A pervasive lie about Black women, perpetuated mainly by white women, states that we want to be white. When we relax our hair, or get weaves, or talk “proper,” or read books, we are doing so because we wish we were born white. We are so dissatisfied with our Blackness that we long for whiteness and the supposed perfection that it entails.
Let’s get it clear: This is straight up bullshit. White women may hold racial privilege over us, but that doesn’t mean we are sobbing into our silk pillows at night, dreaming of the unachievable goal of whiteness. Do we long for the equality and visibility that is defaulted to white folks? Absolutely. Does this equate to physically wanting to be white? Hell no. Contrary to the popular white imagination, we as people of colour are not enthralled and enchanted by them. What we are enamoured with is the idea of one day living in a system that grants us our humanity.
Black women are painfully aware of the Eurocentric beauty standards that are held over our heads. We know we will never be what the white man deems the epitome of beauty. But who cares what he thinks anyway? The world may accept white mens’ word as gospel, but we as Black feminists do not and have never done so.