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You’re Pretty for A…

Insults disguised as compliments are not welcome here

Brooke Bryant, Reporter

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As I sat with my friend in after school care debriefing a
bout the day and gossiping I heard the words “you’re really pretty for a black girl” from my non-black best friend. I had never been so confused in my life, I didn’t know whether I should have taken this comment as a compliment or as an insult. Not knowing what to say I just said thank you, not knowing how wrong this was for her to say this, but as I started thinking about this I realized that the comment wasn’t a compliment it was more a insult on my race. This was not the first time and was definitely not the last time i’ve heard this since I was always the one out of maybe three black girls in a ocean of white kids in my school.

I took this for a compliment when I was younger talking to my non-black friends, but as I got older I started to think about this “compliment” and how it has horrible implications. Many different girls hear this insult : you’re pretty for an indian girl , you’re pretty for a big girl, etc. and they tend to feel defensive and confused about how to handle what was just said to them.

Many of these comments go to girls who are pretty but their ethnicity or their body type doesn’t fit the eurocentric beauty standards (white and skinny) that the western world holds. When people say that “you are pretty for (enter race here)” this gives people the impression that you don’t usually associate yourself with people that look like them but they should be glad that they’re the exception that gets to hang out with you.

I understand that the compliment is supposed to be harmless and the person saying it doesn’t mean to sound prejudice but it reinforces negative stereotypes that a certain person’s race is not beautiful, when all races, ethnicities, body types, etc. are beautiful and special in their own way.

If you feel like you want to compliment somebody, compliment them! I’m sure they would love to hear it, but not if you’re going to give them a back-hand compliment of ending it with “for a black girl, for a asian girl , etc. Just give them the compliment and don’t end it with an insult they will have nice thoughts of you and won’t think of you as an ignorant person.

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