I know I’m not alone in experiencing this seemingly harmless comment that’s anything but. It’s a phrase that, at first glance, might appear as a compliment, but it carries a hidden weight that many of us have had to unpack.
Growing up, I was always taught to express myself clearly and eloquently. I took pride in my ability to communicate effectively, and that’s something I’ve carried with me into my professional life. However, the seemingly innocent comment, “You talk so proper,” has followed me like a shadow.
At first, I brushed it off, thinking people were just acknowledging my communication skills. But over time, I began to realize that this comment often comes with an undertone of surprise – as if the expectation was different based on preconceived notions about my background or identity.
Let’s be real; language is a powerful tool. It’s a reflection of our unique experiences, cultures, and upbringings. So, when someone tells me I “talk so proper,” it implies that there’s a predetermined standard of speech that I’m either conforming to or deviating from.
The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to communication. We all have our individual styles, and none is inherently superior or inferior. Embracing linguistic diversity is not just about accepting different accents or dialects; it’s about acknowledging that there’s beauty in the richness of how we express ourselves.
So, to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of the “You talk so proper” microaggression, know that your voice is valid, no matter how it’s perceived. Embrace your unique way of expressing thoughts, ideas, and emotions. After all, it’s our diverse voices that make the conversation so interesting and meaningful.