In reference to calling Black children beautiful:
I’ve heard lots of white feminists say that people shouldn’t call children—specifically girls—beautiful, and this is where (among many, many other places) white women show how little they understand the plight of Black women/darker skinned women/WOC.
Black children are never told we’re beautiful. The best that we get from mainstream society is being ignored—never seeing a semblance of our face anywhere. We need to be told we’re beautiful, and talented, and amazing, because everywhere we turn, we’re being told that we are not human and that we are ugly. And that gets into us, that can seep deep and it will hurt for years. And undoing that damage is difficult.
And…something else that I’ve been thinking about: Black children need to be told we’re beautiful because beautiful is usually associated with the face, right? And we are rarely told that our faces can be beautiful. Usually, our bodies are objectified and hypersexualized, especially when we’re darker-skinned. People will compliment our asses and our bodies, but never our faces—and that does something to us. (I’ve even heard people say things like “dark-skinned girls are never attractive, but they do have nice bodies.”) That affects us, and because there are all of these factors waiting to psychologically mess us up, we need positive reinforcements before we can even be exposed to all the other stuff so that we can be mentally and emotionally able to combat them.
word. i spent my whole childhood, 6 years of age and onward feeling ugly. the only input i received about my appearance was that i looked like a boy. i’d see adults praising my little white friends and their cute curls and overalls and whatever but the compliments ended at me. i was also poor and wore my moms (awful) homemade clothes and dresses so that didnt help things either. i work and volunteer with kids a lot and i always compliment the little girls of colour. i once told a cute four year old mixed black girl who came to my workplace that she had really pretty hair and her face lit up and she smiled wide as she touched it and said thanks. i almost cried. i will shower every brown child with a thousand compliments and opposing white feminists can fuck right off.