Fairest of them all..

February 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

I really enjoyed reading this article about beauty and self-image pertaining to African American women. Jill Nelson makes several points throughout her story about what society thinks is beautiful, how it effects women, and what can be done to overcome societies norm. As a white female, there were several things brought to my attention (allowed me to look back in my knapsack).  She states that in previous years, black women were invisible to society, but nowadays they are more commonly seen on television or magazines. This does not mean we are overcoming racism by allowing them to appear on t.v. The way that black women are portrayed on t.v. poorly represent the actual morals, values, behavior, or hobbies of the average black woman. This is because they are created to be a sexually desired woman with ‘jiggling butts, breasts, or open thighs.’ This is when she adds that she might rather be invisible than represented like such.

And just when I thought I could relate to her in a way that any women could about today’s standards of a woman’s body, hair, and complexion, the aspect of race took it to another level of struggles. Not only do they have skinny, straight-haired women who poorly represent them, they are looked down upon by white women and even women just like them. She says no matter how much a black woman changes her hair, eye color, and figure, they will still not possess the deciding factor of beauty, that is whiteness. It has to be hard to know that your body, hair, or skin color is not acceptable to other people. Instead of following the norm and disguising herself as beautiful in society, she embraces her African American features. She decides to  shave her head, all in attempt to show other people she is comfortable without fake hair, or hair at all. She also wanted to see how the public would react to her. She says that it is a great thing to not go unnoticed. I think she is proud to be representing her color and natural beauty to other people so that they do not have to rely on the television to judge her or people like her.

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