It seems like every other day we hear about what people love or loathe about black women. From our curves and our cooking skills, to our hair and the fact that we’re either supreme go-getters or too independent, black women seem to always be up for debate.

I mean, I get it. We’re as varied as the colors of the rainbow and as unique as the fingerprints on our hand, and still, we get lumped together for better or worse. But there’s one thing we no longer need or want: your approval.

For too long black folks, and especially black women, have been trapped in the black box. That constricting space that says anything outside of it is weird or quirky or awkward. Thankfully, many of us have embraced our inner eccentricity, choosing to no longer live our lives by their rules.

We create, we love, we work, we live, we travel, and we move on our terms.

And while we appreciate the love, we aren’t swayed by it because we know that just around the corner lays the criticism.

I mean for every man who loves our “sassy” ways, another takes a swipe at our attitudes. And for every dude who loves to run his hands through some 12” Remi, another scoffs at chicks with weave (or box braids or naturals or TWAs). Who cares? It’s your hair; do what you like.

And while the media finds every little thing to nit pick about black women, while throwing us meager representations of ourselves onscreen, we know better. We know our value and worth isn’t tied up in what they think we want to see, but in what we create.

So while the world continues to wonder about our dating habits, the width of our hips, and why we see things the way we do, we’ll keep on creating and supporting our sisters who show love. To jack Biggie, it’s the black girl way.

So shout out to all the Clutchettes who know exactly who they are. Who dress themselves up and paint their hair or lips or nothing at all because they want to and not because of what he thinks.

Shout out to the sisters who are scientists and cops and painters and pharmacists and models and athletes and students and business owners and writers and filmmakers and mothers and daughters and wives and lovers, and, most of all, friends.

Shout out to all of you who know who you are is enough, whether the world recognizes it or not.

We see you shining.  

  • Binty

    Hell yes!!!!!!!!!!!

  • binks

    Let the church say Amen on this one! But as my mom always say, if people are talking about you and trying to knock you down then you obliviously must be doing something right!

  • Ms. Information

    Thanks Britni! I was working today and saw so many beautiful black women, light skinned, dark skinned, medium complexioned, tall, slim, thick, short and I said to myself..”Black women are beautiful!”….The media is not on our side, some of our men aren’t and even some of us aren’t but I know that we are beautiful inside and out regardless of the current personal attacks on our spirits and souls.

  • Alexandra

    Awesome! This is the type of article I like to see, not the ever questioning on who/what/how likes Black women. Seeking validation is detrimental to anyone, especially for Black women who feel they have something to prove in a world where some people will perceive them as anything but negative. Don’t put your life on hold to meet anyone’s expectations.

  • http://gravatar.com/ebony82 ebony82

    Awesome post!

  • Change

    I 100% agree. The way we beg black men to like us, and that article on “why black girls need to be in music video’s” is further proof that this article only applies to a small minority of black women.

  • edub

    Yes, keep your heads up, ladies!!

  • Candy 1

    Nicely said.

  • GlowBelle

    Wonderfully put!

  • SS25

    I loved this comment. We need to start saying this to ourselves and each other more often.

  • http://gravatar.com/shal1987 shal1987

    Awesome read !!! Needed to hear this today ;-)

  • http://happyhairjourney.com HHJourney

    WORD!!!

  • Fleur

    I like this part…

    “So shout out to all the Clutchettes who know exactly who they are. Who dress themselves up and paint their hair or lips or nothing at all because they want to and not because of what he thinks.”

    Yes. People’s validation should never be that important to you.

  • Dalili

    Hear, hear!! Right back at you Ms. Britni!

  • Roses

    Yaaasss! So needed this!

  • my_reply

    Great article!

  • Laugh

    I’m reminded every time I watch the beautiful and talented black girls on YouTube, my black friends, and co-workers. Black women are so beautiful, kind, and intelligent. People just can’t figure out how we keep our heads up and stay magnificent.

  • S.

    Although I agree with some of this, I don’t like people talking for “me” including other Black women

    But the intention is appreciated

  • beks

    ^this!

