You're Pretty For A Dark-Skinned Black Girl

Beauty comes in all shades. Mine included.

Let me tell you about that one time that I dated a guy for less than one week. Not even seven full days, more like five, so not even a full week. We met through a mutual friend, who had introduced us. I knew him because we hung around in similar circles. The timing for us in the past had always seemed off a bit. Either he would be dating someone or I would. It just so happened that the time would finally be right for us to connect. I told my friend that it would be okay for him to give (we’ll call him ‘Andre’) my telephone number. He called that same night. After our initial conversation, I felt as though he’d be worth at least one more conversation which led to one another, then another and another. We continued to talk on the telephone for the days to come. There were few text in between as we genuinely enjoyed speaking to one another. He seemed nice, interesting and goal oriented. He came from a good family, and him being easy on the eyes didn’t hurt either.

Our conversations were fun and light, nothing serious. They consisted of your normal questions of where do you see yourself in the next five years? Whose your favorite author? The basic questions you ask when you’re trying to get to know a person. With my interest peaked, I gladly accepted his invitation for dinner and a movie. The excitement I felt throughout the week building up to this one date was over the top. This man had me smiling from ear to ear, all-day-long. I found myself imagining what “Our” future together would look like. Mentally I was all in, before we even had our first date. I told my girlfriend’s about him. Being the type of friends that they are, they could tell that I was hyped and advised me to be careful and take it slow.  I played it cool hitting them with the “girl I know what I’m doing”. Little did they know that my hopes and expectations for this man was sky-high. There’s no way a man like this would be a disappointment. Besides I felt like I already knew him.

Date night could not come fast enough. On the night of I made sure to take extra time getting myself ready. My hair had been twisted up all day, to ensure that my twist-out would be on point. I made sure that my make-up was natural looking. I consciously made the effort to not overdo it. My outfit was casual as the type of date did not require much more. I threw on a nice blouse, jeans and some heels. Simple, yet ready for anything. I did not want to keep this man waiting. When he arrived, I thought to myself my goodness this is one fine black man. He got out of the car and he was a total gentleman. Just as I expected he would be. He opened my car door, closed it and we were on our way. He told me where we would be dining, and he asked if I had chosen a movie as he instructed me to do so. I told him that I did and that it would be a surprise. Things were going well. Almost, better than I expected.

As I’m biting into my baked stuffed chicken breast, he makes the comment that ruined everything. The comment that would change my perception of him in a matter of seconds. He looks directly into my eyes and says “You are very pretty for a dark-skinned girl, which I don’t usually date.” I wanted to make sure that my ears were not failing me, so I asked if he would repeat what he said. He obviously thought that he had not said anything wrong and that I simply did not hear him, so he opened his mouth and repeated in an even louder tone the exact same thing. You’re-Pretty-for-a-Dark-Skinned-Girl. The words seemingly left his lips in slow motion. He could tell by the look on my face, that I was not pleased with his words. What’s wrong he asked? I kindly take a moment to gather my thoughts before letting him have it. I follow his question with a question of my own. Why don’t you date dark-skinned women? His reply was almost as ignorant as the initial statement. Dark-skinned women just don’t do it for me. He continued...I’m dark-skinned and I just love the contrast that a lighter-skinned woman would give off next to me.

I really could not believe what I had heard. In this bougie’ establishment, I in my inside voice fully enlighten him on how demeaning his words were. I inform him that his words were not kind. His words were not flattering, and they definitely were not welcomed. Sitting there looking at me with his dumb face, which I no longer found attractive, he couldn’t believe what I was saying. What do you mean, he asked? I shook my head in amazement that he still did not get it. So I go a little further. To say that I’m pretty for a dark-skinned girl implies that women with darker skin aren’t typically beautiful. You’re saying that I am the exception. What you’re saying is that women of a deeper melanin may not be identified as beautiful universally, but I will pass. I educate him on the FACT that beauty comes in all shades. Mine included. You should have seen the look on his face. Stumbling over his words he lets me know that he didn’t mean it that way and apologizes. Before the dessert comes out, I inform him that the date will end here, and that I would like for him to take me home. He pays the bill, and I let him. It’s the least he could do.

As we were leaving the restaurant he inquired about what movie I had chosen, although we would not see it together. I gave him a smile and told him that I had chosen Daddy’s Little Girls, a movie in which the lead was played by fellow dark-skinned beauty Gabrielle Union. The look on his face was priceless. Although he apologized via text, I have not spoken to or seen him since. In the words of Beyonce’ I A’int Sorry...Boy Bye!