Dear Black Girl,
Let me ask you this (and I know this doesn’t apply to you all the time but…): Why do you look so mad?
Sometimes, when people see you out and around, you look like you don’t want to be bothered… so those surrounding you just go on about their business around you. If the expression on your face could form words, it might say something like, “I do not want to be bothered with you, okay?” I mean, sometimes, your eyes, they dart…they cut. One time, you rolled them so hard I thought they would pop out of your eye sockets. Granted, you had to send a clear message to the guy who’s game was just not up to par, but I think that you might see that in hindsight, just a smidgen of grace carries you miles and miles. Or how about when you approach another BG? What does her face say? Likely the same, huh? Mean mugging most folks, perhaps?
I know you, Black girl. I know your sweetness. Your tenderness. Your patience. Your kindness.
But what’s in your heart is not what’s on your face at times. And believe it or not, some folks already think you were born angry. Why feed the ugliness? Apparently angry infant girls become angry black girls, and they grow up to be the dreaded ….. wait for it…. ANGRY BLACK WOMAN! Absurd, yes. But some days, your expression screams, “Fuck with me and I will cut you!”
I get it. i get it. You are not “fake.” You don’t do small talk very well, and you certainly won’t kowtow for anyone. Cool. But just know this: when you smile, the world is illuminated by you. And your eyes really do a number on people. If you could see those ebony wells from where I stand, you’d know exactly what i mean — they blossom when you smile. (Just imagine what they do when you laugh!)
Try this: smile at a stranger! Any stranger passing you at work. Or on the street. Or at the mall. A man. (I know some men have a hard time differentiating between a smile and an invitation to bed, but take your chances.) A woman. Anyone, really. A conversation started. An invitation given. A friendship started. A social circle expanded. Simple. If nothing else, the positive waves of energy that now radiate from you will simply generate more positive energy directed right back to you from the aforementioned stranger.
Before you go trying to deliberately manipulate every movement of your face, know that’s unnecessary. Simply go out into the world fully believing you are perfect just as you are. Your face should take care of itself. No rose colored glasses needed. Just an open mind and a willingness to smile.
You are SO damn loveable.
PS – If today’s letter was totally lost on you, looks like you’re good to go!