T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 29026
posted 05-25-2006 01:38 PM
Do you all believe that White/Western standards of female beauty are unfarily forced upon women of non-White/Western background?
Beauty standards as a whole are a hot mess--for any race--but they seem particularly harmful for minorities. Starting from when I was 8 years of age, my hair has been permed (permanently chemically straightened). Because of my Black heritage, I naturally have very coarse, kinky hair. Today, I choose to wear my hair in an afro. However, when I was younger, I seemed forced to have to get my hair straightened because "long and flowing" was what was in and pretty...because it was the type of hair White people tended to have. As a little girl I always wished I was white because I believed White people were pretty and Black people were not. Around the time of Brown vs Board of Education, a researcher conducted an experiment in which he told young, Black students to choose whether they preferred a White or Black doll. He showed the students both dolls. Nearly all of them chose the White doll. Times haven't changed. In a documentary I saw recently, a Black teenager reconducted the experiment with Black, elementary school students. If I remember correctly, 19 out of 25 said the White doll was prettier than the Black doll (who were identical aside from skin color). She actually showed the experiment taking place. What do you guys think about all of this? My personal experiences are as a Black person, but I'm sure other ethnicities may have experienced similar issues? Anyone is welcome to comment.
Member # 28882
posted 05-25-2006 02:11 PM
i'm not a perosn who is a fan of the ''in crowd'' you know the popular looks that ''everyone'' seems to wear/or have. I like to be individual. Personally I see no difference in beauty between a black person and a white person. And this may sound a bit odd, but to me it seems that a black person's hair alway seems much prettier than a white person's, i've no idea why but thats just what I think and see - I also think their hair and skin looks much heilthier and again prettier. So there's my thoughts.
Hope this helps you Ashleigh xx
Member # 22471
posted 05-25-2006 02:34 PM
LetMeBeHappy, I think it would be good to mention that the topic at hand isn't as much about preference as it is about how a certain type of "ideal" is driven upon society as a whole, and that goes for people of any ethnicity.
I think it's important to note, as well, that even within "white" and "black" there seem to be sort of stereotypical, driven ideals. Different ethnic backgrounds who share similar skin color, for example, will often have quite different features. Ethnically, there are men and women whose skin color is viewed as "black" but who DO have straight, smooth hair, just the same as there are those who have curly or coarse hair or anywhere inbetween. Within "white" ethnicities, as well, considering essentially all of Western Eurpose, you have all sorts of different hair types and colors- very fine hair, very coarse hair, voluminous hair, wavy hair, curly hair, straight-as-a-board hair, frizzy hair - red, black, brown, blond, you name it. So really, ANYONE saying they prefer "black" hair to "white" hair or vise versa isn't really saying much at all, because while yes, there is certainly a sort of "style" that if often attributed to race or skin color, that isn't the ONLY kind of hair you'll see any "black" or "white" person with. Genertically and ehtnically, yes, I believe in general, those of white-Wuropean decent do tend to have hair that is more easily managable to straighten, so fitting the "long and flowing" look that was highly popular pre-and after 1950, and I'm by no means trying to diminish the issue of pressure on blacks versus whites, because there was a lot more going on and I believe that still goes on to influence that strain and prejudice that is still seen today, but I think as far as something as beauty goes, certain things are unfairly and biasedly pushed as an "ideal" for women of ALL races (a large number of white girls and women who did not have straight-as-a-board hair would iron their hair in those days to acheive the look you brought up, as well). You see it all the time with issues such as weight, acne, skin-tone, etc. today - even just a quick browse of this forum will show you that, just the same as picking up any magazine will. I think, as well, that in all different cultures an unfair weight is being placed on anyone who doesn't fit the ridiculous media-norm. To use another example that isn't really a Western-ideal put onto non-Western/Whites, I know a girl of Korean decent who is one of the smallest, healthiest bubbly girls I know, but she has tons of pictures of teeny-tiny Korean models up around her room and she feels that because her face is rounder than theirs, that she carries a bit of extra weight, she isn't as pretty. Sorry if I rambled a bit, but I think you've brought up a very good point, both concerning ethnicities and just women as a whole, that IS a large issue in society still, if not as much or even possibly moreso now. [ 05-25-2006, 02:35 PM: Message edited by: dailicious ]
Member # 94
posted 05-25-2006 04:43 PM
Cocopuff88, this is a really good topic, thanks for posting it.
