’s celebrate the beauty and strength of the black woman! Thank you!

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