Thursday, November 9, 2017

Beauty???! How Do You Define It?

The topic of "Beauty" has been discussed over and over in society. "Beauty" in the African American culture is a very sensitive subject because it can range from skin color, grade of hair, eye color, height, and build. Basically, how society wants to view the African American woman superficially.   

Chantelle Brown-Young also known as Winnie Harlow
 First let's be technical about the word "beauty", beauty is defined as the quality of being physically attractive, the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind, and a beautiful woman. Seems clear cut to me. So why does society seem to down play beauty especially in the Black community?  Look at the model Winnie Harlow, she is so beautiful. I do not see any flaws, I just see plain beauty.  It's amazing how this young woman came into the model industry and literally broke barriers. Notice when describing this young woman not once did I mention she has Vitiligo, because it doesn't matter when describing absolute beauty. Some will not see her as a work of art or the face that changed many minds. Some will challenge her beauty and question what makes her beautiful. Some will look at her flaws and call her ugly just cause they have no ideal what true beauty is.  
Beauty has its own versions to the eye. Not every person will agree that beauty is just simple and not so complex. Some individuals believe beauty is having a face full of makeup, a small waist, big derriere, and expensive clothes. Leaving one to believe the shallowness of some individuals. Then again society has placed this facade as though the video vixen, stripper, and Instagram model is the exact definition of beauty after being lifted, beat, sucked & tucked in, and enhanced to all measures. When did the taste for classic, regal beauty fade?  

 When watching an episode of Being Mary Jane in season 2 the question was ask but in a different way. "Are Black women ugly?". When did the notation that Black women are ugly began? Did the African American community embracement of the European culture standards of how beauty is defined dismissed our ancestors teachings? I personally think the notation came from how the Black woman is viewed as strong, independent, self-sufficient, and why some may constitute or viewed as intimidating. Also, I think its viewed that way because the cast majority of Caucasian people believe the Black woman walks around with a "chip" on her shoulder.

 Let's be clear, I for one is not for the antics and shenanigans that society throws upon African Americans Women and Women of Color. By portraying African-American women as self-defined, self-reliant individuals confronting race, gender, and class oppression. African American women factual appear to be dominate in every category; education, finance, physique, class, race, and culture. Yes, the younger generation morals and ethics are questionable, but as a whole the African American woman has defined and conquered all odds. So what makes African American women so ugly? Some may say the attitude of a Black woman, but does that constitute as ugly or just personality. Why the constant negative stigma? Basically, why do everything have to be negative when referring to the African American race? These questions are not to be dismissed as though there is no proof of this being displayed in society or just another Black person complaining for no apparent reason. 

Former First Lady Michelle Obama
 So let's view it from another angle shall we. The most educated First Lady of the United States to ever grace the halls of the White House and steal the hearts of many Americans, Michelle Obama was scrutinized from the moment her husband Barack Obama announce his nomination for the Presidency position. Michelle Obama was educated at the most prestigious Ivy League institutions in the world and then earn several degrees from those same Ivy League institutions. She was still scolded based on appearance. Was this African American woman from the Southside of Chicago intimidating to the majority race because she was able to maintain her success prior to becoming the First Lady off of hard work and dedication? Or was it because she was Black? Or was the African American community not seeing this correctly cause there is no evidence proving the fact she wasn't a victim of American prejudice? Remember when the Caucasian woman Pamela Ramsey Taylor, director of the Clay County Development Corp decided to refer to the First Lady as an "Ape in Heels"? Many argued freedom of speech. True, she the right to speak her mind but it was at the expense of degrading another individual though. History has showed regardless if the African American woman has an education, conduct herself in a professional manner, the best mother, the best wife, Christian, wears the best/expensive brands, and outstanding citizen to society none of that matters because of the color of her skin. That's one of the main reason why the younger generations is focused so much on appearance and acceptance through social media because society has shown to not care about the important factors that makes the African American woman so beautiful.  

 My view of beauty comes from the African American woman perspective and the more I embrace what makes me beautiful, the more I can see why "Black is Beautiful".  I dislike the phrase "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder" because a fool can use the phrase as justification to be ignorant and degrade an individual. Unconventional beauty is something that you can't fully understand and just know when it's presented to you in a form that is more than superficial beauty can be simply amazingly beautiful. Self-love is taught and acquired by one who has fully understood that "Beauty is Only Skin Deep". One of favorite authors/poet wrote, "I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me."- Maya Angelou.