Ode to Black British Boy

I’m moving to London.

Drake told his girl “sweatpants, hair tied, chillin’ with no make-up, that’s when you’re the prettiest” and I do hope she did not take it wrong.
I’ve been told numerous times that guys are attracted to the soap-and-water girls. You know, the girls who don’t need a lot of primping, fluffing, powdering, and lifting to look beautiful.
Yet it seems like the only time I could get a brotha to holla is when I wear the bodycon skirt and the top that shows a bit too much cleavage. (I know bodycon skirts aren’t the most appropriate, but they’re so cute, and CHEAP!).
So imagine my surprise this week when a mystery man stopped me on my walk back to my dorm.

I don’t want to bore you with my sad story that must be accompanied by the world’s smallest violin, but you do need some background info before you can fully appreciate the experience I’m about to share.

First you must know that I have never felt bad about myself or the way I look. Sure, I had my awkward skinny-fat middle school years (and the most blindly intense level of self confidence that makes middle schoolers the most obnoxious people on earth). I know I’m not a troll, and I also recognize that I’m far from the most gorgeous gal in America, but I think I’m pretty darn decent. And that’s enough for me.

Now, let’s zoom in on the military base that my family and I got stuck on for the past 8 years. Bellevue, Nebraska is a pretty small town and the oldest city in Nebraska (fun fact) and much to my surprise when I moved there, I found the most mulatto children I had ever seen. Of course I never assumed they were mixed until I saw their parents or they told me themselves.
As a light skinned, hazle eyed, brown hair girl with two black parents, I was fully aware that African Americans come in almost every shade of brown with an array of features.
But I kept being told left and right that they we’re actually mixed. I was even more surprised that they assumed I was mixed too. It wasn’t just my looks, but my darker complected, brown eyed, black hair father who most Nebraskans assumed made me with a white woman.
Not that I believe anything is wrong with interracial dating (and mating). I have a WONDERFUL aunt who just so happens to be white and mother to formerly met Jadah (This is about fashion.)

The problem I have with my beloved hometown is while the relationships between black guys and white girls are encouraged (or perhaps expected), the black girl has been openly shunned in the process.
As my Bellevue West High School peers have already read in the school’s newspaper column, there is a difference between personal preference and group hate.
To sum it up, this is what I’ve been accustomed to hear over the past 8 years:

Black girls are ugly.
Black girls are ghetto.
Black girls are mean.
I don’t date black girls.
I would never date a black girl.
Well…maybe if she was super sexy and not too dark.
Now before you start cursing white people in your heads, know that a majority of these comments are from the brothas themselves. Yes, even the ones who love and find beauty in their black mothers and sisters.
Even though I was fully aware that Bellevue was just a very, very small corner of the world, I have to admit that it’s put a bit of a stain on the way I think other people perceive me.
(If you’ve gotten to this point and you feel disturbed/concerned, don’t pity us, go get Oprah or Anderson Cooper or somebody to cover this wacked out ish.)
ANYWAY!
Here I am at college, leaving the cafeteria after a long day of classes and walking that has frizzed my hair into a ponytail, and a nap that almost made me late for my evening class causing me to throw on some sweats and chucks. My ear-buds are in, and I’m power walking through the wind with a blah expression that happens to look like my natural, relaxed expression – pissed the hell off.
Then a tall guy on a bike pulls up beside me and asks me to stop for a second.
I paused my music (Eagles of Death Metal if you were wondering) and took out one ear-bud, expecting him to ask me where something on campus was since apparently a lot of people here assume I’ve been here longer than I have. So I was prepared to say “I don’t know, I’m a freshman” and deal with the awkward silence that immediately follows, and then I got hit by train.
“I’m sorry, but I just had to say
 you are unbelievably beautiful. 
Sorry if I wasted your time at all.”
And I smoothly replied “Uhhhhh mmm thank you, and uh, er, no, er um that just er made mm day.”
And off the tall, black, British kid rode.
Sure since I been in Chicago I’ve had the occasional old homeless man, old construction worker, and drunken college student tell me his interest, but I can honestly say I’ve never been approached like this in my life.
He didn’t try to flirt, get my number, follow me home or anything.
The kid said he thought I was beautiful and left.
And there I was walking home wondering if I was in fact still passed out on my bed dreaming this all up, or if there was a group of guys waiting for him down the street, cracking up laughing that he took the bet to throw some false hope at an average braud. (See what I did there?)
I had heard the line on Love & Basketball that apparently “Italian men love them some black women” but after some research it turns out that most European countries are openly interested in black women.
Blogs upon blogs of black women traveling to Europe express their great surprise at German, Turkish, French, and British men approaching them and showering them with praise and adoration of their kinky-curly hair, voluptuous curves, and brown skin. (Check out Urban Travel Girl).Things that have constantly been put in the negative back home. (Ironically, most of the guys still try to live the Hip Hop life, Tupac lyrics and Jordans included but have yet tried to copy the black women on rappers arms, Kanye currently excluded from the critique of course).

Even my own brother, God bless him and I love him dearly, has an off view of and ridiculous standards for dating black women.
I could on-and-on about this (just ask my guy friends from back home) but my point is this:
In order to heal the deep impression on my brain that has been encouraged not just from the media (which I could also go on-and-on about excluding, degrading, and undermining black women) but from my hometown and the people who are closest to me, I need to get my big black butt to London.
And maybe make a few more stops across Europe.
Here’s my vulnerable moment, so enjoy it, cause I’ll need to make a lot more sassy and sarcastic posts to flush this out of my system:
EVERY woman deserves to be told she is beautiful. Not sexy, not hot, not DTF – BEAUTIFUL! 
Each person has their own personal definition of beauty, but that definition should not be restricted by race.
Sure, race can be a factor. I can honestly say I’ll be more interested in an attractive looking man if he was black, but said man’s attractiveness wouldn’t be hindered if he were another race.
Someone’s “ugliness” is not caused by their race. If a guy from Bellevue finds a black girl unattractive, well that girl’s unattractiveness is his own perspective and not the problem or burden of ALL black women.
And if I’m not receiving the kind of reassurance I need at home, then maybe I do need to go somewhere I can be reminded that I’m worthy of being beautiful.
Then maybe next time when a man is kind enough (and brave enough) to approach an angry looking and slovenly dressed sista just to say that she’s beautiful, I’ll have the confidence to step up to the conversation.
This is,
MAB

 

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3 Comments

  1. Love this. Made me laugh a lot lol, I think this is a very intelligent and realistic from a black girl's point of view perspective . Same ol Olivia haha . So happy this happened to you ! Bout time somebody had the courage to tell you about the beauty that was there all along 🙂

  2. I will always know when it's you haha and thanks so much! For reading this, commenting on it, and the compliment 🙂 You know I always have a lot to say and this blog is helping me dump it all out, but I wanted this post to be for every sista in Bellevue (or other cities like it) who are beginning to judge themselves.
    On the real though, now I'm on a hunt for this kid! I have no idea how to find him cause I know nothing about him and there's too many people on this campus lol I'd never have this problem back home!

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