Black people. Read and what are your thoughts?

The implications of constant reinforcement of Euro-centric ideals of 'beauty' displayed in magazines, television, etc on the black African American women deeply scar their psyche from these images. Eurocentric ideals of beauty are ‘Euro’, being light-skinned, with straight light hair (preferably blonde), and light eyes (especially blue-eyed). African female features in particular are especially not celebrated to the extremes of Eurocentrism.

Black women are the biggest consumers in the hair industry in the US, purchasing relaxing products, straightening creams, wigs and hair extensions. Although they make up only 10% of the market, these women are obliged to consume beyond the majority.

What is the struggle between a Black woman and her hair? What creates this attitude? Black women do not believe their short ‘nappy’ coiled hair is attractive because no prominent black women wear their natural hair proudly (Neither do popular role models). As one gazes at the few promoted black women who are leading faces, there is an obvious trend amongst them all. In particular to the hair, none of which you may find is of their true human makeup. All of them either relax their hair (relaxer diminishes “frizz”), get weaves (human hair that is stitched into the scalp), or get hair extensions.

Prime examples of this are model Tyra Banks, music stars Beyonce Knowles and Rihanna, television talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, and many more, even the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. Each of these women can only be seen with hair that is against their natural image. They are influential African-American female role models, and yet they are unable to project their true identity as natural black ambassadors and spokespeople to the wider fragile African-American community.

Still today, fairer skin tones are promoted in all aspects of media.society that glamorizes the European standard of beauty, without ever proper representing the image of.

In an image-conscious culture which stresses deep significance on appearance this is nothing but destructive. A society obsessed with looks trains females to think they have to mould into a certain image in order to become successful, accepted, and beautiful.

To recycle European ideals of beauty in a multicultural society is past its time

Eurocentric ideals of beauty has stretched its tentacles to the far reaches of the globe, strangling the self-esteem of females who physically conflict with these standards, and also affecting males who are coloured with the same notions in how they seek in a beautiful mate. African featured women in the media by far suffer the greatest from this often overlooked issue in today’s modern society. It is so deeply rooted that it goes unchecked by the majority of those who observe media. When images are constantly reinforced and regurgitated each day, one begins to believe solely in what they are shown.

Don't take it too harshly. Black people and the community have a lot to deal with and they have to strengthen their own before anything will be resolved.

What are your views? I sympathize with the black community.

The black community needs to have pride in who they are and strengthen their fragile community. You are still misguided and shackled under the colonisers.

This a serious question. Honest opinions. Please educational discussion.

Tons of research and critical thinking, observation etc. Media/Communications studies student.

Update:

Isn't it sad that this system has made the black community hate each other over small things? Blacks have still yet not been liberated.

Update 2:

Yes Ms Trust I wrote this! These are form my essay. I actually wrote a college paper on this topic. I am very critical. It's my passion.

Update 3:

PEOPLE PLEASE DON"T ATTEMPT TO ANSWER IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING INTELLIGENT TO REPLY WITH.

WHO CARES IT"S JUST HAIR?? C'MON PLEASE>

Update 4:

I notice black people do not help their cause. They push it off and make it look trivial.

It is very deep psychological damage going on here.

Update 5:

SPUDDY- I am actually not part if the African American community. I live in New Zealand so I am not making excuses for anyone. I am just clearly making an observational point. Isn't that F'D up though? This world is a very deranged world. The 'COLONISED' strive to be white and lighter and the whites want to tan and become BROWN??

The system is at fault. It was built on a colonial back, it was wrong from the beginning, is still wrong and will always be wrong.

11 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I find it sad but I think education is key. If blacks, or people in general, are educated in school about the many stereotypes and biases of the media, they can at least think more critically about what messages they are getting from ads or shows or movies. I think the African-American community are more vulnerable to the damage that living in a highly Eurocentric society can sometimes inflict among those who do not fit the "beauty standard" since they have a long history of being denied basic rights and were not given respect for the many great contributions that they offered society, even in a time as recent in the 1960s whereas Caribbeans and Africans, although also subjugated by others, at least did not have their cultures stripped from them or ridiculed in their own society.

    I hope that since what society considers to be a black man can be elected President, that beauty types that differ from the current Eurocentric standard can be considered beauty, not just an "exotic beauty" and that blacks no longer find straight, relaxed, or fake hair to be more desirable than their natural hair.

