The Beauty Of Black Women Essay

The Beauty Of Black Women Essay

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“When my skin is lighter, I just feel prettier.” (Major 2014) “Being lighter shows you belong to a different place on the social ladder.” (Elsa 2014) This is the thought process that many darker-skinned women have, especially African American females. It’s prevalent especially in our generation due to presence of the media in our lives. We begin to idolize lighter skin and eye color characteristics, thin nose and lips, and desire a different hair texture. The media very much changes our perception of ourselves and our standards of beauty. Black women are very vulnerable to the effects of eurocentric beauty ideals, because these standards emphasize mostly on a lighter skin color, and hair types which are traditionally European; this in turns negatively affects their self-esteem.
It’s not hard for one to infer the idea that there has been exposure to European beauty standards to us starting from very young age. Ranging from a lack of representation in Disney movies, to Barbie dolls, and even so far as to what our parents choose to impress upon us. “A skin-lightening regime has been part of my life practically since birth. There are many different types of African-American skin - from dark charcoal to a lighter version - and you grow up knowing that lighter ladies ... belong to a different place on the social ladder.” said by Esla Major to daily mail UK. (2014) Skin lightening is a multi-billion dollar global industry that is being used by thousands of African-Americans, with the most being females. They can range from high-end products like Elizabeth Arden and Clinique to household brands like Garnier and Vaseline. With the influence from a young age of “lighter skin equals beauty” and having skin bleaching products available to ...


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...ey’re appear more European than having African descent. Although there are exceptions where they have some females of African descent that have “exotic” features which include bigger lips, natural curly hair texture, and darker skin tones. But, they are still shown with the standard European body structure -thin built- which still leaves out a large portion of African americans which makes this a poor representation of this group of people. A good example would be Sudan model, Alek Wek that has very strong African features but still has the standard European body structure which is more accepting than any other body structure. We are making progress but we are not at the finish line for this pandemic.
Hair texture is also a very important factor that negatively affect African Americans dealing with European ideals. In West Africa during the early fifteenth century,

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