Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Shallow Gal

A cousin just read my blog for the first time--she wasted not one moment sending me an e-mail blasting me for the "shallowness" of the last line of my "about me": "Oh, and 'she's pretty, too'." That phrase, according to this wise relative of mine "undoes all that [my] blog is trying to do."

Hold on! Apparently, I need to give that some context as I thought it would be immediately apparent I was going for a sarcastic/cynical mix. I didn't write that--I may have thought it during my 20s while preening in front of a mirror--but that quote comes from someone else. You see, one day in one of my grad classes, one of my professors was praising some "astounding" piece of work I did and my abilities in general. Said professor went on at length (sometimes I wonder, though I appreciate the fact that they regard me so highly, if my MA/PhD professors are particularly amazed by my ability or the fact that that ability comes wrapped in the body of a fat black woman, but that's another post) about my skill. After the impromptu speech, one of my classmates, God bless him, because he really was trying to be sweet and funny, said something like "All that, and she's pretty, too." As if that was the TRULY amazing thing. As if intelligence and aesthetics... ah well, you've heard that all before.

Anyway, I'm not quite that shallow. I know that "pretty is as pretty does," and I'm much more concerned with how ugly the inner me is sometimes.

Nonetheless, I think I'll be deleting that phrase.


Dr. Mon said...

First time to your blog but I gotta say--don't delete it!! This story is just SO reflective of being a woman in academia--as if brains and boobs can't coexist. People truly believe that "times have changed" when really the lines forged between men and women are still very rigid.

And then of course, as Black women, our bodies are always open for conversation, consumption, and spectatorship--because of course were made to be noticed, pointed out, felt up, and prodded, not respected (have you seen the Hottentot Venus film?). The fact that there is a brain wrapped up in all that beauty is just as unbelievable today as it was to Thomas Jefferson.

But let me stop! I'm feelin your blog--gonna add you to my regular reads so keep it comin! And of course--best wishes on the PhD work.

Elle said...

thank you, mon!

Keziah Hill said...

Don't delete it! Nothing wrong with being intelligent and pretty. Why oh why can't we be playful as well as tough?

RageyOne said...

I'm with the others, don't delete it. If that is how you feel, then that is how you feel. You should value your own thoughts about yourself and express that for the world to know. Just my 2 cents.

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