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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

They say we’re too muchtoo extra

Our hair’s too puffy, too frizzy, too thick, too short. Our earrings are too big, too long, too ghetto. Our clothes are too flashy, too revealing, too much. What can we ever do right? 

When we celebrate our achievements, we’re products of equal opportunity — showing off, too dumb, too extra. Even if we had nothing to show for, what would change? The adjectives? 

As Black women, we constantly face scrutiny for simply existing. While we may have earned a seat at the table, that doesn’t always mean we’re welcome to sit. So, we try compromising our identities — making ourselves more digestible for the majority. We may even build our own tables, but eventually, those get ripped out from under us too. 

How many times have you seen White women get praised for the same things Black women are criticized about? Extensions, braids, door knocker earrings, big lips — the list could go on forever. What makes us so undesirable that our own style/trends look better on others? Is it our skin? 

The same skin that glistens under the glowing summer sun? The skin that’s literally rich in melanin? The skin that those who criticize attempt to imitate through hours of tanning? That beautiful skin? Or is it our hair?

Hair that grows in such unique patterns, it often can’t be imitated? Hair that’s all over salon walls to exemplify the perfect perm? Hair that holds an abundance of history and meaning? 

No — it can’t be. If these features are so attractive, even to those who condemn them, how could they ever be considered undesirable? The only reasonable answer is that they are desirable — so desirable that they’re criticized by the same individuals who pay thousands of dollars for them. 

While I could tell you it’s jealousy or hate — maybe even resentment — that’d defeat the purpose of this message: to bring attention to the beauty of Black women (not to those who denigrate her). Besides, I’d only be telling you what you already know. 

What’s most important is realizing that we are the blueprint! Don’t let anyone dupe you into believing you’re inferior; if that’s true, your inferiority is highly coveted. 

Next time they say you’re too much, tell them to go find less! 

Mercedes Chioino

UC Berkeley '25

Mercedes is a junior at the University of California, Berkeley majoring in English. She enjoys personal writing, journalism, current events, and trends. Some of her favorite things to do outside of academic life include shopping, reading romance novels, playing with her dog, and trying new restaurants.