One-On-One with Deric Muhammad
Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): Generally speaking and then personally speaking, what is your view of beauty as it relates to a woman? How do you see that regarding the Law of Attraction? What are some misconceptions women may have as it relates to what they think men believe beauty is?
Deric Muhammad (DM): When you talk about beauty at it relates to the female and the view of a man, there is a saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. I believe that it suggests that what is beautiful to one man may not be beautiful to the next man. In a great way beauty has a lot to do with how a person thinks, and how a person thinks is influenced by his environment and the society that he grew up in. The way a person thinks is influenced greatly by his motives and his agenda. There are so many different things that motivate the view and vision of a man as it relates to beauty.
One of the things that come to mind in the concept of beauty, where women are concerned, is greatly influenced by a man’s mother. A man who has had a good relationship with his mother, which most males do, he sees in his mother qualities that he stores in his mind, and when he goes out to look for a woman he generally chooses a woman that in some way, form or fashion reflects his mother. I found this to be very, very true.
Another thing that comes to mind is a man’s motive. Men are very goal-oriented, and if a man is a surface dweller and he’s thinking from the point of view of conquering the flesh, then of course his view of beauty will be based on that. A woman who he may consider has a pretty face, an hour glass shape then of course that will get his attention. Why? Because of his motive and conquering the flesh and satisfying the flesh. It’s a low motive, not necessarily a high motive. You can’t attract a man with the attracting power of physical beauty. You can get him, but the question is can you keep him?
In civilized nations men are taught to look deeper than the surface, and in most cases when a man pursues a woman he’s trying to figure out whether or not this woman would be the person he could spend the rest of his life with; his wife. A pretty face just won’t get it. An hour glass shape just won’t get it, because that comes a dime a dozen. However when a man is looking for a woman he is going to spend the rest of his life with and who can possibly be the mother of his children, then the qualities that he looks for are internal and not necessarily external.
Don’t get me wrong, every man who is a natural man will be attracted to the physical beauty of a woman, but once you get past the physical beauty and the attitude is bad and the vanity is there and the arrogance is there and the braising sound of a loud and crazy woman, all of that begins to override the physical beauty. Trust me, a pretty woman with a bad attitude can turn ugly very fast. At some point, the man will want to move around to see what else is out there, because at the end of the day real beauty is not external, it’s internal. Therefore, good men look for women who have external beauty, but he wants that external beauty to be a reflection of internal beauty. Not a woman who has external but internally ugly. That’s just not beautiful at all.
As it relates to the Law of Attraction, it says that you attract what you are. In other words, you attract what you think; as a man thinketh so is he. In the Western world, we’ve been taught, either directly or indirectly, that the standard of beauty is and always has been the white woman. That affects the way that we think. So for years the dark-skinned sisters whose African features were more prominent then the European features of the slave master, wore her hair natural versus pressing it and perming it. She struggled with herself and the way she was viewed by Black men in America, in Europe and in the West in general. However, now that’s changing, because as the old world goes out and the New World comes in, that which is Original becomes more popular. Now you see more sisters wearing their hair natural. At one point, having full lips was said to be something that was bad, and now folks are getting lip injections and tanning the skin; that’s a multi-billion dollar business. So it went from us trying to be like them, to them trying to be like us, and when I say “us” I’m saying the Original people. It just goes to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, because what was considered beautiful 30 years ago has changed.
What we see on the outside, of times, is just a reflection of the society in which we live and the way that it coaches us to think. We have to begin looking internally to recognize the beauty on the inside. When you find a woman who is beautiful on the inside and the beauty on the outside is just a reflection of what’s on the inside that is a woman that a man can truly love.
I think that women make the mistake of thinking that external beauty is enough to get them through when it’s not. You have to work on yourself inside out and not from the outside in.
EM: Yes sir, so all of those colored contact lenses, weaves, et cetera don’t really hold much weight as much as a woman would think in terms of attracting a man and keeping his attention.
DM: We’re taught in the Nation of Islam about the scientific process that the Caucasian was made and the scientists who were responsible for the grafting of the Original man into what we see now as the Caucasian. We’re taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that he (Yakub) did it through a concept called the attracting power where it says that the opposites attract and the like repel. I say that to say there is scientific power in the law of attraction. Therefore, a sister can dress herself up in a certain way where she can achieve attractiveness. The question is at the end of the day, yes you’ve dressed yourself up in an attractive way and you walk around the mall and it’s clearly visible that everybody’s looking at you, but you have to ask yourself the question of “what am I attracting”?
There are different levels of attracting power. When a sister decides she will go outside disrobed, revealing certain body parts that should only be reserved for a man who has decided he would take the responsibility of being her husband, and when you go outside like that, you will attract men, but you may attract the kind of man that you won’t want in your life long term, number one. Number two, and I’m just going to be real and honest, a man does not respect a woman who is disrobed as much as he respects a woman who is robed or a woman who dresses modestly. Men have a higher respect and a higher regard for women who dress modestly then they do for women who don’t. We should respect all women and respect all sisters, but when you put what they call your “T & A” on display and you expect a man to respect you for your mind, then unfortunately you attract men that are not looking at you for the beauty of your mind or the majesty of your intelligence. You’re attracting those who are looking at you for what you have on display.
Just like when you walk by the department store there’s a display. There’s a dummy in the window and the merchandise is on the dummy, and the person who’s shopping enters into the store, because something in the window has attracted them to come on in. The question I ask my sisters is what is it you have on display? Don’t be like the dummy in the window thinking that you can display a certain thing that would attract a man to come into that store, but then be angry at him once he gets into the store and he’s pretty much looking for what you had on display. He ain’t looking for anything else except what you had on display.
