Are Black Women Really that Stank?

No, not stank like funky.

This past weekend, I braved the lameness that is Philly night life and went out with some friends. It was a little before midnight, but the place was starting to get a little packed. I was standing against the wall watching some Olympic event on one of the clubs fly big screens, when I made I contact with the relatively well dressed black man. He smiled at me, I smiled back politely and nodded, and then glanced back up at the screen. In my supersonic periphery I noticed homeboy still glancing my way, with a look of astonishment on his face. He leaned in and said “I didn’t know black women smiled at black men anymore.” I smiled again, and said something witty about mean-mugging. He laughed and went back to chatting with his boy. A few minutes later as he was changing post up spots, he extended his hand to me, smiled and said “You made my night. Have a good one.”

As I continued to watch the pretty TVs, I thought about what this man said. (At this point in the night, my thoughts were more entertaining than the crowds of people shamelessly dancing off beat.) Are black women really that stank? I know I have to catch myself sometimes and snap out of my tight “don’t say anything to me” grill. But I thought this was something relatively unique to me.

Now that I am maturing and becoming more self aware and such, I have started to pay attention to this. But like dude said, are black women like this across the board? Or is just at the club when we are trying to keep the snaggle toothed busters away? Do we only smile when we are trying to get men to buy us (and the army we came with) dranks? Does the stank look cross all situational barriers?

If it does, something may be wrong here.

First, lets not assume every man is trying to get in those jeans or dress pants. (please see “No Girl, It’s Not that Deep). We are quick to talk about how we can’t find eligible black men and all that. While this may be a reason for the “I smell something nasty” face in theory, it is not that man’s fault he is an endangered species. No I am not saying every man could be Mr. Right, or the next Mr. Right Now, but loosen up a bit.

No one (male or female) wants to talk to a sour puss. Pause. I used to adopt this “I am going to look as stank as I want to because a real man will see past that and want to approach me anyway.” Girl, please. You know you and your girls talk about the broads across the room that are looking all ug and bitter. Sadly, you often do too. So imagine how a group of dudes see that. I can just hear them now talking talking about how silly we look.

Please don’t think I am saying walk around with a Kodak smile at all times. Where I’m from, those smiley faced people get got. Nor am I saying every black man warrants a smile just because. That dude with the tattered pants and non-gangster lean licking his lips at you…you shouldn’t smile at him…or maybe you should just so he doesn’t crazy and charge at you…you make that call. I’m just saying, if someone nods and smiles at you in a respectful and decent manner, it is only polite to do the same. All the eye rollin and neck snapping is not necessary all the time. It makes you look nicer, even if you’re not, and it could serve some positive end. Your smile could make his day. Maybe now he wants to exchange business cards or myspace account names. Or maybe it’ll end there and that will be that.



21 responses to “Are Black Women Really that Stank?

  1. Let the church say amen. There’s so many valuable sisters out there that get discounted cause they’ve been schooled by the game to look unapproachable. If I didn’t like black women so much, I’d never try to talk to them, cause on average, it’s so much easier to approach women of the majority. I gotta say though, I can understand the caution. I’ve watched the smiley ones get got…

  2. A woman can be smiley without being naive or googly-eyed (pronounced
    “I can’t believe he’s talking to me!”), which is responsible for the getting got. That type of maturity comes with time though.

  3. cosigning the above comment.

  4. Thanks for the comments thus far…I want to pose a question though:

    What contributes to black women projecting this image (or reality) of stankness? Where does it come from?

  5. RightCoastLexSteele

    I’d just like to take the time to use this blog to thank God for Latina and White women. Am I one of “those” brothers? Maybe. Do I love black women? Sure. But we are all Jah’s/God’s/Allah’s/(your personal diety’s) children, and I am not here to discriminate.

