Okay, so this is my problem:
Since when did being nothing more than an African American become less appealing?
I can't tell you how many stories I've read that have been labeled 'BWWM' or just the BW (standing for black woman as the main character) and when I begin to read the story, the girl is probably 5% black and 95% every-other-race-but-of-African-descent. And I don't understand why the woman has to be mixed in order to have the beautiful skin, hair, and body.
And another thing- the woman has less black in her than anything else, but is 'fiesty and takes no crap' like that makes her a true block woman? I've heard countless times on my story that my protagonist doesn't seem black because she doesn't have a domineering personality and is neither loud nor attitudinal. Yet she's a dark-skinned girl that is completely normal and relatable.
It is okay to be a black woman and everything that comes with it, and it's also okay to express some common traits black women have in your stories.
For example, my eyes are a boring dark brown. I think the shape of them are nice, but they are brown nontheless. Most of all POC that I know of have brown eyes.
If you want to give your character an exotic trait, hazel isn't too far fetched, though I feel like saying light brown is more natural. You could even go with blue or green, though I suggest your character be of mixed heritage so it makes more sense.But I've seen stories where the black woman has eyes that are grey, purple, etc. and 'change colors with the swing of emotions'.Please don't do this. Not only is it unnatural - but also unrealistic.
Also, another common trait is our hair in its natural state. It can be kinky and hard to come through and manage without a lot of products and patience, but I am natural and once I trained my hair by straightening it, it became easy to manage and instead of kinky waves it's a fine curl.... While it's wet. When it dries it is harder to keep the curl and it instead just looks like a big puff unless I keep product on it.
Everyone's natural hair is a little different so it can very depending on who you're talking to, that's just my experience.You can also go the perm route, but the perm has an opposite affect on African Americans than our other counterparts ... It gets straight instead of curly. But when the hair grows from the scalp beginning at the root (which we call new growth) it is in its natural state, making it kinky. So the new hair that has just grown in has to be permed so it can be straight like the rest of the hair. This should be done every 3 weeks, and the white chemical can burn if you're not careful and in the long run damages your hair. This is why most black women go natural.
As far as the rest goes, it really can be up to your imagination, because we're all different in our own way. Some tall, some short, some curvaceous, some skinny. Some loud, others quiet. A few have attitudes, and and a few do not. Personality wise and physically wise - black women are on an unlimited spectrum because are race does not limit who we are or capable of being.
But what does limit us is this thinking that we have to be exotic or mixed or show how much of an attitude we have if somebody crosses us, to be beautiful, sexy, or powerful.
My point is ... Please don't feel like your main character being mixed with anything other than black makes her beautiful.
Please don't feel like your character has to be dark skinned or non-mixed to be a 'real black girl'.
Please don't feel like your character has to have a slick tongue and attitude to be the epitome of a true black woman.
Please recognize that your character can have flaws both physically and mentally and they can still be beautiful.
And please- push the stereotypes to show that black women are, and can be, anything we want to be.