Saturday, December 18, 2010
Children and Their View Of Beauty
The reason why I'm writing this post in because my heart goes out to the children and how they were taught as far as beauty standards. Children are very visual and they are going to learn by what they see. Their view of beauty was taught to them by the media and their family as well. We live in a society where the European standard of beauty is the norm and if any woman doesn't fit this beauty standard, she is considered unattractive. The closer you are to this beauty standard, the more the woman will be perceived as attractive. How unfortunate. I believe that this beauty standard is racist because I believe that all women's ethnic beauty should be celebrated, and not just European beauty. The Euro beauty standard is blonde hair, straight hair, light-colored eyes, fair skin, small nose, and thin lips. Since black women are the furthest away from the European beauty standard, they are viewed as ugly to the masses which I think that it's bullshit. The European beauty standard is reinforced all over the media and children learn by what they see. If a child watches TV and all he or she sees are women with fair skin, straight hair, small nose, thin lips, they will automatically think that it's attractive. The more repetitious the media shows this image, the more it will get in a child's brain and he/she will believe that only those type of women are beautiful. If they see a woman that doesn't have fair skin, small nose, thin lips, and straight hair, she will be called ugly, and that's what happened to me at my job working with children. I understand that people are entitled to their opinion, and I respect that, but when they constantly call me ugly even though I'm not, I'm starting to think that it's because I have dark brown skin, Afro-textured hair, and African facial features (wide nose, full lips). They will never call a fat and ugly light-skinned black/Latina woman ugly simply because they think that light skin equates beauty no matter how she look. A light-skinned black woman and a non-black woman can be fat and ugly to the core, but because they have fair skin and/or straight hair, their "flaws" are overlooked whereas it won't be the same with brown/dark skinned black woman simply because she's brown/dark. If a woman has one or two Euro features, then her "flaws" are overlooked and she will still be considered attractive, but if she has NO Euro features, then she's considered ugly as hell. They will cut a fat and ugly non-black woman some slack before they will cut a fat and ugly black woman some slack because in this racist country, African beauty is not beautiful unless it's watered down. I work in a Latino community, and they practice colorism the same way that African-Americans do. They also celebrate light-bright-white as well. I notice that when I wear my hair in its natural state, black and Latino children will call me ugly, but I bet you that if I bleach my skin and wear my hair straight or wear a straight weave, then their opinions change. It's not the children's fault, and I'm trying not to take what they say personally because they are only children, but it breaks my heart that black and Latino kids will view dark skinned, Afro-textured haired, wide-nosed, full-lipped black women as ugly, repulsive, and hideous. Children's brains are like sponge, and they will soak up everything that the media feeds them. And they also learn the racist beauty standards from their families and their friends who got it from their families. When a Latino parent call black people racist names, then children will view black people in a negative way. When a black parent uplifts light-skinned, straight-haired, thin-lipped, small-nosed black women and downgrades dark-skinned, Afro-textured, wide-nosed, full-lipped black women, then the black child will view every dark skinned, Afro-textured, wide-nosed, full-lipped black women as ugly. I don't care what nobody says but nobody was born to think like this. They have to be taught this way of thinking. It doesn't happen overnight. We have to teach children that women of all ethinicities have their own unique beauty, and that they are beautiful in their own unique way.
Posted by Nicole Little at 5:48 AM