  • comment

    so many black women (and other women too!) do what they do based on what some man may think. doesn’t matter how you wear your hair or what shoes you put on your feet certain men are fickle and will put your desperate behind through the ringer no matter what. you will never be truly happy living like that. be YOU and quit looking to others (especially men) to validate your existence

  • comment

    she did say “So shout out to all the Clutchettes who know exactly who they are.” if that isn’t you then she isn’t speaking for you… no worries!

  • http://www.curlyhairandstuff.com Nicole

    Love.

  • libpatriot

    Sometimes those who complain are really just hating on us, due to envy. There are articles and reports saying the breadwinners in families are now women. This is awesome news. We set goals and achieve them, Awesome!!!!

  • PJ

    Great article. Very well written, Ms Britni!

  • Anna Baker

    Chile u Betta preach! I’ve told the boyfriends that I’ve had (and current fiancé, lol) that I wore this (outfit, whatever) for me, but good for you if you like it too!

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  • BloominLotus

    I was just having a conversation with my bff about this very topic! I will share it with her! Thank you for writing this piece!

  • http://gravatar.com/blackjesuscom blackjesuscom

    But what Black women do need from
    more Black men is a positive affirmation
    and daily compliments about their
    natural God given beauty.

    Our daughters, wives, girl friends, and other
    sisters who we encounter during our day need a
    kind word to counter the distorted Caucasian
    media definition of beauty that Black women
    are inundated with.

    Click here to see why its important for all women of
    color to redefine beauty in a world where white people
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    Click here to see http://bit.ly/ra07Tw

  • Leonard Sturdivant

    I’ve been preaching about the side effects of White Validation Syndrome for years… the moment we stop internalizing it is the moment we liberate ourselves from their control.

  • James P. Jackson

    Ms. Information:

    I agree with a majority of yours and, other ladies who commented pon this issue. I’ve seen and continue to see the beauty of the black woman daily;while in the Military, here at my job, shopping, etc. etc. etc.

    However, I do fault the media, rappers, celebrities, and others who want to continue these sad attacks on the black woman’s character and her life choices; specifically with men. As long as the “establishment” Tea Party aka the Klan in suits; continues their attacks on President Obama, Madame First Lady Obama and her children, then the White Validation Syndrome will go on well into the 22nd Century.

    The ONLY WAY to change this and other dynamics of this issue is for:

    BLACK WOMEN TO STOP WORSHIPPING $$$$$$ AND WHO HAS IT; STOP CRITICIZING EACH OTHER IN THE MEDIA (specifically criticisms in the media by black hollywood and politicians); AND ULTIMATELY, FOCUS UPON THEIR OWN INDIVIDUAL HAPPINESS***(This happiness IS NOT between a brotha’s legs, in his pockets or bank account(s))!!!!!!

    I like admiring EVERY PART of the black woman however, these parts are inside her brain, heart & spirit; not between her legs, on her chest, or her butt and, a lot of brotha’s only add to the negativity because some only look at the black woman’s body yet, a lot of these brotha’s are shocked when they see a beautiful black woman with a 6 figure salary and don’t even know how to approach an educated black woman or, start a conversation.

    This is sad but,TRUTH IS TRUTH. I say this because I’m just a guilty however, after applying myself to more education, a better job, and a ton of other self-improvment methods that work, I changed my TOTAL view of the black woman; by changing the view of MYSELF***(INSIDE OUT FIRST;not the other way around). . . . .

    Thanks to all who posted, this is dialogue that needs to be spread further.

    James.

  • Marcia E brown

    Sooooooooo on point! It’s quite alright to just be who we are!

  • shadow

    Awesome post!!! Really felt the unity and positive remarks made by others.

  • http://thetokenblackgurl.blogspot.com/ Deep_V

    This is so real and SO on time. I owe no explanations to anyone about my blackness or the ways of a black woman. We are NOT matching pieces. PREACH IT!

  • Emi

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Exactly what I needed to see today. Love you, Clutch.

  • Sara

    I just became a fan of clutch.com
    That was so inspirational and so needed.

  • http://gravatar.com/gailsidney gailsidney

    You better SAY THAT… sister. http://pinterest.com/pin/127789708147433937/

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