African-American Beauty Standards

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When most people reflect on their body they think of the physical attributes: the thickness of their hair, the color of their skin, the shape of their body. When most people think their body they conditionally think of the negative attributes: the jiggle of their thighs, the rolls of their stomach, the cellulite of their butt. People around the world and from culture to culture all have a social beauty standard to which they yearn to look like. South Korea has the highest worldwide rate per capita of plastic surgery due to their beauty standard. African women in Ghana consider curvy, thick women to be beautiful, but condescendingly are being pushed toward a Western beauty standard for “health reasons”. In the United States beauty standards…show more content…
From one angle women of color face the media’s influence of black women conforming to “white” beauty standards. One woman of color expressed her raw feelings about the media’s influence on African American beauty standards in the United States stating, “Since African women don’t want to be ugly (black), they straighten their hair, bleach their skin, and some with extra money, chisel their facial features to effect a less Africoid look” (“The Standards of Beauty”). Some prominent examples of this would be celebrities like Beyonce or Queen Latifah. At the start of their career these women had darker skin and sported “black” hairstyles with braids, but now they both possess clearly lighter skin and wear their hair in a sleek, blown out fashion that is often associated with being white. On the other hand, black women have their own ideals of beauty entirely different from the white celebrities commonly seen. A columnist for The Root, an African-American newsletter, put up a picture of a popular fitness model to her social media page in order to see what her primarily black followers reactions were. Explaining the experiment Demettia Lucas says, “[She] has a figure that is held up as "ideal" for black women—narrow waist, ample bosom, thick thighs and prominent rear—and many women commented how they would love to look just like her” (Lucas). The beauty standards for…show more content…
There is the chance that one woman can abide by these impossible standards, meet them, and live an emotionally satisfying life, while there is still a large chance that conforming to these standards can be dangerous and result in eating disorders, body damage, self-esteem problems, emotional turmoil, and so forth. Ultimately the risk is much higher than the reward. As seen in South Korea high school students are being pressured to undergo permanent plastic surgery to look good enough to obtain a job. Traditional tribes in Africa are losing their traditional values from Americanization. The United States is profiting off of a 426 billion dollar industry which in turn is influencing young women as early as age seven to change their body because it is not good enough. Through globalization these beauty standards have been transferred cross-culturally and brought forth multiple dangerous circumstances both on the physical body as well as emotionally. It is important and so very necessary for everyone to realize this why raising their children within any culture because it could in fact save a child’s

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