It’s a thing that shouldn’t have to be said, but it’s an affirmation that we need.
For centuries, black women have been ridiculed for having physical features that don’t resemble those of European women. We’ve been depicted as strange or undesirable in art and literature, and plenty of similar depictions persist in popular culture today.
It’s hard to be a little black girl full of self love when growing up in a society that doesn’t value you. Marginalization fosters insecurity and self doubt, and it takes work to reject the negative messaging that black girls and women receive about themselves from society at large.
That’s why black women like Nina Simone and Audre Lorde were so important. They insisted on loving themselves when society tried to tell them they shouldn’t. That’s why black women like Gabourey Sidibe and Serena Williams matter so much. They reject the notion that they look wrong and fervently believe that they are right. Those women want me to believe that I am beautiful too. And I do.
I am black and I am beautiful.