Beyoncé

photo: GIPHY

Black women have to deal with far too much BS. Whether it's being seen through the prism of controlling images or asked to suppress their anger, Black women are constantly attempting to navigate a world intent on harming them. 

Just ask Michelle Obama. The first lady is a Princeton and Harvard Law School graduate. She worked as an associate dean at the University of Chicago, a lawyer at a prestigious Chicago law firm, and an executive director of an AmeriCorps program. Yet, one of the most accomplished first lady's in history has been bombarded by racist and sexist attacks that reduce her to her Blackness and her womanhood.

She's been called an "ape in heels," a terrorist, and an angry Black woman — and that's on the nicer end of the spectrum.

Other Black women can relate to the hatred she's encountered because we're all being micro-aggressed in our everyday life. Worst of all, most of the racial transgressions are crouched in "compliments" designed to make us feel good while simultaneously marginalizing us. 

For those who are still unsure, here are seven backhanded compliments that Black women are tired of hearing.

1

"You're pretty... for a Black girl."

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I'm pretty — period. Grow up.

2

"Wow, your hair is really soft."

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Of course it is. Is my hair supposed to feel like wool?

3

"You don't talk Black."

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What is "talking Black?" White people don't own intelligence, and speaking intelligently doesn't mean I'm speaking white. Check yourself.

4

"Your hair is so beautiful. Is it a weave?"

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Either way, you can't touch it. Don't ask.

5

"You remind me so much of [insert a celebrity's name who looks nothing like you]. Has anybody ever told you that?"

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Yes, many people have told me I look like Queen Latifah and Jill Scott. Has anybody ever told you to stop asking that question?

6

"I don't normally date Black girls, but you're different."

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That is not a compliment. There's nothing attractive about separating Black women into "worthy" and "unworthy" categories. Try again.

7

"You're so beautiful! Are you mixed?"

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Let me stop you right there: I'm Black mixed with more Black. Mixing in whiteness (or anything else) doesn't make me more or less beautiful. Stop it.