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The Questions I Ask

July 28, 2014

Maybe it’s because I have a girlfriend and as such, don’t really think about these things. But then, i didn’t think this way when I was single.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in a Caucasian household and no one seemed to ask these questions.

Maybe it’s just me.

Let’s be honest, it’s probably just me.

But there is one aspect of conversations with other Women of Color that consistently baffles me.

No matter the subject; be it hair, feminism, food, anything, but especially discussions of beauty, someone will inevitably ask one question.

What do black men think of this?  And from there we are derailed and we end up focusing on men and their views and feelings.  Forever.

In the course of this derailing I always ask some variation of the same questions and no one has yet given me any kind of satisfactory answer.




WHO GIVES A FUCK? Why is this even a thing?




Does your man like you in makeup? Do black men like makeup?

Who cares? If make up makes you happy then wear it. Why does any man even get an opinion especially some hypothetical man you’re not even dating?

Why, in the middle of primarily female conversations about issues like grooming, do we pause to wonder what men, specifically Men of Color, think about it?

Because here’s what’s really interesting, in primarily Caucasian groups, this does not happen.

Don’t get me wrong, they’ve got problems of their own but they almost never pause in their discussion of hair and nails and makeup to wonder what their men think of those choices.

So really, I’m asking, because I’m honestly confused. Why? Why do we care? We do we keep defining ourselves by their opinion? Why do we allow ourselves to question our own choices and thereby our autonomy in this way?

I do not understand and I’d welcome some insight.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 28, 2014 10:55 PM

    I can’t speak for women of color, but I’ve encountered many conversations about beauty steer towards the opinion of men. I myself have a recurring argument with myself (is he going to like this?/ Who cares if he likes it! Do I like it?) every time I think about a new haircut or style. Could it stem from insecurity? Is it an economic issue? Through my own observations I have noticed that women (of any race) who are undereducated, lower wage earning, and more dependent upon a second income tend to be more concerned about what men think is attractive compared to women that are more financially independent. This observation comes from years of eavesdropping on conversations while bartending, so it’s not completely scientific. Could it be that from the moment a girl is born we are bombarded with the expectation that we have to be the smartest, prettiest, happiest little beings, not for our own benefit, but so that we will attract a good man. It’s a shame really. I don’t know. I hope you don’t find it offensive that I am a white woman commenting on your question, I often wonder myself what motivates people to behave a certain way, so I thought I would join the conversation. I pray for a day that every woman will appreciate the beauty that we all possess, with or without her favorite eyeliner., 🙂

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