EM: You just reminded me of many situations that I find myself in when I have on my garment, and I attend these different galas or networking events where everyone is dressed in suits or less. When I come in my Muslim garment, the attention that that particular garment receives probably takes a lot of the attention away from a woman who is less dressed. When you say that the mind of that man is a factor or key component in terms of what he’s attracted to or what catches his eye, I’ve seen that firsthand by being covered up, beautifully, but covered. The level of respect was certainly apparent. Those brothers were breaking their necks just to open the door for me. I definitely see the difference just from those experiences.
DM: A woman who covers herself is beautiful to all men. What the woman who does not cover herself fails to understand is that the woman who covers herself and covers herself beautifully – she’s not walking around with a blanket on – she has attracting power as well; a different type of attracting power. When she walks into a room where so many sisters are half dressed, then she becomes the opposite that attracts.
Now, the sister who has on very little clothes and the sister who is in her garment looking beautiful, they both attract attention and they both will attract some attention that is positive and some they would think is negative; there are pros and cons. The sister with the “Daisy Duke” shorts on thinks that getting any kind of attention is a plus to her, but at the same time the sister is also a prime target for a rapist, she’s a prime target for a molester and she’s a prime target for a woman to be disrespected.
The sister who has on her garment, and she’s dressed beautifully in her garment, she gets all kind of positive feedback from men and women, but particularly from men. However, she can also get some kind of negative feedback. Let’s say she’s a Muslim and she’s covered in her Muslim garment. Her garment identifies her as a follower of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) or a follower of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and because these are hated men by the Western world her garment could attract some form of negative attention, but because she has covered herself and she’s striving to be righteous, God always protects the righteous sister. Therefore, the negative attention that the sister in her garment gets earns the protection of God even when there’s negative attention. However, the sister who is not covered puts herself in position where she takes herself out from underneath that divine protection and it works against her. I say that to say at the end of the day, the sister who covers herself her positives always outweigh her negatives as far as attention is concerned. Yet, the sister who does not cover herself, her negatives always outweighs her positives. That’s for the sister out there who knows, in her heart, that she should be covered. She’s a Christian woman, she has read the Bible and she reads where it is prescribed for her that she should cover her bosom and that she should lower the hem of her garment, but she is afraid that she won’t get the attention that she once got when she wore clothes that accentuated certain body parts that she believes that men want to see. At the end of the day, those negatives outweigh those positives. Therefore, I urge all of my sisters to lower the hem of their garment.
EM: Thank you beloved!
DM: Thank you. I like the questions that you asked, because all too often the sisters are fooled. The beauty of a Black woman is of such to where it could fool you. At the end of the day it’s an illusion. Minister Farrakhan said it like this, “You can gain a man through the beauty of your form, but you can’t keep him like that”. You can’t keep him with the beauty of your form, because someone will always come along with a form more beautiful, and as time goes by gravity works on everything. So what was once a Coke bottle shape one year can overnight turn into a 2-liter (laughing). You just never know what will happen.
EM: …a milk jug (laughing).
DM: (laughing) She’ll turn into a 2-liter on you. You want to make sure that you’ve chosen a man who whether or not you have a Coke bottle or a 2-liter will love you for what’s on the inside and not for what is on the outside.
EM: Yes sir, and not only gravity and someone more attractive coming along, but you have instances where women go through health issues. She may get into an accident and her face is scarred up, or she loses a limb. She may go through Chemotherapy and lose her hair. There was a case where one woman was burned beyond recognition. Those are some of the things I think about as well, things you can’t control.
DM: Right. We live in a society that exalts the flesh and it minimizes the importance of the spirit. What we have to do is minimize the importance of the flesh and exalt spiritual and the mental. When we begin to think like that we’ll probably make better choices in our mates.
EM: One more point. Sister Ava mentioned this on one of her shows a while ago. There was a song by Ludacris, and it was something to the effect of a woman doesn’t have to be attractive for him to have sex with her; he’ll just get drunk and do it anyway. She was making a point that today we don’t even function from physical attractiveness, but now we’re functioning off of impulse. I thought that was a heavy point and observation in how this world has taken a turn for the worse. So when you say that the society that we live in now exalts the flesh it now goes beyond being physically attracted to someone, because you can intoxicate yourself and go through with it. You don’t care anymore.
DM: Well what Ludacris was saying was that he just wanted to satisfy the flesh, and because a woman that he deemed to be attractive wasn’t available, he said, “Well you know what, I’ll just take what I got sitting right here in front of me and what I’ll do is inebriate myself. If I inebriate myself then just maybe I can give myself an excuse in the morning for sleeping with this person”.
That’s what lets you know, number one, that it’s all an illusion and number two, in reinforces the idea that women can only be used for tools of pleasure and that’s it. However, it’s like the Minister says, “It’s difficult for a woman who does not respect herself to demand respect”. Even with a brother like Ludacris, he’s looking for that right sister that he can marry. Every man is looking for that in some way, form or fashion. I believe every man is looking for that right woman.
We can critique Ludacris for saying something like that, and we should because that’s not right, but we have to also ask ourselves the question – the sister that he’s talking about – how did she present herself to him? It’s like when you go on a job interview, the way you want to be perceived you present yourself in a way that fosters that perception, period. Therefore, my question to my sisters is this, how do you want to be perceived? Based upon the way you want to be perceived, you should present yourself in a way that fosters that perception.
EM: Beautifully said. Thank you very much for your thoughts beloved.
DM: Thank you, I appreciate the opportunity.