    Now, since I’ve never…EVVVVEEERRR been able to figure out what/how/why women think, for me to sit here and present an argument of where the stankness comes from would be foolish. I havent the slightest idea why. If I did have to guess I’d probably say it’s more of that “N*ggas aint shit” conditioning. And it is what it is, because justifiably a lot of dudes have aided this mentality, and yea, yea, yea, I aint like them other dudes, I’m different…blah blah blah. But you never really know for sure. Cuz the last dude said he was different and turned out to be the same. So here comes the stank face. Because you cant possibly be the problem. Not at all.

    To quote one the greatest thinkers of our generation:

    “Aint shit @&$$^ usually attracts aint shit %(@@#*”

    Fill in the blanks. Just throwing it out there.

  6. Vanessa aka Miss V

    Well Tiff, i think the stankness can be the result of: a. dealing with too many shady dudes trying to get some, b. being/trying to be Miss Independent, c.recently getting out of a bad relationship, d. growing up/living in a metropolitan city (read: nyc, DC, chicago, or philly). nonetheless… these shouldnt be excuses to be rude to all dudes. i agree that a smile goes a long way, something i’ve learned from traveling. plus i hate when people on the street tell me to smile lol.

  7. As one who is often unaware of her facial expressions, I am more than guilty of being caught with the stank face every now and again. Where does it stem from? Well, that’s hard to say. But at this point in my life, I’ve become accustomed to 1) the dude who thinks that lickin his lips and squinting his eyes real hard will get my attention; 2) hearing things like “damn, shawty, you fine as f*ck”, “baby, you know you need to be with me”, “where ya man at?”, or “girl, I would tear that thang up” as a dude’s intro line; and 3) a dude tryna holla while his girl is attached to his arm. I think it’s fair to say that the resulting “stank face” is more than appropriate in these situations and does a pretty good job of letting him know I ain’t havin it. Moreover, I think the “stank face” serves as a visual representation of my thoughts surrounding the absurdity of his approach. (Don’t expect any type of acknowledgment beyond that.)

    So…while I do realize there are many good men out there, my experiences have “conditioned” me to assume that I won’t encounter any, and as such, I keep the stank face in full-effect.

    Note: Does this mean I go out and just sit there mean-muggin the whole time? No. (Come on…I ain’t that bad.) But I’m also not one to just sit there smiling all night. Just because I’m not smiling, doesn’t mean I’m mad or don’t want to be approached. Just, please, come correct. (Don’t tell me to smile, though.)

  8. Nyela…you are a woman after my own heart. I agree with all of that. Being from NY, most times I smile just so the “bi-polarness” of the man that just got played doesn’t come out: Where an “Ooo girl, you are so damn sexy” turns into a “F*cK you b*tc% you’re not that fine anyway.” Those can turn into scary situations…so usually…everyone gets the smile, nod, acknowledgement, or whathaveyou until they start to press me…and then stankness is in full effect.

    And I refuse to believe that Latina women aren’t as stank. Maybe White women aren’t…but I’m not buying the Latina thing…sorry RightCoastLexSteele.

  9. RightCoastLexSteele

    Mida…senorita Caliente…no necesita comprarlo, pero es la verdad. BUENO!

  10. LMFAO. I’m going to get fired.

  11. Seattle Washington

    Yeah, all women have the potential to be stank. As I discussed with a close friend of mine who happens to be Asian (what up L!), the defenses are up for women of all races. Somehow Black women do it with a flair all their own. After all, it’s in our genes to take everything we do to the next level. Embrace it homie.

  12. I admit, I do put on the “stank face” a lot. Then there’s the “stank face” to the 10th power which is: “If you approach me, I will cut you.”

    A smile does go a long way, just not the way we want at times. There are some crazy people out there.

  13. To address this whole Latina theory…

    I smell a trap (absolutely no pun intended). Yeah… she’s all accommodating and smiley right now… NOW.

    When you all are married and no longer just dating… cuidate! I’m sure pretty sure hot arroz con pollo burns just like grits… lol.

    Now on stank faces…

    I agree that too many black women walk around w/ a chip on their shoulder. I am constantly greeted on trains, in stores, the nail shop, the bank, you name it by black women w/ scrunched up faces. As a child I was taught to say hello to people and smile, like when you walk through the neighborhood or if you sit next to someone on the train. It’s just common courtesy.

