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Deborah Bennett:

Even though I’m a secure and confident woman, most women are wired to need words and compliments. Most men have no clue how critical their words of love and little compliments can make our day.

Fellas, take note: these are powerful tools that make us feel desired, beautiful and make us feel like we can take on the world as we go about our day to day activities. So keep them coming, the more the better) and yes we will return the favor!

Danielle Young:

It bothers me that I have to hear that I’m beautiful because I know in my heart of hearts that I’m beautiful, talented, funny and a bunch of other awesome and terrible things, but if it ain’t real to me until someone else confirms it.

Growing up, I was the ugly duckling and the fat kid rolled into one little insecure girl who covered it all up with humor. I liked to make everyone laugh with me before they could laugh at me because it lessened the sting of being the butt of all the jokes. While my mom always assured me that I was beautiful inside and out, I never believed it until I read it in a poem from a significant other for the first time, “Beautifully flawed in ways Michaelangelo would have trouble drawing you,” I was corny and I cried. But even now, some seven years later, I still have a hard time believing it.

Funny thing is, almost daily I hear that I am beautiful and I feed on it like fuel for the day. Quite honestly, far too many times it’s from folks that couldn’t get the time of day even if they had the last watch known to man. But, I digress. I need to have a man tell me I’m beautiful. I can’t help it. Yes, it helps my self-esteem, but there’s something about that fuzzy spark in my gut when I get a simple and genuine, “You’re beautiful,” that I really enjoy.

Ty Alexander:

The title of XOJane’s recent post sparked an insant internal conversation. But before I even read the article, I immediately answered their question with a yes. I absolutely need a man to tell me I am beautiful. And I think of the word “need” similar to me needing a new pair of shoes.

I’ll admit it. I’m not nearly as secure about my outer beauty as I claim to be. So when I hear those annoying cattle calls from the men across the street, I secretly grin on the inside of my heart at their approval.

Growing up I had two extremely active parents. My mother did THE best job at teaching me how to be beautiful. She made sure I knew how to do my own hair, she taught me how to pick the right lipstick so that I wouldn’t appear like a slore, (my mother’s affectionate term for slut and whore), and she made sure I saw the value in smelling good. Her idea was that women should be and are fabulous. That as the creators of life, everyone is looking to us as the standard. And the standard for looking good was going to be met by her daughter.

My father loved both his children. But I could tell that love was different from that which he gave to my younger brother. My brother was to be a man. They were sitting on our porch one day and I could hear my father say to him, “Never cry, always stand up straight. And keep your voice sharp and always speak with intelligence.”

I remember how disappointed I was after coming in second at my 4th grade spelling bee. My Dad told me that no matter what he was just so proud to have such a gorgeous little girl as his daughter. And although I know my father loves me beyond the life he is given, his words have always stayed with me and affected me deeply. I grew up believing that a man’s opinion of my looks were important. I mean, wasn’t my father opinion important.

It took some guy (who I really liked) to tell me I wasn’t as pretty as so-and-so, therefore he was taking her to our senior prom. I didn’t even think about it. I snapped, “Screw you, I am pretty.” Perhaps it was the comparison to another women that sparked my new found confidence. I am still not sure about that. I know I’d need to sit on a couch, and pay someone to listen attentively to my childhood stories, before I could comprehend my views on ego-loving.

I wish my mother, or hell… anybody, would have written me a letter about believing I was beautiful–no matter what any man, woman, or child said. It certainly wouldn’t have taken me quite as long to realize a lot of things that come my way via life.

Shamika Sanders:

In a perfect world, my answer would be, “No, I do not need a man to tell me I am beautiful.” However in the real world my answer is, “Yes.” Before you fall out of your rocking chair, my father is very present in my life. And when I say “present” I mean he and my mom are married, have lived together my entire life and still do. I can recall being called pretty, smart, important and told I was loved in the way I feel a parent should acknowledge their child. My father is my father but he is still a man.

What I have learned in life though is that no matter how much my parents praised me, that all went out the window when I was in the company of my peers. Growing up, I didn’t feel pretty and for the most part I wasn’t. Trust me I know, because I was told. I didn’t have nice clothes or expensive sneakers. I didn’t have long flowing hair or a curvy body like my friends.  More than anything I just wanted to be pretty like the girls who got chased in the schoolyard by boys.

By the time high school came around, I grew into my looks and boys noticed me more. It was a defining moment in my life because I was getting the attention I yearned for from the opposite sex. I believe a man and a woman were put on this earth to be together and that’s why we (women) and vice versa are so dependent on that validation from the opposite sex. Even little lesbian girls or gay boys need that validation from their father, who I repeat is still a “man.” It’s easy for the pretty girl to say she doesn’t need it because, she automatically got it without asking. I don’t think a full grown woman needs the validation because by the time she embodies the traits of full womanhood she will have had the validation along her life. And even my 50+ year-old mother likes compliments.

Shenequa Golding:

Do you need a man to tell you you’re pretty? No! But do you want a man to tell you you’re pretty? Yes!

In today’s society, women are inundated with images of alleged “perfection” that in turn help make regular Janes like myself  feel insecure. No matter how confident a dame you are, if you’ve lived long enough, you’ve had the “she’s so perfect, why can’t I be like her?” thought run through your head. So yes, the best way to combat a negative feeling about your appearance is to of course receive a compliment about how gorgeous you are. It’s even more awesome-sauce if the compliment comes from a super cute John.

BUT! In the event you haven’t found your Barack, Jay-Z, or Denzel, you NEED to reassure yourself! Just like you know your age, or your address, or the fact that the sky is blue, you should know without a shadow of a doubt that you’re the bees-knees and can’t nobody tell you different!  Until then, this billion dollar industry that’s aimed at a woman’s insecurities will always win.

So salute to all my Janes who make heads turn as they walk down the street, but a bigger a shout out to a woman who doesn’t need it because she knows within herself she’s the sh*t!

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Do You Need A Man To Tell You You’re Beautiful: #TeamBeautiful Sounds Off [POLL]  was originally published on

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