About an hour ago, I was checking through my emails on one of my email accounts, and came across a thread on a listserv I’m on that was talking about who was thought of as black and beautiful in 2008 (male and female). Of course some guys named the usual chicks (Sanaa Lathan, Halle Berry, Kerry Washington, Lauren London, etc) and the women named their usual (Obama, Denzel, Morris Chestnut, etc). Then, in a noble gesture, one of the guys made a list of some of the women on the serv (good move), which of course had some (accidential I hope) omissions from the list. I thought about if I wanted to respond on this listserv with my own list (………….right), or if I wanted to give my interpretation of what I consider beautiful, I decided instead of telling them, I would just let the world know where I stand on this, especially since a lot of my female friends consider me superficial and shallow. So I’m gonna kill multiple birds with one stone.
For those who come across this and don’t want to read alot, here’s the executive summary:
Beautiful Woman = (External Attractiveness + Great Personality + (Character *Values *Spirituality)) – Baggage(X)
Now, notice the order in which I put all of that in, and of course when you look at it from that way, of course you’re going to make your assumption of my LA-ness per se. But here’s the thing: What is the first thing you notice about someone when you first meet them? ………….. exactly, their physical appearance. For men, if we’re smart, we go from head to toe and check someone out before we speak to them, regardless of where it’s at (although I will say some dumbass dudes out there have this issue where they only look from neck to knee and lower their standards, but I digress). Of course women do the same (just with more attention to our dress and mannerisms). This gets you in the door. Now everything I say from this point is what keeps you in the house, and also determines where in the house you will have access to, or if I send yo ass to the yard or the street.
Once we sign off on if a person satisfies our external prereqs (tangible and intangible), then we figure out if there’s chemistry in how we interact with each other. Is the person easy to talk to? Do you have basic things in common? Do you run out of things to say after 45 seconds? Is this person fun to be around? etc etc. In most cases, coming in cold, that’s the second thing you assess with a person when you meet them and learn about them.
Now when you get into a person’s character, values, and spirituality, then you get into the core of what makes a person who they are. For me, this is what I look at: Are they a Christian? (anything else and our friendship would be limited, and dating will never happen) Do they go to church every sunday, and cussing out their family every monday? Are they conscious of what’s going on within Black America? What do they want to do with their life, and how? What type of music are they into? What’s their artistic outlet? And is all of this compatible to where I stand on all of these things?
Now, what there needs to be a containment on is the amount of unnecessary baggage a woman has in her life (within her control). Now, I will admit there are certain areas of concern where this is concerned (see Phyllis Hyman and her emotional problems as an example), but there are some things that you just have to let go; certain monkeys on your back that are there because you keep them there, or feel that you have something to prove in life to men. Naw, that’s not needed. The more bags of BS you are carrying, the worse it is for you in my book………. PERIOD. Yes, we all have problems/issues/crazy, we all are not perfect, but when it gets in your own way, then that’s a showstopper.
Now, if you have all of these things in the affirmative, then to me, you are TRULY a beautiful woman. The problem is that a lot of women THINK they fit into this category of beautiful because they have one of those things, but in my book you don’t make the cut. There are some women I know who I would sleep with, all things equal, right now, but I would hate to have to wake up next to them and have to hear her damn mouth. And there are some women I can talk to on the phone with for hours, go to church with, listen to jazz with, watch basketball with, but couldn’t buy enough bars to get me drunk enough to think of them as “FINE”. Then there are some that I’m attracted to, that are great to be around, and on paper would be wifey IF she didn’t get in their own way because of some crutch she has. There’s something about all of us that could make us “UGLY” to another person, but, if you haven’t understood what I have said so far, beauty isn’t just how you look on the outside; the inside matters just as much.
Now, for those ladies over the years that I have called beautiful and don’t fulfill these standards, I apologize for lying to you, I’ll have to use another politically correct complimentary adjective next time to let you know you CGI or that you’re sexy. But if anyone ever wanted to know where I truly stand on this and not make assumptions, then consider yourself officially educated.