Friday, December 10, 2010

Superficial Beauty

It bothers me that women use their hair to define themselves as a woman, when physical attributes is the last thing that should be considered when one defines who she is as a woman. The "Black is Beautiful” epidemic brought attention not only to the image of the African American, but it also made women more self-aware and self-conscious of themselves in the public eye. Today, the slogan “Black is Beautiful” does not mean the same as it did in the 70s. Then women who advocated the movement strayed away from relaxers and the ideal image of a woman presented by society of straight hair. Though the “natural” hairstyle is returning to American culture, it is now a fashion epidemic rather than a social stance to assert the belief that black is a beautiful thing and to revisit African roots. Today I believe that women are beginning to reevaluate the meaning of black beauty that doesn’t necessarily mean revisiting Africa or rebelling against the media’s idea of the beauty. To the black woman, beauty has become the image in which she sees herself in the eyes of others, having to look a certain wait that society would approve. Beauty has become a competition rather than a social movement and another form of slavery. They constantly try to keep up with the new wave of fashion polluting the historical element to beauty and the whole idea of seeing oneself as beautiful as opposed to a race that considered them ugly and beastly beings. The media constantly redefines women and women willingly accept that redefinition especially when using products such as weaves and relaxers. Not that either of the two are bad, because I regularly use relaxers, but the media presents an image that defines beauty, and women follow. Now the media has highlighted the natural fad and women are following it once again, not realizing it was once a part of a very powerful movement. Beauty is now a fad rather than a collective race adding meaning to their being. The motive of the “Black is Beautiful” movement was to rebel against the white society’s idea of beauty. Blacks needed to rebuild themselves in their own image rather than settling for the image they were being publicized as, but now women simply follow society’s idea of beauty and leave it at that. Today there is only superficial substance behind beauty.


  1. I agree with your idea of superficiality in today's society, but I think it can be broadened past only black women. With the power of the internet and media, people of all races, guys and girls, are trying to copy what they see. Individuality is being lost, and it's a tragedy.

  2. Your point about black women following fads portrayed in the media is another form of slavery, is particularly interesting. I don't have a clear position on the matter but it certainly lives up to the phrase "we are a slave to man". I have never thought about it in terms of beauty, but if it is a form a form of slavery, it highlights how deeply a black women’s hair is integrated in black culture and even political position.