Physical features don’t determine worth

The true essence of understanding a woman’s worth is understanding the woman, the whole woman, the beauty, the ugly, the good, the bad, the goofy, and the embarrassing – in a nutshell the complexity.

Too many times, beauty is the standard, the principal meaning of evaluating whether a woman is worthy or not. Good hygiene and upkeep is a must to attract the opposite sex. But usually when people get together, skin tone plays a big part in the discussion of whether a female or male is fine or not.

I, for one, am tired of discussing lightskinned and dark-skinned issues when it comes to women of color. That Euro-centric view is played out and it’s tired. That kind of thinking belongs in the early 80s, in the School Daze days where biking shorts and door knocker gold earrings were prevalent, a staple of the times and the past.

I guess it was too good to be true to expect to come to a predominantly African-American university and be greeted with an understanding of a universal, complete view of beauty. That doe-eyed, open, freshman thinking was completely stomped on in the mere two semesters of residing on campus.

Men, and yes, ladies, we put too much worth on a part of ourselves we have no way of controlling.

My ears burn with disgust as I listen to light-skinned female friends of mine discuss how they are approached by males on this campus.

One friend of mine – who happens to be light-skinned – told me that a young man, and I use that term loosely, approached her and said something to the effect of, “I would love to have babies with you because I know they’ll come out pretty.”

Usually, I would think this kind of statement would come from a female. But it seems that men have also dropped into the mentality of “pretty, wavy-haired baby making.”

Some light-skinned females, I’ve heard, take the School Daze way of thinking to a new height.

Now, it seems light-skinned females have to ban together in alliance so they won’t be in competition with each other. Either conquer the males species on your own, or team up with a light-skinned pal and form a light-skinned clique.

It seems the simple event of boy meets girl has turned into a WWF wrestling alliance.

Some females feel they can’t even go out to get play from men without a light-skinned female in tow. That’s a whole other column in itself.

And I know it seems ridiculous and outrageous, but oddly enough, it’s true.

When, when, when black people are we going to come to an understanding of what a woman’s worth is, what a person’s worth is period?

When will we get to know a person, talk, open our mouths and communicate to find out if there is substance behind that pretty hair, those pretty light eyes, that big butt, etc.

The question is, do we even care about substance in a person anymore? It’s that “hit and it quit it” mentality that get a lot of us in trouble.

When will we understand that flaws don’t necessarily break a person, it’s what makes a person who they are. It’s the little things, the unique things that build character, and that’s what is worthy.

Rest assured, I am aware that everyone does not think this way. But it is far too many who do.

I know everyone has their preference, short, tall, maybe you even a preference in pigmentation, I do too. But, don’t let your preferences stop you from meeting incredible people just because they don’t fit your mold.

Gabrielle Finley is a 19 year-old sophomore journalism student from Pensacola. She can be reached at