Grandmother & The Girl
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Politics and Activism

Grandmother & The Girl

Before, She Had Never dealt With African American Beauty Standards.

Grandmother & The Girl
Cooper Family

A little girl and her family were on their way to Grandmother’s house. They didn’t go over a river or through the woods. Instead the family loaded four kids and two parents into a van and took to the freeway for almost an hour. Once they arrived at Grandmother’s house, the old woman greeted them greatly with hugs and kisses. After about two hours, when the food began to settle into their stomachs, the family and Grandmother split apart to do whatever each person wanted to do. The little girl found Grandmother in the kitchen, sitting at the table. Grandmother smiled and asked the little girl to sit down with her for a while and talk. The little girl agreed with no hesitance and hopped into her favorite chair at the table.

Grandmother asked the little girl about her day, school, her parents and her pets. In turn the little girl asked Grandmother about her famous tea recipes and Society parties. Then, after a momentary break in chatter Grandmother was asked why the little girl was so dirty. Grandmother was very confused by this question and asked the little girl to elaborate. The little girl then simply said how her skin was dirty and her eyes were a plain brown. The little girl said that her entire body was like poop, from her hair, to her eyes and her skin; all brown and dirty like poop. Grandmother was appalled. She told the little girl that it doesn’t mean you are anything less just because your eyes aren’t blue and your hair isn’t blonde and your skin isn’t white. The little girl looked confused and said to her Grandmother that everyone pretty she knew was white with blond hair and blue eyes. The little girl said her mommy was pretty, her auntie was pretty, the movie stars were pretty, her friends were pretty and her own teacher was pretty because of their ocean eyes, golden hair and creamy skin.

Grandmother was going to say something else, something meaningful about the girl's mixed beauty that would stick with the girl for the rest of her life. But before Grandmother could say a word, one of the boys came into the kitchen and shouted to the little girl about a worm that was only half cut in half. That it’s two halves were being held together by a thin piece of skin. The little girl was excited by this and immediately jumped from her favorite chair at the table next to Grandmother and ran out the door with the boy. Grandmother neither yelled nor chased after the little girl to tell her that meaningful thing. Instead Grandmother turned her head to the window and began thinking about what it meant to be pretty.

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