    I will also say that smiling can be dangerous. If I’m on the train and am outnumbered by goodfornothings then I tend to throw on my headphones. That way if dude who insists on referring to me as “black skirt” doesn’t get that I’m not trying to holla, I can at least pretend that I can’t hear him.

  14. Oh shoot…I’ve honed an awesome “boo boo face” since high school where I had a huge reason too. All them dudes there reeked (like weed) on the real. *Screws face* However, I’ve developed such a relentless habit that sometimes I do not even realize when I am making a “boo boo face.” Latino dude at work today called me out and asked me “Por que usted con aria disgustata?” I was so suprised because I wasn’t even consciously making a disgusted look on my face. Wow. Maybe that’s why only thuggish, ruggish guys have been approaching me. I’ve been scaring all the nice, intelligent ones away . 😦

  15. You know what…Ive heard that about Philly women a LOT! I had no idea that Philly women are known for being mean until a man said to me that he KNEW i wasnt from round here cuz when he spoke to me in passing, i spoke back. Im like, dang! is it that deep!??!

    I can say that I have been accused of lookin like im ready to stab somebody…in reality though, thats just what my face looks like at rest. When Im not trying to make an expression, and most often when im lost in thought, i apparently look mean and angry. I cant help that, I be who I be…and there have been a couple of times when someone spoke, and when i smiled and spoke back they were extremely surprised!

    But in answer to the question…I dont think all black women are that stank. Some specifically dont want to be bothered, so I cant fault them for that!

    I will say, that one thing that really pisses me off is when a man (or really anyone for that matter) tells me to smile. I may not have been angry before, but now I am!

  16. From my times of running the party scene in NYC. I really believe that women can be stank sometimes. Honestly I can understand why cause while I’ve been out and about. I see how some dudes are and how they approach women.

    Fellas need to get it together sometimes. I think that’s why women keep that guard up. I have two sisters and I remember those days when I got phone call, to come their aid cause a dude is acting up. Just like your experience with that guy in the club Tiff. I’ve done the same thing before, often telling a lady to smile its not that bad. That sometimes got me a laugh. Once with that laugh I’ve even poked fun at how some men get. Saying “I’m gonna buy you a drink so your going to be my girlfriend for the rest of the night.” Lol. I live in Brooklyn, I see guys talk to anything moving with two legs. So now when I come along now. I have to work harder, its cool I love a good chase.

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  18. One I never have seen large numbers of “fine ass” black women at Barnes and Noble or Strand nor do I find yall in droves at musems or NYPL (library) so that leaves, clubs, bars/lounges as the place to meet..and yall front in those places too, the most democratic place to meet is the streets and yall act iffy out there too, whatever happend to case-by- case basis?

    Its not even deep if you know or think he can see you the question is: What are you going to do? Play coy in city of millions? Or be somewhat direct?

    Ice grill all day but if you like me and I get no smile or I get the dry retort: “fine” ( you barely hear the I in the word) then dont complain about “cant find” a good black man.

    Its like the joke Will Smith son said about God and the guy in the Boat in Pursuit of Happyness.

    Its so bad that my boy a transplanted Brooklynite (lives in, where else ATL but he moved there in 95) came back and said “the way the women act up here , NYC must be jerk off capital”.

    All I am saying IF you like what you see, show some real interest and stop thinking “If he really into me he’ll…….”

  19. I’ll admit that I’ve been one of those stank chicks in the club. But in the ladies’ defense, after being harassed by more than a few ineligible bachelors, a mean mug is an automatic response.
    But I do think it is our job to make a conscious effort to look a little more pleasant, even if it is to avoid getting cursed out by some dude who doesn’t take rejection well.

    Just to throw it out there, would it be too much to ask for men to step up their approach? If we could minizmize the “Ay girl in the black” or “Shawty lemme holla at you real quick” approaches, it might be a little easier for us to be more pleasant.

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