La Belle Negresse

Etiquette for Everyday Living

Pretty Woman


I know, I know….I’ve been MIA… crazy summer! But, I am back, and will try to post as often as possible. A lot has happened in the past month or so…I’ve moved out West. Crossing off 1 of the 5 places I hope to live before I retire… Yay me! After 3 weeks of chaos, I can now sit down and breathe. Spent my first hectic-free night watching “chick flicks”… Mahogany, and my all time favorite, Pretty Woman. I love, love Pretty Woman… It’s like a modern day fairy-tale. It’s funny, when white women are cast in romantic movies, they are either damsels in distress  or poor misunderstood rich girls looking for love. No matter their past… hooker, drunk, abuser or plain old crazy, one can bet money that by the end of the movie, chick will end up with a man who wants to care, protect and appreciate her, not for who she was or is at the moment, but the woman she can become…. Sooo romantic!

Now search any movie ( Tyler Perry comes to mind)  where the lead character is a black woman with a black man, you will find the total opposite… black girl is usually well educated (or at least on her way there), never marry and child-free with much to offer than need, will be paired with a black man who still lives with Mom, rides shotgun in his best friend’s car, has numerous baby mamas, owes child support, yet thinks he deserves to be with the well educated black woman… his presence, genitalia, swag and potential is sufficient.  Sadly enough, when it comes to matters of the heart in the black community, 90% of the time, art imitates life.

Now, I’m not suggesting black men change their tunes and date/marry within their social class (I could care less, actually). My issue is primarily with black women. What is it about us, what is going through our minds, that force us to believe it is okay to accept such behavior and man. Why do we immediately go into mammy/housekeeper/mommy/semen disposal mode,  the minute any raggedy old man shows a bit of interest?  Why after three or four dates do we take ourselves off the market, change our Facebook status to “in a relationship” ( only to change it back days later to “It’s complicated”), for a man who has yet to EARN our attention, respect and loyalty.

White men are flying out to Africa to find potential brides, pay to have them legalized and brought here; yet we who are in the state with these men, are flying cross country on our dime, paying for flight, hotel and food, to meet a possible serial killer..… oops, mate.

What is wrong with our self-image, value and esteem? Other races of women, no matter their past or social class, ALWAYS feel entitled and deserving of the best… Why don’t we? Because we are our own worst enemy!

Most women (outside of black women), no matter their upbringing feel entitled. That feeling of entitlement stems from messages they are told at home. And  whatever they don’t get at home, they get from society. Know matter how unattractive, classless or undeserving,  these women are portrayed as more desirable and marriageable than women of color.

Black women from early childhood are reared to believe they are not enough. Not cute enough, hair not long enough, skin not light enough, nose not straight enough…. When most of your early years are spent listening to adults tell you how incomplete you are, you have no choice but to seek validation from an outside source. Unfortunately for us, most of society sees us, as “our” people see us. We don’t have the safety net, support and excuse reserve for other women.

The only way to stop this cycle, is to understand what you were taught, called and forced to believe by those closest to you and society, is WRONG! We need to be our own cheerleader. Fake having self-esteem until you feel it. Seek therapy and stay away from toxic self-hating people. This change is necessary and needs to be done immediately. With more than 70% of black women single and most never married/will marry… the needy, enabler, pursuer and aggressor role is NOT working.


2 comments on “Pretty Woman

  1. TallulahBankhead
    September 16, 2013

    I think some women date less than worthy men because they believe that it is better to have a relationship than to be lonely. They aren’t ready to accept that being alone and emotionally healthy (even w/ a palpable loneliness) is preferable to being with someone who doesn’t/can’t fully value and appreciate you.

    • labellenegresse1
      September 16, 2013

      Hi TallulahBankhead! Thx for visiting 🙂
      You’re absolutely correct… any man is better than no man. Sad!

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