‘You Look Just Like Your Daddy’: Black Women Share Their Favorite Parts About Resembling Their Fathers

Growing up and constantly hearing, “You look just like your daddy,” can evoke a range of emotions for a young girl. It might lead to moments of self-doubt and confusion, making her wonder, “Dang, was that a diss?” This comparison can be challenging, especially during formative years when a girl’s sense of identity and self-esteem are still developing. But, it can also evolve into a sense of pride knowing that they carry the privilege of having their father’s facial recognition wherever they go.

This Father’s Day, EBONY asked Black women to share their feelings about hearing they resemble their fathers. We explored whether these comparisons impacted them positively or negatively and how they overcame any negative effects. For many, being told they looked like their fathers brought a mix of emotions. Some felt pride in carrying a visible link to their heritage and familial roots, finding strength in the traits passed down from a paternal figure. Others grappled with feelings of insecurity, questioning their femininity and societal standards of beauty. Despite these challenges, many women found ways to embrace and celebrate their unique features. They learned to see the beauty in their individuality, often finding empowerment through self-acceptance and redefining what it means to be beautiful on their terms.

Jahylin Elizabeth 

girl you look like your daddy
Image: courtesy of Jahylin Elizabeth.

“Hearing “You look like your daddy” had an interesting impact on my life because I’ve always had small ears, just like my dad. I didn’t realize this until I got older and would sometimes get teased for my little ears or hate wearing headphones. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve learned to take pride in this shared trait with my father. 

When we would have family gatherings, before I could even say my name, relatives would automatically say “Yep, that’s Robert’s kid!” At first this bothered me, but over time I came to embrace it because my dad was my superhero growing up. Knowing I resembled this incredible man who meant so much to me transformed my perspective. Now, I beam with pride when I hear those words, grateful to share this visible connection to my amazing father who has shaped me in so many ways, inside and out.”

Ashley Nicole

girl you look like your daddy
Image: courtesy of Ashley Nicole.

“My mom always tells me this story, when I was a baby, my cousin and I were in the same room, one of the neighbors came over and said “that’s Terraine’s baby, she looks exactly like him”  I was about one or two months old. Now as an adult I look like both of my parents. But when I’m in the same room as my dad, you can tell, “that’s still Terraine’s baby” especially when it comes to our noses. Growing up I use to be so insecure about it, but now? I LOVE my nose and I’ve fully embraced it. It runs in the family, my siblings and I all have it thanks to our dad, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Happy Father’s Day, Dad❤

Larissa Muehleder

girl you look like your daddy
Image: courtesy of Larissa Muehleder.

“I once told my dad I wanted to be a model. I must have been 12 and his response was, “With a face like mine?” I definitely didn’t think I was beautiful. “She has a face like her dad.” My mom and her sisters used to say it all the time. I’ve never really thought about how it affected me but now that I look back, I must admit, that’s probably why I have such a great personality. I never thought I was beautiful. Even now I surprise myself in a passing mirror all the time. It’s like I’m just seeing myself for the first time.”

Whitney Michel

girl you look like your daddy
Image: courtesy of Whitney Michel.

“I loved hearing that I looked like my father my growing up. Even when my mother says she says it it makes me proud. Like wow, I’ve been made in the image of this handsome man who is also a creative (the first creative I knew existed), who came to America knowing nothing about this country and is just brilliant. Resembling him gives me purpose and reminds me that I’m part of a beautiful story that means something.”

Spirit Sahriel 

girl you look like your daddy
Image: courtesy of Spirit Sahriel.

“Growing up and hearing that I looked like my father was such a compliment to me! My dad was like my favorite person. He was fun and funny and cared about fashion. He always made people laugh, so hearing that I looked like him as a little girl made me feel like I had those same qualities!”

Tritima

“I always heard “You’re the exact carbon copy of your father,” growing up and I never paid much attention to it (I mean, it’s true), until years down the line when it started to sound more like a box to place me in than a benign observation. At times, it feels as though by being a physical manifestation of him, I have to walk in his exact same footsteps and it’s taken a lot of bravery (and therapy) to start to carve out my own path.”

Hellen

girl you look like your daddy
Image: courtesy of Hellen.

“Growing up I’d always been told I looked like my Dad by family friends and I didn’t see the resemblance until I was about 13/14years old. We’d just had family photos taken for my parents Anniversary and for the first time it really struck me how much I looked like him. I had his eyes, his nose and his smile (before the braces) and I just felt proud and a sense of belonging. I think in that moment, it reaffirmed to my family heritage and my identity. Being born in Kenya, but growing up in the UK in the 90s, despite being part of a very diverse and close-knit African community, other than our VHS tape of Brandy as Cinderella and SisterSister on cable TV, I didn’t see much black representation. But each time someone asked me if I was Pastor Njagi’s daughter I proudly said yes, because I knew I was a product of the hard work and sacrifices my parents and my grandparents made. I’m actually named after my Dad’s Mom, who he also looks just like. In addition to being the family matriarch and a community leader throughout her life, she was a Mau Mau Freedom Fighter during Kenya’s fight for independence, and was the reason our family secured the land my Dad and his brothers grew up on. “

Brittney Oliver

girl you look like your daddy
Image: courtesy Brittney Oliver.

“I can vividly remember faces scrunching as people looked me in the eye and told me that I looked like my dad. Back then I didn’t really know how to feel, but I knew I would prefer to look like a woman and my late mom is the most gorgeous person that I’ve ever known so of course I wanted to look like her.

Now that I’m older, I’m fine with looking like my dad. The Oliver genes are strong, so that also means I look like my aunts, too and I see that more and more as I age. But to have known my mom is to know that parts of her shine through. The best part of her that I did get was her smile.”

Aliyah

“Hearing that I looked like my dad growing up, I definitely wasn’t happy about it. Even when standing beside him, I thought it meant that I looked manly to people. It’s even hard to tell photos of me and my older brother apart when we were kids because we look so much like each other and so much like him. As I got older, the features I resented in my teenage years were all him: my nose, my scowl, even the slant of my eyes. But I grew into my features a bit more and now I embrace it—good relationship or not, I love knowing that half of my family history is literally written on my face.”

Updated: June 16, 2024 — 9:02 am