Who Sets the Standard for Your Beauty?
In the spirit of revisiting the Clark Doll Experiment where black children in the 1940s struggled with positive identity issues, seventy-two years later (2012) Black American women and children are still struggling with identity. In the Bluest Eye, Morrison shows the devastating affects of what can happen to young black children when this issue goes unchecked (Pecola had a mental breakdown).
Why have the black women of modern time suddenly lost confidence in their physical features and their own beauty standards, as God had given them? In this era of crazy pop culture, ask the black African woman who set the standard of beauty for her. You will see clues pointing to the white women standard of beauty judgment. So the question for the African American women today is: have you compromised your beautiful essences?
In an issue of ESSENCE magazine, which features Beyoncé on the cover, suggests some validity to the trend of skin lightening treatments. This also includes her new album cover, in which both show that her skin tone has been dramatically lightened. What message is this sending to men, women and young girls of what “beauty” is? Who are they investing so much money to look like?
I believe that industry pressures and inferiority complexes have made some African American women crave whiteness as the standard of human beauty. Another crazy truth is that we are all getting lost in pop westernized way of viewing and interpreting people, cultures and the world in general.
The above examples are the images that young black girls are seeking to emulate. What we need to change is what we instill in our young girls; that from the lightest to the darkest of black skin is beautiful. We still have a lot of work to do.