Dear Black Women, You're Perfect The Way You Are
Things all black women and girls need to hear.
People of color are also responsible for maintaining the Euro-centric standard of beauty in colorism and selective breeding.
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We even use the same standards when WOC participate in beauty pageants, while knowing fully well that those women are tokenized to fit the image of being thin, having soft textured hair and of middle or upper class. Black beauty on television turns to the male gaze in order to find approval via patriarchy. Beauty as a feminist definition of self-love is new because nothing is valued as beautiful unless men fantasize what they want in a woman.
Social media platforms are hit and miss to improve the self-esteem of WOC. Black women slayed Instagram and owned it, but it led to maintaining the patriarchal beauty standard rather than fixing it. It is troubling to see Instagram models promoting herbal tea that is supposed to help women lose weight, yet I can find little information on whether the products really work or are let alone safe.
I want black girls to know that my or any man's opinion and approval in beauty is worthless. Self-love may seem cliche, but it is the truth. As black people we also have to be mindful of vocabulary and the things we say about black women. Yes, black women are known for their bodies, such as thickness being a commodity, but we have to be mindful that there are girls and women who feel that they are not thick enough or too thick.
It does break my heart watching a trending news story of a woman losing her life because she does not feel loved. Granted, there are black men who are trying to revert the affects of the toxic beauty standard, yet the problem I have with the conscious community is that their standard is just as dangerous has the current definition because it excludes women who are overweight, wear weave, have tattoos, disabled and those who define beauty for themselves. We waste too much time trying to prove to the world that black women are better than white women, when we should be proving that black women are perfect the way that they are or choose to be.