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Why we need to stop idolising edited images of black women

How edited images of black women are having an impact on black women and their confidence

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Before you read this article, search "Instagram Baddie" on YouTube

Now, did you see all those tutorials? True to the "Instagram Baddie" look, these videos pretty much all look the same.

On Instagram, you come across accounts that post selfies of stunning girls from all over the world with more than 1,000 likes on a single selfie.  According to Urban Dictionary, an "Instagram Baddie" is another term for a whore, which is harshly inaccurate if you ask me. The term, in my opinion, is a pretty photogenic girl with a nice body and an attractive, yet repetitive look and sense of style. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Instagram Baddies are making serious money by endorsing all sorts of gimmicks, so you can't knock their hustle. 

My issue here is not with these girls at all, but instead with the images that these Instagram accounts promote and just how they effect black women in particular. 

Tyra Banks once said, "Black women don't have the same body issue problems as white women" and I couldn't agree more with this statement. As black women, we are expected to be curvy and thick without being fat, having stretch marks or cellulite. The stereotypical black woman's body is based on various platforms in our culture promoting images with big bums and breasts, thin waists and flat stomachs. The only images that are glorified show curvy black women all oiled up with no visible stretch marks, hyperpigmentation or cellulite.

These images are not only unrealistic but also have a damaging impact on young black women.

Social media accounts such as @BEAUTIEAFRICANS and @bombblackgirlss promote this ideal physique of a black woman, and it is these very images that result in young girls, and even some women, feeling the need to adjust their look to achieve the "Instagram Baddie" look. I wrote a piece last year entitled, "Dear Slim Black Girls" and the response alone showed me that many black girls feel pressured to conform to the stereotypes plastered on social media. There is nothing wrong with being inspired by a certain look. If the "Instagram Baddie" look is what you're going for then do you. However, if you're like me and were trying to achieve this look for the validation of others, then girl, put down those contour kits and stop practicing those squat angles in the mirror.  

It would be nice to see images of REAL black women unedited and nonsexual, plastered on my social media feeds. As black women, we face all sorts of pressure from our own culture to look, dress and act a certain way. Instagram Baddie accounts just add to the pressure.

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22 year old writer from the UK
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