When I was in high school, I loved magazine quizzes. I called myself being so grown, taking the 20-question polls in Cosmo and the “What’s Your Kissing Style” queries in Seventeen (knowin’ goodness well I wasn’t lip-locking yet). But I couldn’t help noticing how obvious it was that women of color weren’t the target audience for these cute little personality tests.
That got me to wondering what it would’ve been like to have had a few quizzes for us, by us in our favorite women’s mags back in the day. For a corrective experience, step into the Wayback Machine with me and take the following ten-question quick to see which of the ladies of Hillman College’s Gilbert Hall you most closely resemble.
1. No one asks you to Homecoming. You:
a. Import a nice fellow from over at Avery. Say, doesn’t Freddie have a cousin over there…?
b. Go it alone. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, amirite?
c. Borrow one of your mother’s many boy toys.
2. You need a dress for the Spring Fling. Where will you buy it?
a. From the girl on the first floor of your dorm who runs a little seamstress shop out of her room.
b. A quaint little Salvation Army store; last time you went, you scored a flowered sundress and pair of Birkenstocks for 10 bucks!
c. One of the Big Three: Neiman’s, Sak’s, Bergdorf’s
3. You’re famished. When you finally get to The Pit, you order:
a. the juiciest burger you can get–and it tastes all the better with an employee discount
b. a veggie wrap with fat wedges of avocado and a side of fries—but only if Mr. Gaines can guarantee you that he doesn’t fry them in animal fat
c. grits and eggs, prepared by your favorite prospective soror, Li’l Sister Do-Right—and do put some butter on those grits; you’re not on a diet…
4. When you get stressed, you:
a. pull an all-nighter, take a third job, and then pass out from all the pressure.
b. burn sage, get a colonic, and chant.
c. relax, relate, release.
5. You’d rather date:
a. an earthy Jamaican med student.
b. a womanizing huckster–preferably a rabble-rousing writer or an out-of-work musician.
c. a self-righteous engineering professor.
6. Classes are unexpectedly canceled for the day. You:
a. pick up an extra shift at The Pit or the morgue.
b. head to an Occupy Hillman rally to sing “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”
c. sashay to the mall, where you max out your very last credit card, trying to prove a point to a racist sales clerk.
7. What do you think of beauty pageants?
a. It depends on the size of the scholarship the winner gets.
b. They’re sexist, degrading, and you wouldn’t be caught dead parading around in a bikini and heels.
c. You were Miss Magnolia three years runnin’!
8. You think Ron Johnson is:
a. cute, but ultimately incompatible with you.
b. morally repugnant, but irresistible.
c. annoying, aimless, and a great friend.
9. For winter break, you:
a. avoid visiting your strict father in Cleveland, by taking an extra course and working doubles.
b. go on a rainforest hike.
c. find a way to get Dwayne to invite you to Brooklyn.
10. Which vulnerable or violating experience do you most relate to?
a. A pregnancy scare during freshman year of college
b. An attempted date rape
c. Sexual harassment from a workplace superior
Three or more A’s: You’re a Kimberly Reese! You’re driven, well-liked, and loyal to your friends—even when they don’t deserve it. You rarely take time out for yourself and would rather be furthering your ambitions than smelling the roses. But your selflessness usually pays off big in the end. In the upcoming year, take a bit more time for yourself. And don’t be afraid to expend some of your boundless energy on a new romance. The man you skip a shift of work to go out with may end up being the man of your dreams.
Three or more B’s: You’re a Freddie Brooks! Sometimes, you’re seen as flighty and fickle, especially when you quote Joseph Campbell, dispense holistic advice, or champion the many joys of veganism. But following your bliss has served you well thus far; you don’t intend to stop any time soon. Your indecisiveness, especially in matters of love, can lead to the betrayal of friends, but your plucky personality and willingness to apologize usually wins them back. In the new year, try listening to others more and raising your voice in protest less. Your near-constant rallying cries could cause you to drown out the best advice you may ever receive.
Three or more C’s: You’re a Whitley Gilbert-Wayne! You’re often accused of being bourgie and when the Manolo fits, you rock it. But you’re more than a debutante, soror, or den mother; you’re also a civically-minded career woman, a patron of the arts, and—quiet as it’s kept—a ride-or-die chick. You know how to be elegant and diplomatic, as well as down-home and down for the cause. Sometimes it’s difficult to get people to change their initial perceptions of you; your first impressions are not always good ones. But over time, you tend to charm naysayers with your commanding presence, sincerity, and ability to evolve. In the upcoming year, remember that every now and again, it’s okay to play the background. Often, the sphere of greatest influence lies somewhere beyond the spotlight.