Dear Black Girl
They tell you you’re pretty… for a dark-skinned girl. I mean… sure, you’re an 8, but if you were just a little lighter? You’d be a perfect 10. They say you speak reeeeeeeeal good… for a ‘coloured’ girl. When you tell them you’re into classical; heavy metal; pop, they act surprised, like… shouldn’t you be into rap? Um… are you even… black?
In school, they once told you your hair looked like their pubes; said your nose was so wide, it looked like you’d been sniffing coke; made sure they let you know that your lips, the ones you were born with, were just too big, too much, just… ugh. And so, you wanted to wear it straight; only took photos with your head side-on; held your mouth tightly whenever you smiled, so it’d look a little more like theirs.
When you hold their gaze head-on ’cause you finally love all your features… | Brown snakeskin crossbody bag: M&S, similar at Topshop
And now, you’re grown. But still we tell you you’re not black enough. Are you mixed? ‘Cause your skin’s not dark enough. You must be ’cause your curls are loose enough. But are you? Black, we mean… ’cause you’re not quite curvy enough. Black girl in a white girl’s body ‘cause your boobs aren’t big enough; butt’s not round enough; thighs ain’t thick enough. Oreo. Coconut. Nigga… Was that with an ‘er’ or an ‘a’? Wait… does it even matter when you’re… Never. Quite. Enough?
The way you raise your eyebrow when they dare make you question whether you’re enough… | Brown marble rectangle earrings: Primark, similar on eBay
Oh, but Dear Black Girl, you are more than enough. See, what we didn’t tell you,
Dear Lola, is that there’s beauty in your uniqueness. What they just can’t see,
Dear Grace, is that your hair stands up like a crown ’cause you’re a queen. What they’ll never care to say,
Dear Naomi, is that your nostrils are wide so you can inhale all that BS they throw at you… and puff it straight back out again.
See, Dear Black Girl…
That ear for music is what got you that scholarship.That butt that’s too flat? She sits pretty… just like she’s supposed to.Those thighs that look like ‘toothpicks’ will win help you win that marathon someday. So when they; when we tell you that you’re not enough, just reply, with your head held high, that you’re too much of a carefree black girl to give a damn about whatever the heck they, or we, think.