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An Undefined Woman Of Color Essay

978 words - 4 pages

Thher fashion sense freely outside of the fashion norm. Would someone be frowned upon roughout history and modern society, there is clear evidence that African-American women allow others to shape their opinions about their own beauty and self worth. This is evident in three main areas: history, entertainment, and the Historically Black College and University campus experience. It is important to note that despite the fact that this has been a continuous problem, there are groups of strong, independent African-American women to whom this does not apply. However, there are far more women of color that this affects in a negative way.

Historically, African-American women allowed their ...view middle of the document...

An example of this is the actress Dorothy Dandridge, who, from her musicals, was a mirror of the small waisted, dolled-up dancers and singers of her time. Instead of her being allowed to embrace and showcase her African-American roots in entertainment, producers forced her into a white Hollywood mold for her characters. This stereotypical character was thought to be more lucrative to the studios and more accepted by society. Similarly, the entertainer Beyonce’ Knowles utilizes these same tactics today. Although she may not be the best singer in the world, it is her total physical package that makes her desirable from a marketing standpoint. For example, one would venture that being African-American, Beyonce’ was probably born with kinky hair. However, relaxers and weave have made it appear as silky as her white counterparts. Likewise, she obviously has the thick and curvy figure historically associated with African-American women. Nevertheless, she has admitted to wearing Spanx and up to four pairs of support hose at once to make these curvy body parts appear smaller. This in turn, may be the type of behavior that fuels the self loathing in young women of color today. Ultimately, there are young girls who look up to African-American entertainers and shape their self worth accordingly.

Finally, the Historically Black College and University campus experience lends itself to the type of environment where females attempt to keep up with the latest fashion trends. A look around campus will show women of various shapes and sizes all wearing the same styles along with similar make-up and hairstyles. Although people have their own ideas of what beauty is, most seem to go with what they see around them. It is not unheard of for young African-American women to run to the mall in order to purchase the latest fashion trends, regardless of cost. The fact that we rely so much...

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