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Standards of Beauty

Standards of Beauty

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SLAVERY WAS SO successful that the colonizers managed to implant their religion and beauty standards unto Black people decades after they left. We can deny it all we want, but European features are still fetishized in the Caribbean. How many times do we hear women say “I want my child to have nice hair”, or men say “she’s cute, but she’s too dark”?

What does the phrase “nice hair” mean to Black people? It means hair that is closer in texture to Caucasian hair than Black hair. How can a Black person be “too dark”? Have you ever considered how ridiculous it is that we judge beauty by how pale someone is? Don’t even get me started on the “big nose” feature. Big round noses are a common feature among Black people, and yet we ridicule people with large noses. Does that make any sense to you? Have you ever seen a white person’s nose? They are not small by any stretch of the imagination, yet we do not belittle them, and we shouldn’t. Noses come in different sizes and we should accept them all.

The biggest irony of all, is that after White people belittled our beauty and broke our self-esteem, today they try to emulate those same features. Suddenly, it’s no longer acceptable to be pale, you must tan. They are willing to risk skin cancer to look browner, yet we bleach our skin to look paler. Butt augmentation is on the rise, as women now want bigger behinds. Think about the celebrities who are credited for the big butt trend; Kim Kardashian and J-Lo. J-Lo might be Puerto-Rican, but she is mostly Caucasian by ancestry and so is Kim Kardashian. I think, of all, the big butt trend was the hugest slap in the face. If I try to speak about the thick lips trend, I might say bad words. How is it that Black people are belittled for having full lips and White people are praised? Lip fillers are cited as the most common plastic surgery procedure by plastic surgeons.

I genuinely wish that we embraced Black features as much as White, but I don’t think it will happen. I must credit the rise of natural hair, as I have noticed a huge consistent following that seems to be growing. I see bloggers use the term “Black Girl Magic” to describe the effervescence that is Black beauty. I once saw an article cite that Khloe Kardashian had “Black Girl Magic”. Khloe is the most Caucasian-looking of all the Kardashian sisters, suddenly it’s trendy to be Black.

It seems the ideal standard of beauty has morphed into women with pale skin and Black features. What’s even worse is that these women are given a platform by Black women who follow them on social media and subscribe to their online content. There is no shame in following people you find beautiful, but consider how harshly Black girls are treated online and in real life. The Black women who naturally has those features do not get the same treatment.

I can’t tell you who or what you should find beautiful. I’m only asking you to consider why you only praise your features on White people and not yourself.

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