Black women are born wordsmiths. Our ability to manipulate words and create sayings that become widely adopted by other cultures and often imitated by mainstream media crowned our lexicon as a cultural cornerstone. Our coined phrases are transformed into idiomatic proverbs used to express grandiose compliments and speak life into the people around us. Moreover, our age-old adages serve as time capsules; carrying wisdom and advice that is coveted and passed down to future generations.
Have you ever been complimented by a Black woman?
Regardless of ethnicity, our expressions of admiration are delivered with a conviction that is so infectious and demands for the person on the receiving end to promptly recognize their beauty, talent, and/or skills in the moment. Our words remind people to keep their crowns on and their chins held high.
Receiving compliments from Black women has completely shifted my day and boosted my self-confidence. Causing me to smile a little wider, stand a little taller, walk a little daintier and show up unapologetically. Here are few sayings that I have learned from Black women:
“You a gwan bad!”: which is patios for, you are so fly that is disrespectful to the people around you but please, carry on.
“You went off!”: meaning you exceeded expectations and went outside of the normal range of excellence.
“It is giving what is supposed to give.”: meaning the look you are serving has no flaws.
One compliment that I have recently added to my compliment rolodex is “Look at the material.” It is simple in instruction and an explicit command to direct your gaze to a high-quality image. The muse in the image is “ THE Material.” I’m talking about premium, crème de la crème, top-tier level imagery here.
This compliment is one of the highest honors. And should be taken to heart.
A Black woman’s compliments feel like a long hug. Our words are guaranteed confidence boosters and are another way we choose to build community through expressing support.
Now, it is your turn. What is one of your favorite compliments you received from a Black woman?