A while back, I was asked by a website (which will remain nameless) with a predominately African American audience to write a post about why I find black women beautiful. I passed on that unpaid opportunity. Not because I don’t think black women are beautiful, they are. I passed because the idea of dedicating an entire post to explaining why black women are beautiful seemed ridiculous to me. It felt like I would be stating the obvious. Why would I need to remind black women they are beautiful when seeing and accepting black women as beautiful is as natural to me as informing someone the sky is blue?

But, maybe I was wrong.

Until I started writing for predominately black websites I truly underestimated the color plight both internal and external to the black community. I was passively aware of it but it wasn’t until I was fully immersed in the comments and blogs written by and for (mostly) black consumption that I realized, stated bluntly, black people have a lot of damn issues. Least of which is our color complex.

When I say “black women are beautiful” I am describing all black women. All shapes, sizes, hairstyles and skin tones. I say this with minimal effort because it’s a fact to me. It occurs as naturally as breathing. Because it can’t be said enough, I’ll say it again, black women are beautiful.

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Still, I will admit that one of the difficulties I had in writing the requested post was I couldn’t adequately segregate what I found beautiful about black women specifically. You see, I find women beautiful period. I also believe all women naturally go through issues that are unique to women. However, I did not find these difficulties unique to black women. Granted, I am not a black woman and I will readily accept that I am not privy to the unique difficulties which may be experienced solely by black women.

Additionally, because of the beauty encompassed in all the various shades and features of black women, I could not sufficiently quantify the sole qualities I found beautiful within black women and black women alone. In other words, in describing the beautiful attributes of black women, I would be essentially explaining the beauty of women. Frankly, to me, women are beautiful but that’s not what you came here to read today.

The comments on Dr. J’s post highlighted many of the issues I see when witnessing black women’s interactions within their own sex and beyond. Nevertheless, if the following do not apply to you, then they are not meant for you and you should move on with your life amicably.

1) Light Skin v. Dark Skin. I genuinely do not understand how a light or a dark skin woman/man, who identifies themselves as black, can so eagerly disrespect another man/woman who identifies themselves as black because of their skin tone. None of us had a say in choosing our skin tone. None. Specific to today’s topic though, I will never understand how a woman can claim to be pro-black then turn around and define what black is while leaving out whole swathes of the same race of women you claim to be defending. This doesn’t make sense.

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2) The “European Complex.” You cannot say if a dark skin male finds a light skin female attractive he has a color complex as defined by this alleged “European Standard” which if it does exist – and I’m not saying it doesn’t – would affect everyone INCLUDING EUROPEANS WHO DO NOT LIVE UP TO SAID STANDARD, but if a light skin female finds a dark skin male attractive, that’s how it should be. This is an inherently flawed and blatantly contradictory logic. This doesn’t make sense.

3) You cannot add using division. Defining what is black automatically discriminates against black people that do not meet your often made up and increasingly fluid standard. It would behoove black women (and the black community as a whole) to move away from this toxic mindset as quick as possible. All black people are not from Africa and many of you have never been, have no plans to go, and are so far removed from African heritage you can’t name a place in Africa that wasn’t in an infomercial you saw on BET. If black is beautiful, then accept that black is indeed beautiful in all its various complexions. More importantly, accept all that would like to be a part of that beauty and would embrace it with equal measure if only you would allow them to do so. This makes sense.

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As a young black man masquerading as an all knowing grown black male writer, I sometimes feel I’m at a disadvantage. Having had a positive black role model in my life, my father, and an equally positive black woman in my life, my mother, I honestly cannot relate to some of the visceral comments/blogs I read on the Internet when it comes to black male and female relations. To a point, it saddens me that I even have to affirm something as apparent as the fact that black women are beautiful. Well, duh! But, if it needs to be said, it needs to be said. Truth is, I don’t have as much of a problem saying it as I do with the fact that it needs to be said at all.

Maybe that is the real problem…