An infamous article that was shown on Psychology Today last year discussed how Black women were objectively the least attractive race of women. This article, understandably, received a strong backlash. The author of the article later issued an apology for the article, but unfortunately Black women never received an apology for the disrespectful and untrue assertions in that paper, despite the fact that the article was directed at Black women. The article is very negative and ignorant, so be WARNED, but the article here.
First thing is the author of that article needs to be forgiven, even if he was wrong, even if he never officially apologized for hurting Black women, we must forgive. Not only must we forgive, but pray for the author of this article to find peace and come to understand what true beauty is.
But…this article does bring up a good question for discussion. Are some races inherently “more beautiful,” than others?
“Dark am I, yet lovely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
dark like the tents of Kedar,
like the tent curtains of Solomon.
Do not stare at me because I am dark,
because I am darkened by the sun.
My mother’s sons were angry with me
and made me take care of the vineyards;
my own vineyard I have neglected.
Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock
and where you rest your sheep at midday.
Why should I be like a veiled woman
beside the flocks of your friends?”
“If you do not know,
O most beautiful among women,
follow in the tracks of the flock,
and pasture your young goats
beside the shepherds’ tents.
I compare you, my love,
to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.
Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
your neck with strings of jewels.”
Song of Solomon (1:5-11)
The above scripture is a love letter from King Solomon to the Ethiopian Queen Sheba. In the song Sheba talks about her dark skin tone and not being judged for her darker skin color, while Solomon praises her physical beauty lavishly.
What does this story mean to me as a Black woman? Here we have a beautiful, very-dark-skinned African Queen who is the love of a great King. When I picture Makeda, I picture this beautiful, charcoal-skinned, brown, almond-eyed woman with beautiful, thick, kinky hair, braids, golden jewelry and beautiful dresses. She looks like a princess in every essence of the word in my mind.
Let’s talk about Physical Beauty:
We live in a world where beauty standards are very rigid and society’s standard of beauty seems to be blonde, thin, blue-eyes and slightly tanned. Anyone who does not fit into that standard is often seen as not the ideal. If you’re an African-descended woman then most likely you fall on the complete opposite end of this beauty standard.
PHYSICAL beauty standards are a construct and what we consider beautiful PHYSICALLY has always been diverse and changes from time to time. Do not let people tell you that Black women are uglier than other races, from a physical standpoint, Black women are JUST AS BEAUTIFUL as every other “race” of women. God created people to be physically beautiful and to appear beautiful, ALL WOMEN are beautiful and God did not skip over Black women when it came to physical beauty. If you don’t believe that God made all women equally beautiful, just look at the love story between Makeda and King Solomon. One of the greatest kings of that time and his love was a dark-skinned African Queen.
It’ s clear that God designed ALL WOMEN to be physically beautiful. Whether you have pale skin, pale eyes and light hair, whether you’re brownish-tan or whether you’re as dark as charcoal with deep brown eyes and kinky hair, we are all beautiful and do not let anyone tell you that Black women (or any women) are objectively the least attractive when it comes to physical beauty…God blessed women of ALL RACES with physical beauty and God designed us to be pleasing to look at.
Just because God blessed women and men with a PHYSICAL beauty, doesn’t mean physical beauty is the most important thing. There is a type of beauty that is greater even than physical beauty and that is SPIRITUAL BEAUTY.
Aside from being a beautiful woman physically, what truly made Queen of Sheba beautiful was her spirit. She traveled for many many months to visit King Solomon and hear about the word of God. She was so impressed by how God had blessed Solomon that she went and told all of her people in Ethiopia how GREAT the God of Israel is. Sheba may have been physically beautiful, but her spiritual beauty is unmatched compared to her physical beauty.
Spiritual beauty is what is most important. Yes, it’s true God wants us to appreciate physical beauty and yes God has blessed women and men OF ALL RACES/ ethnicties with beauty, but the true beauty that doesn’t fade away is the beauty that comes from a loving relationship with God.
Fancy hair, beautiful skin, fancy clothes…all that type of physical beauty fades and disappears. When you die, your body becomes ash, but the spirit that loved God lives on forever and is far more radiant and beautiful than any physical form of the human body could ever be.
That’s why, although it’s difficult in this world not to affected (to some extent) by beauty standards, it’s most important to remember that spiritual beauty will outlast physical beauty. The physical body is a beautiful thing, but at the end of the day it’s only temporary.
There is a saying that says that “death is the great equalizer,” and it’s absolutely true. I remind myself of that every day when I see articles that demean my type of beauty or when the world tells me that my physical beauty isn’t desired or valued, I try to remind myself that spiritual beauty outlasts physical beauty and while it’s nice to be physically beautiful, at the end of the day, that’s temporary what really counts is spiritual beauty which only comes from loving the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and sharing his love with others. If you have this love in you, you have a beautiful spirit and that WILL radiate out to others…and that’s what is most important.
Beauty standards are tough, no matter what your race or gender is…but the next time you feel ugly because you don’t fit worldly beauty standards…whether that is because of your race, your weight, your hair or any other physical feature just pray on this:
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3: 3-4)
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)