Why Don’t More Sistas Smile at Each Other?
It would be nice if black women smiled more. It would be nice if they were friendlier.
Why do so many of us walk around frowning all day and then get upset when people assume we have attitudes? Is it part of the “bad Beyotch” image? I don’t get it. Yes, a strong, straight face can exude strength and (false) overconfidence. But, it is also standoffish and cold. The result is a woman who appears unapproachable.
Black men think black women have attitudes. I am a black woman and, sometimes, I think so too. However, I think it runs deeper than the perception of a bad attitude. For most, I see it as a front to appear arrogant. Egotism and arrogance has been celebrated by us in urban media and hip-hop. Look at black royalty like Kanye West and Beyonce, singing and rapping about their over-sized egos. It’s the bad as*, boss Beyotch thing to do. But, as usual, we take it too far. Thus, there are a bunch of overdressed, wannabe egomaniacs strutting around America’s malls. Confidence and looking mean are not one in the same. A confident woman doesn’t size-up her peers wherever she goes. Or preoccupy herself with the presumptions of others. There is no need to put on an heir, or mask, to hide who she really is. Confident people know themselves are comfortable with who they are.
I understand in certain situations when you want to ward off unwanted attention and pursuits from unattractive, aggressive black men. At an unintentional glance they come running. But, what about other black women? Why don’t more sisters smile at each other? It seems like we are too busy judging and assessing our “competition” to just relax and extend welcoming grins. We complain about the verbal abuse we take from others but don’t give love to one another. If for nothing else, we should exchange friendly acknowledgments because we are sisters.
To me, this unapproachable image comes from unaddressed insecurities and struggling self-esteem. In order to elevate ourselves self, we act as if we think we are better—keyword, act. None of it is real. Many of us are actually some of the warmest and most generous women anyone could ever know. Unfortunately, we have become too preoccupied with putting on a show.
It takes less energy to smile. People who smile are happier. All it takes is one flash of pearly whites to change someone’s day. If more of us start to smile, the frowns (and presumed attitudes) will melt away.