My mind is colonized
When I look in the mirror I see two women.
The FIRST is a beautiful woman. The SECOND is a beautiful BLACK woman.
The second woman holds less power. She is inferior. She is stigmatized. She is beautiful but not beautiful enough. She is desirable but not desirable enough.
Her brown skin is dirty–a site of pain and insecurity
Her hair is ugly. It looks better when it’s not there.
This second woman is jealous of white women for their power–-in particular, their status as “universally beautiful.” In fact, she is jealous of all the women who stand ahead of her on the spectrum of “universal beauty.” The spectrum that has white women here (does a hand gesture) and black women here (does a second hand gesture illustrating a scale)
This second woman, she notices white women being privileged in all spaces. Every space. Foreign, local, black, white, college, professional, public, private. She could be in Jamaica, a black country, or the suburbs of South Florida–the privilege is always there.
She envies white bright women for being able to approach a black man and likely peak his interest while she can approach a white man, or any man for that matter, and very likely be rejected because her blackness makes her undesirable. If not undesirable altogether, then undesirable compared to the whiter and brighter options in sight.
She finds validation in the white men who do find her attractive, as if the interest of a white man is confirmation that she is truly beautiful. Not just luke-warm beautiful or beautiful “for a black girl” but. . . just beautiful.
She struggles to acknowledge the pain of her biracial and multi-ethnic sisters because in the eyes of the world they are superior to her. She can’t help but wonder. . . if she looked like them. . . maybe she would not have been assaulted, falsely arrested, and violated on the side of the highway at 9 o clock in the morning during a traffic stop.
This woman–the second woman–is waiting impatiently for the world to see her.
Her mood switches as she becomes happy, cheerful, and full of expression.
The first woman. . . She. . . She is beautiful because. . . she just is.
Her skin. . . brown like mocha. . . is enchanting. Changing from color to color, shade to shade–across her surface. Across time. Across seasons.
Her eyes. . . Almond. . . Deep. . . Dark, like the matter.
Her nose. . . bold, big, round, perfect
Lips rich, soft. . . full
And her hair. . . kinky as ever. Nothing short of rebellious. It is complicated. It is unapologetic. It is different every day. Every month. Every year. It is a work of art. And when she takes the time to get to know it, it becomes malleable. It bonds with her. It submits to her. It becomes HER masterpiece.
This woman flirts like a free child. . . wild–-dancing through life, through space, for herself and with herself.
She seeks validation from no one. Not the black man, not the white man, not even her man, no woman, no human. . . Only herself.
Jealousy of other women evades her like a child on punishment hiding from his-her-their parents.
There is beauty in her body, yes. . . but her mind does not rest there. It is elsewhere with no cares, no worries about the stares. She is so much more than just. . . beautiful
Both women have big personalities
They take up space. They alter spaces. They switch places. Changing moods. Changing faces. Confusing laymen.
Though the first woman is who I choose to be, sometimes she loses.
Sometimes she suffocates under the tight grip of the other.
Sometimes she gives up and retreats to a quieter place, a place where she does not have to fight to be me.
My mind is colonized
And I notice it the most when I look in the mirror.