Why does it always have to be this deep?

Last week, I dropped a post about qualities that I go out and look for in someone that I would consider a companion. I don’t think I did anything wrong. However, things got hectic when I tried to make a corollary with Amber Rose and implied that she was the “wifey standard.” To be clear, I didn’t say she is the “wifey standard” – that was a classic case of someone else putting words in my mouth. I simply listed five observations as qualities I desired in a mate. Out of the five, only one pertained to her looks, race, or skin complexion; “She’s beautiful, knows it, but doesn’t let it define her.” In all things, this was about my personal quest for companionship; I never once said that every Black man on earth is looking for a woman like Amber Rose. This reaction highlights the issue of Black female insecurities.

If things could only be that easy

What ends up happening shortly after the article was posted was the typical showing of the ass that goes on when someone writes a post about any woman who does not represent the “stereotypical Black woman” who all Black men between the ages of 12-85 should be attracted to. As if, one exists…

It immediately got me thinking. Why do Black women feel pain when they believe their men are only interested in lighter or unrealistically pretty women instead of them? Seriously, do we, the men, cause this insecurity? I don’t think so, it’s simply not fair. This discussion brings to light the complexities of black female insecurities.

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Self-Esteem and Insecurity

Katt Williams said in his standup, “How can I [mess] up how you feel about you?” I couldn’t agree more. Many women will claim that they don’t lack self-esteem or have any insecurity, but then I’d have to ask, “Well, then why does it bother you when the girl doesn’t look like you?” It’s because deep down in places that we don’t want to go often there is some emptiness of feeling “Why not me” or “Why does it have to be this way?” That feeling is the sole responsibility and fault of the person who bears that feeling. You cannot blame someone else for your feelings of inadequacy or the belief that the odds are against you.

Broader Perspectives

Nobody says, “You know what, I’ve decided to stop believing in God because if God loved me he wouldn’t create a world in which men preferred light-skinned women over dark-skinned women.” Nope, they regulate all that hate to Black men. What’s worse is they don’t even take the time to think, “Do men have this same problem?” If you did, you’d find out… we don’t. Was there a time when as a dark (or brown or whatever new term people come up with to avoid just being dark and light) skinned male I looked up and thought that light-skinned folks were getting more attention than me? Yep, and I got over that sh*t. I didn’t need anybody to send me to therapy, I didn’t cry any “why won’t mama get me gray contacts” tears, I just kept moving.

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A Shared Experience

Well, Dr. J if you had to endure it for years in every facet of your life. If the media told you that you were inadequate, if nobody ever told you that you were beautiful, if it was on TV, radio, or movies, and all the girls always tended to like the light skin or the not even Black guys, you would understand. – women

OK, Sofia.

Listen, that problem does not only regulate to just Black women. They’re just the only people who like to spend so much time on it. Do you think that we didn’t notice that Colin Powell and Barack Obama had a shot at the White House, but Hermain Cain couldn’t even get the time of day? We noticed, and we moved on. Do you think that because I know for a fact that the media would love to put a brother in front of the camera who looks as far away from the “stereotypical Black” man as possible hold me back? Hell no, I moved on from all that. These reflections reveal a broader societal pattern beyond black female insecurities.

Personal Insecurities

My personal insecurities are issues that I have with myself. The only way they hold me back is if I start to wish I wasn’t the way I was. That’s the message that has to somehow get through to Black women. If you think you’re beautiful and you think you’re awesome, then it shouldn’t matter that a random man finds Amber Rose attractive. If you are confident in your own right, then when you hear anything that doesn’t seem like you, you move on. No one needs to write dissertations, no one needs to shed tears, no one needs to make comparisons to some larger sociological issue at play, it’s just that simple, ‘Fine, that’s how he/she/they feel. Let’s move on.’

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As Black men, we find the conversation about it exhausting. We have ample reasons to complain, but we choose not to join in the discussion. It’s old, tired and everyone is so over it. In our world, there are so many more pressing issues than debating about men’s preferences for women who do not resemble their mothers. Or a discussion about what would happen if she was a few shades darker. At the end of the day, most Black men feel this way, “WHO CARES?!” Therefore, if you’re going to spend your time pontificating on all the issues that fall out of that conversation, don’t be surprised when there are no men around to participate.

– Dr. J