By Ramona X
In the past couple of years, the ego of Black women in this country has taken a very defined hit. Every other week, a story about the low marriage rates amongst black women emerges, painting us in a very negative light as women who are lonely, doomed and undesired by all men, including our own.
And let me tell you something, the abundance of articles and books pointing out our dubious plight is not only based on marriage statistics, it’s rooted in something more deeply psychological that many refuse to acknowledge.
I’m not going to go on a whole long Isis-Papers –inspired soliloquy on why black people are so hated and so loved at the same time, but let me just share with you what the primary, subconscious reason is for all this hate: Black don’t crack. That’s right, the fact that black women do not age as rapidly or get attacked by wrinkles at a relatively young age is a source of jealousy of our melanin-challenged counterparts. And as we all know, jealousy breeds contempt.
Laugh if you’d like. It’s the truth. This subconscious envy of a people, who have a relationship with the source of energy that doesn’t wrinkle them to death, who can spawn and influence world culture by their very natural existence, is real. But let’s take this discussion down a notch and allow me to explain how Black women are being attacked because of this subconscious contempt of our melanin.
I’ve been around Black women all my life so it came as a surprise to me when I discovered that many of my non-White college classmates and, later, my twenty-something co-workers were investing in expensive Estee Lauder anti-aging creams. This panic of aging and the idea that beauty had a fast-coming expiration date was an overshadowing theme in many of their lives. In contrast, any discussions about beauty at my Sunday brunch outings involved sharing hair care tips and recommending moisturizing conditioners.
Another epiphany struck when I was discussing this idea of how it seemed more acceptable for white women to “get around” as opposed to Black women, who were judged for being sexually free, with a Black guy friend of mine. He joked that it was okay for white women since they had a shorter shelf life. In other words, they were aware of their dwindling beauty and had to capitalize on their youthfulness fast.
Although he was joking, there seemed some truth to it. By the time many white women hit age 30, they look their age. A 30+ Black woman, on the other hand, will most likely look like she’s still in her 20s. Age is just a number but for many ladies, how you look at your age feeds into how you feel about yourself, your level of confidence, and not feeling insecure if you’re still at the club past your ideal marrying age.
Black women certainly don’t remember to be grateful for the fact they’ll look good for many years past their 21st birthday and their 40th for that matter, but many on the outside are resentful of it. I don’t blame ‘em. When I gaze at white celebrities like Rachel Zoe sometimes, who at 38, looks ten years older than 45-year-old Halle Berry and 44-year-old Kimberly Elise, it makes me grateful. When I’m 45, I’ll probably look as youthful in the face as Berry, who although looks good for her age, is not an anomaly in the Black community.