  • Matrix
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It's ironic because I asked a question today about this light vs. dark dynamic in the Black community. It's really to the point where Black people have to look past colonialism and Eurocentric beauty standards. The problem is too many Black people are still watching Channel Zero. Black women see Beyonce and they see Halle Berry and they feel inadequate. Black men are still caught up on "red bone love." Black women tell me all the time how much "better" my dark skin is compared to light skinned guys, as if this is a compliment. It hurts me because we still hate each other.

    Channel Zero will never show a true representation of the Black is Black mentality. That's why the media is the last place to look for guidance and inspiration. It's also time to leave the colonialism excuses behind (not saying you are making them). We have to understand that Black is Black and leave the BS back in the past.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm not black, but I'd like to add my two cents.

    Black women are not the only ones who are made to feel like crap about their appearance. I'm an extremely pale white woman, and the current standard of beauty says that I need to go out and "get some sun" so I don't look "dead" and "like a ghost." The Hyatt hotel chain recently put out a viral video of two pale white girls entitled "Pasty pale white chicks in need of a tan," where the girls talk about looking "like ghosts" and "scaring young children" with the paleness of their skin. White women spend millions of dollars each year frying their skin, which can be deadly, because they have been told that their natural skin tone is unattractive and unacceptable. When was the last time a weave or a hair relaxer killed someone? So stop feeling so sorry for yourself and whining about how the white man is holding you down. We all get this crap in some form or other.

    As for your comment about Eurocentric ideals of beauty having no place in a multicultural society, I disagree. There is no such thing as a truly multicultural society. There is ALWAYS one culture that comes out on top, subsequently oppressing all the other cultures. If the Eurocentric ideal of beauty is no longer the norm, then some other ideal of beauty will be.

  • 1 decade ago

    You've made good points of course a lot don't listen and that's the problem some may read this and say oh yeah she has a point but their attention will lead to other things in the next minute. Its sad if only there was a way to get and keep their attention and actually make them change their way of thinking and acting. But i don't see any

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well have you seen hip hop/rap videos? Majority of the girls I see in those videos look mixed with long straight hair so it seems like fair skin and long hair whether natural or relaxed is what is preferred these days.

    And how many successful black female singers are there with dark skinned?- less

    It's just one of those things that can't be easily fixed within the society.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i'm white, and probably don't have much right to speak on this, but here's what i think.....

    white people (i say that because you used the term Eurocentric) are not the only people with straight hair. in fact, i'm white, and i have very curly hair. most asian people, and very many hispanic people, have beautiful, shiny, very straight hair.

    as for the eyes, i'm white, and i have brown eyes, and so do most of the people in my family. many european "white" people have brown eyes also. that whole blue eyes/blonde hair is only common racially in a few european countries.

    another example could be that sometimes asian people have surgery to get rid of the epicanthic fold in their eyes that they are born with, and i have heard some asian people say that they do this to look more "white". well, asian people are the only "race" that are born with this epicanthic fold, so they aren't necessarily trying to look "white".

    i guess my point is here, the US is a melting pot of cultures/looks/aesthetics. i think the US takes a combination of different looks/colors/"races" of people and the media spits out an unrealistic combination of the "best" features: straight hair, light eyes, a certain type of nose, fuller lips, etc etc etc. most "white" people do not have all of these features, except maybe scandinavian people.

    p.s. this excerpt from your essay is beautifully written and you make excellent points, and i think it's awful that there are black people that feel some of their features are not beautiful enough because of the constant "perfect" image that the media spits out. my heart goes out to you. <3

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm really tired of the Black Women hair thing. If I choose to relax, weave, straighten, or rock my natural texture, it's because I choose to. Not because I'm trying to come something I'm not. Some of the things I agree with, but, sometimes people put too much meaning into the littler things in life.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    - That was well thought and well written if you did indeed write that; I can't disagree with what you said; I agree

    However, I'll give you a heads up, many black women will defend their hair decisions to the ends of the earth

    There was apparently a poll done asking why black women didn't go to the gym and the #1 reason was because of their hair; how bad is that?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I agree with you that black women have been given the short end of the stick. But at the same time black women themselves tend to prefer white men or lighter skin anyways. Isn't that hypocrisy to call the pot black?

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