After the conversation with my Kings about their experience, I wanted to know what they thought about beauty. I know they are visual, noticing how young ladies are presented, but is skin shade a factor? Being a plus model, I know that shape and size are. I don’t mind them having a preference, but I want them to be open to the mind and spirit of the person. So I asked, “What makes a girl pretty? Does the color of her skin make a difference?”
Free Spirit: “I don’t care what shade they are, it’s about the person and how they treat you. That’s what lasts.”
Jock: “I don’t like dark skinned girls. If she is dark, or brown, she needs to have pretty skin (no scars). I like light skinned girls; the lighter, the better. I like white girls. And I like long natural hair or a good weave, like you taught me.”
Combo Kid: “Their skin color doesn’t matter. I like a great personality.”
Boss: “Color doesn’t matter, but she’s got to be healthy with pretty teeth. I don’t want a bald girl.”
Daredevil: “I don’t like girls.”
Humanitarian: “It doesn’t matter. I like long braids. I like a smart girl.”
Well, it looks like their preferences are surfacing early. They all agreed that they liked a “medium sized girl with curves like momma.” That felt good, knowing they have a positive example of a woman at home. Hopefully that will help them filter the exaggerated images and ideals from the world. When the Humanitarian mentioned a “smart girl,” I felt more relief. I am surprised his older brothers had not mentioned it sooner, as that should be a minimum requirement.
When the Jock said “the lighter the better,” I had to slowly countdown from 10. Where did that come from?! I immediately wondered if it was a conditioned perception or just personal preference. He could only explain that he liked someone closer to his complexion. After all, his grandmothers are lighter in shade and great women. I don’t oppose biracial relationships, but with my medium brown skin tone, I was slightly offended that his first choice was another race. I know that it doesn’t make me any less beautiful, but what does he think of me? After all, I’m supposed to be the most beautiful image of a woman that he knows (until he meets his future wife). Well, he does think that I am beautiful…beautifully “light skinned.” Huh?! His brothers and I do not agree. It’s evident that he only sees light or dark skin tones; something he has no explanation for.
That mini panic got me thinking again. How do boys’ opinions play a role in how girls see themselves? I am sure that the amount of attention girls receive has a direct influence on how they treat their bodies and display them to the world. Of course other factors play a part, but think about all of the silly, unsafe, and unhealthy things that girls have done (are doing) to be noticed and recognized by the opposite sex. Changes to the hair, skin color, body parts (minor and extreme) happen daily in efforts to catch and keep someone’s affection.
We must strengthen our children; create a nurturing foundation with values and character. Negative influences are rampant, so they need to know to not judge on biases and understand their preferences. After all, the makeup brush and the knife won’t fix the soul.
Until next time… Andrea