Thursday, June 19, 2008

Is Beautiful Created Equal?

Is beautiful, beautiful??
From the New York Times:
Apparently the July issue of Italian Vogue will use only women of color throughout the magazine to call attention to prejudice. Read the article "Conspicuous By Their Presence" HERE.

See the slideshow: "Beautiful is Beautiful" HERE.

Needless to say, I think this is great. Growing up, I didn't see an abundance of positive and beautiful images of women of color in media, especially African American women. Even in the toy stores, it was hard to find black barbies and dolls with dark skin. I know this may sound trivial, but I think that had to have at least some impact on my perception of beauty growing up. Even today, I can say that as a mommy of a toddler, sometimes I struggle to find dolls for my daughter with brown skin. **Sigh**

In many fashion magazines, you will see the 'token' black woman or black guy--as if they were included just to be politically correct and that is incredibly frustrating. So to have the disparity acknowledged, albeit not, of course, in the American encouraging.

I do not want my daughter to grow up under the impression that she is a second-class citizen; that somehow her beauty, her skin are 'less-than.' It is time to break down the barriers, the lies that have been promulgated throughout American history about what "black" is.

I want my daughter to grow up and be able to see images of African American women in the media that reinforce what I tell her everyday: "You are beautiful! You are perfect! Black is beautiful!"


Aricka said...

When Black women and other women (Asian, Latina etc) are not in major media and fashion magazines it renders them invisible, you don't see them, therefore, they do not exist.

Even in the bridal world I was thrilled when I found your blog, I'm reading bridal magazines & bridal blogs and think damn do black people even get married?

The take away from being invisible is being less than. That is why most editors and corporations etc. don't see the lack of black women or black dolls as a problem. Their take away of being invisible means that we have indeed disappeared.

Thanks for the post and your blog, good luck with raising a daughter with wonderful self image and a strong self esteem.

Dana said...

I am glad that the magazine is doing this, but I wish it was in the issue of American Vogue as well. I know that it has been very hard for me to find images for my fiances daughter. I have looking for a magazine for her with more women of color in it without given her my Essence to look at which can to adult topics in it for her to look at. If you are looking for books for a younger child for images, check out the books call "Black is Beautiful" and " Happy to Nappy". There is also a book by Jada Pinkett-Smith that shows positive images of women and girls of color.