I never been pretty to anyone for long. I never been special to anyone. I’ve never meant anything to anyone. I can say this without despair because I tried so hard to be special and meaningful to the wrong people. I chased after men who ignored me because both of my parents did and ran away and shrieked whenever a man did chase after me, but when they did finally catch me I would run down the list of why they can’t date me! deep down I was afraid. Afraid that they’d suddenly find me hideous if their friends and family found me unattractive and I would be heartbroken. I know that sounds a bit dramatic but it has happened quite a bit.
Everytime I’ve been told I am beautiful by a man. I often thought: “what bullshit! You say that now but wait another month and you’ll start acting embarrased to be seen with me. I still grapple with this thought whenever a man pursues me and I would find myself rolling my eyes when the compliments came. I honestly hated beauty because of the way it’s commodified among men. I feel like if you are a man you can have $11 in your checking account, 7 baby mamas, no real career aspirations outside of the entertainment industry, and be a discraced human being and if you had all of these things and a bad bitch??!!! You know; the kind that takes Instagram photos illustrating her ass to waist ratio, wears athleisure, and has either bangs or Naomi Campbell part in her hair….suddenly your stock has gone up and you’re status is damn near Jay Z! and if you dated an ugly girl that suddenly meant your stock is down.
I can say with confidence that I am attractive.but I have been made to feel or told all too often by men that I am not attractive enough. The “you’d be pretty if” statements I could predict with a switftness weeks into our getting to know each other and suddenly statements statements tear little by little at my esteem. Did you ever like me for who I was or did you like me for what you wanted me to be? is a question I would ask myself before I muster the courage to kick them to the curb. When it came to my looks I felt like I’ve heard it all! and somehow the very thing that men told me was great about me in the beginning became the thing that came back to bite me in the end. “I love that you don’t wear make up Jasmine ” to “You never wear makeup for me”. “I love that you speak your mind you are so intelligent” to eye rolls when I beat them at scrabble. Suddenly I was being pressured into becoming the very thing they swore they didn’t like and that was devastating. Wear this, wear your hair like this, act like this,
Sometimes I complied because I let my insecurities get the best of me by believing that I was doing it for love and that if I didn’t change myself soon he would chase after the very woman he pressured me to be. I didn’t think that any man that asks you to change yourself not for the better but for his own commodification of you
I once read an article where Lil’ Kim explained where her insecurities about her looks came from and she said: “All my life men have told me I wasn’t pretty enough — even the men I was dating. And I’d be like, ‘Well, why are you with me, then?’ It’s always been men putting me down just like my dad. To this day when someone says I’m cute, I can’t see it. I don’t see it no matter what anybody says,”. Honestly that hit too close to home.
See, from my experience men want what other men want. An example that comes to mind is Pusha T’s diss track to Drake The Story Adidon. Sure he got on there dissing Drake, his Dad, his mom, his producer, and his baby mama. He kind of makes a point “Since you name dropped my fiance. Let em’ know who you chose as your Beyonce'”. Pusha T points out that Drakes baby mama is a porn star. Why this comes to mind is the persona Drake puts out there. He’s a good guy, kind of a fuck boy, but he is here to listen to you, value you, and love you, please don’t break his heart. In actuality he had a baby by someone that a lot of men want to fuck,but not impregnate. The idea of being with the bad bitch isn’t the fact that she’s “Bad” but it’s really about how other men react to you having her, but it’s condemned to have a child by her.
Now, don’t get me wrong this post isn’t to shame men into stop telling women they’re beautiful. I just refuse to believe that looks are everything and should be everything when considering a romantic prospect. Looks are meaningless for me when I pursue a potential mate because.. after all Looks aren’t winning monopoly on Sunday night game night. Looks certainly don’t keep the lights on and it doesn’t mean a good looking person is better than anyone. I rather be beautiful to myself before I am beautiful to another man in what I believe is the tide of beauty. What’s in today washes away tomorrow.
Just my thoughts…