Friday, February 26, 2016

​ What is beauty?

Beauty, like most American’s my views on exactly what this word means varies, likewise, so does how I recognize it over time. You guys know the story of how media and hundreds of years programming our views on beauty emerges with this single version of a curvy or stick thin white woman. We look to Marilyn Monroe, Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez and are told they are perfect, we are ugly and we need to look as close to them as possible. 

How sad is that? Well, as a black woman in America, it is pretty damn sad. I cannot look like Sienna Miller. Genetically I just cannot. I also cannot find peace within my own ethnic community because we do not all have the perfect blend of white and black features such as Halle Berry, Beyonce and Tyra Banks. Some of us (and all women in-general) have their own unique look and I don’t think that is a bad thing per se. 

I bring up questioning exactly what beauty is because growing up for years and years I became rather obsessed with Alek (the African model) for various reasons. See, here in America, when I was young, most female images I saw were darker then me, yet degrees lighter then Alec. She was one of the darkest faces I had see in the media, and she was everywhere! I would look at her and ask myself “Is she pretty? I don’t think so.” 

That attitude changed with the years of seeing her face. I began to fall in love with her smooth skin, the illumination of her smile and her head shape accentuated by her closely chopped hair. I began to reevaluate what I thought beauty was. I began to question the entire system and media culture. Alek does not have a “black girl body” per se. Not as American culture tells us to identify one (example on how to spot a black woman: long weave and a big ass). Alek, for me in my formidable years, was a game changer. Just by being famous she taught me so much.

Now I am not saying I do not find Jessica White beautiful. Actually, I find her very lovely, however, I no longer look at women for what American culture and the world tells me to focus on. I look at the type of women they are instead of the price tag on their flesh and false promises of beauty.
 
False promise of beauty? Like what? Well, I don’t care how long your hair is. I care if it is healthy. I do not care how white your teeth are. Are your teeth healthy? Your body, is it naturally thin like that or do you obsess over your eating and workouts or are you just plain anorexic?  There are very clear messages being sent there. That who you really are do not matter. Only the external. Only the easiest means for us to judge each other without having to scarify our own obsession with ourselves. 

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