Pretty Women

Pretty Women

Where do I begin? It’s incredibly difficult to break a habit that is generations in the making but I do try—one woman at a time. In my experience, the challenge of women accepting a complement transcends culture and race; for the sake of this blog however, I’m focusing on women of color. We each emanate a special kind of beauty that resonates when someone pays an unexpected compliment and it comes from an unexpected source—another female. If, in our perception, we feel that the woman giving the compliment is beautiful in her own right and sincere, we dismiss the compliment with a self-deprecating comment such as ‘girl please’ or ‘yeah right’. I still haven’t pinned down if it’s because we are trying to be humble and don’t know how; if we desperately want to believe that what that person sees is truly there and she is not just trying to be nice; if we don’t know how to accept a compliment because family, men, or society have placed qualifiers on the definition of a beautiful black woman (we aren’t all model thin, heavily endowed in the breast, hip, behind, with exotic eye shape/color, silky long tresses, society’s acceptable skin color or weight and height), or if we feel as if it’s a set up for someone to give a backhanded insult: ‘you’re really pretty to be dark-skinned or plus-sized or with those lips…’ We’ve all heard them before so I understand the pain involved in taking a chance to believe in the sincerity from other women. I understand how difficult it is, even when we proclaim to the world that we love ourselves as-is, to just say thank you. But I say to you my sisters: there is no arrogance in saying thank you. Not all women have a hidden agenda. The compliment you pay a stranger about the smallest thing you like about her will take away the feeling that you hate her for something that she is used to being hated for; she will not mistake your staring or fleeting glance as jealousy. And lastly when you say it with a warm heart without the need for reciprocity and the challenge for her to do the same to the next female she encounters, we can then begin to break the cycle of unnecessary feelings of resentment toward each other. It has to start with us. Clearly left up to the world we will always be angry Black women. You are beautiful. Go Be Amazing!

Share a time when you complimented a stranger or someone complimented you.

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  1. I will simply say “Thank you” with nothing extra added.

  2. Hello, I read your blog from time to time and I own a similar one and I was jst curious if you get a lot of
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    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any support is very much appreciated.

    • Hi! I’m telling you that I delete as I go. However, it may be the format of your website and/or the type of plugins that you have. Jacqueline (twitter handle @helpbusiness) can help you get back on track. She’s professional and fair. Cheers!

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