Ask a Very Smart Brotha: Light Skin, Long Hair & Losing a Few Pounds

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Dear Very Smart Brotha,
Something happened this weekend that has me questioning what men really want. Let me start off by telling you a little about myself. I am medium height, light skinned with long good hair and light eyes and I have big legs, hips and butt. But I work out and watch my diet so I am not fat  I get a lot of attention from men because let’s face it, as much as we as black people talk about there is no difference between light skinned and dark skinned women…I’m sorry its obvious most black men want light skin and good hair. Let’s just be real about that.

So I met this woman at the gym and we started hanging out and she is cool. On paper we both are the same, educated, early 30’s, no kids, financially stable, no baggage or drama. She is short, has a cute shape, but she is dark skinned (Jamaican) and she has a lot of hair but she wears it in a lot of natural styles or she’ll switch it up and wear a sew in weave.  She has full lips and a wider nose and she is smart but kind of loud (probably because she is Jamaican, lol). But the girl can dress and she is very feminine. We’ve been hanging out and I really like her, she is so funny and she has a great personality. I AM NOT HATING. She is cool, but not to be mean I KNOW I am prettier than her. Usually when we go out men flock to me and she’ll get a few here and there but lately when we go out I notice more men looking at her than me and approaching her. We went to a poetry club and this man was all in her face telling her how Hot she was and how sophisticated she looked but said nothing to me. And this weekend after a workout the trainer (who is soo fine) and this other man were talking to her and like fighting for her attention. And all I could think is that she is cute but definitely not a banger…they could do better, why do they like her and not me? My looks are in demand, not hers. I’m Beyonce and she is Kelly, lol. And they do not know what type of personality she has when they first see her, so these men are approaching based on looks only. So my question is: Are men intimidated by beauty? Like do they go for cute because they feel it’s more obtainable? If there are two women and one is more attractive than the other what makes men go for the less attractive one? And please do not get on your soap box and talk all that mess that men do not care if a woman is dark or not. We know that is not true, just be real.


Light skin long hair don’t care

Dear Light Skin Long Hair (But Obviously Do Care),

Since you have not provided picture proof to compare your oh-so-sought-after assets with those of your tragically dark-skinned friend, I’m left to theorize as to why she seems to have more success with men than you do. I’ve come up with three somewhat related possible reasons.

1. A year or so ago, I did an experiment on my blog where I chose random pictures of attractive women, had my male readers “rank” them, and asked the women to rank them based on who they thought would be considered the most attractive. The male and female rankings were completely different. In fact, the woman who the men considered the most attractive was actually rated the second least attractive by the women.

I’m bringing this up because it provides a teeny bit of proof to the widely held theory that (some) women have absolutely no idea about what qualities men actually find attractive in them, and it seems like you might be one of those women.

Even going by your somewhat haterade-filled description of her, the qualities you named — she works out, has a great shape, no baggage, nice hair, full lips, a fun personality, etc — are all things that most men would put a very, very high premium on, and perhaps you’re just underestimating how attractive she truly is.

2. You’re not as attractive as you think you are. While you might possess certain qualities that black men desire, you might just look like Drake with a lacefront or Tayshawn Prince with a booty. Perhaps you’ve been granted “light skinned points” — what happens when people assume a woman is attractive just because she’s light — your entire life, and now people are finally catching on to the fact that you’re just not that hot

3. You’re an asshole. Out of all of the reasons, this is the one that’s definitely 100% true. Perhaps you are a Paula Patton doppelganger, and perhaps your darker-skinned friend is relatively plain. But, if you’re anywhere near as shitty of a person as you seem to be in this letter, men aren’t choosing her because you’re intimidating or out of their league or desire to hand out charity points to your friend. No, they sense that you’re an entitled shrew who assumes that men should be fawning over her because she’s light-skinned, and it’s an easy choice between dealing with you and your shittiness or approaching someone who’s nicer, more approachable, and also physically attractive.

I don’t have the time or the patience to give you a lesson about why using terms such as “good hair” and saying things like “…but, she’s dark-skinned” are ignorant, but I will say that until your skin-based sense of entitlement changes, the only men who are going to be interested in you will be the color-struck cats who only desire you because of your complexion. Perhaps this is a good thing, though. You can date each other, spend all day fawning over your skin, and remove yourselves from the dating market so no one else has to deal with y’all. Sounds like a win/win to me.


Damon Young (aka The Champ)

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