Since I'm not a member of a racial minority, I don't have any personal experience of this, but it's great that you're drawing our attention to it. I'm not terribly well read on the subject, but what I have read has certainly made me aware the women of racial minorities have, in addition to the stereotypes and expectations that come with being female, a whole other set that come from entirely arbitrary racial stereotypes, particularly with regard to how to express sexuality and body-image. I'm really interested to learn more, and also to learn about what I can do to help break down these stereotypes, and I'll watch this thread closely to see how it progresses.
Member # 26749
posted 05-25-2006 07:03 PM
I think this is somewhat interesting. Because I am white and I always thought most african americans were beautiful. I thought it was awsome how (o.k. I am being steriotypical) almost all the time in your genetics you get big lips, (which I envy) and nice curves. (that too). I really don't think beauty is based on color though. And I don't think I truly understand why you think a color would. I think beauty is based on symmetry. I also think it's also awsome how african americans never burn in the sun. You should be happy your african american.
Member # 26852
posted 05-25-2006 09:12 PM
As a white person with extremely curly hair, I am aware of the straight, sleek hair trend. I used to have chemically straightened hair, but it's ridiculous and expensive. However, I can't really say more than that.. haha.
Member # 29011
posted 05-25-2006 09:27 PM
In the recent study, where were the kids who were tested living? Were they in a rural or suburban area? I feel like that could make a difference.
There are so many beautiful people of every race that it's almost impossible to prefer one to another. I have really curly hair and I've never really felt the need to straighten it. Some of my friends like to do it for fun once a year but I don't like it. I feel like I lose so much of my personality when it's straight. My hair is curly. That's me. I look too much like everyone else when it's straight.
Member # 94
posted 05-26-2006 03:36 AM
quote: Originally posted by lil_kiwi: I am white and I always thought most african americans were beautiful. I thought it was awsome how (o.k. I am being steriotypical) almost all the time in your genetics you get big lips, (which I envy) and nice curves. (that too). I really don't think beauty is based on color though. And I don't think I truly understand why you think a color would. I think beauty is based on symmetry. I also think it's also awsome how african americans never burn in the sun. You should be happy your african american. You have to acknowledge though that most dolls, most models, most representations of women and girls in the mass media in general is dominantly white. You may individually find some things attractive, but the "white" image of feminine beauty is undeniably dominant.
I know you're wanting to be helpful, but your position seems to be a little naive-- neither you or I could possibly start to understand how it feels to experience all of the subtle and not-so-sublte racism that minorities have to experience, but it is important that we acknowledge that a whole lot of people do have those experiences, based simply on the colour of their skin. Blithely saying "you should be happy that you're African American" because you, as a white person, happen to find certain attributes physically attractive is incredibly naive. By the way, I think that any standard of beauty-- whether it be body size, colour or symmetry, is pretty arbitrary and culturally determined. Furthermore, darker skin can burn, albeit less easily than paler skin.
Member # 17971
posted 05-26-2006 10:09 AM
quote: Originally posted by cocopuff88: Do you all believe that White/Western standards of female beauty are unfarily forced upon women of non-White/Western background? I remember growing up and thinking things like "I wish I was lighter skinned and taller." I don't quite fit the Western standard of beauty (if there is a definition of said standard, feel free to tell me), but I think that for at least the past year I've been told I'm beautiful by people on, literally, a day to day basis. I've been stopped on the street in countries all over the world by strangers who tell me how beautiful I am. Beauty standards in any place are forced upon people, but I think the "Western" standard of beauty right now is slowly but surely embracing people of more sizes, shapes and colors. I'm not tall, I'm not white, I'm not blonde, I'm not blue-eyed, I have a faintly foreign accent, etc. I know how uncomfortable it can be to not fit the accepted mold of beauty, and I do think that sometimes the pressure to look a certain way can really get to women who don't fit that mold. When I was growing up, I was called names, told that I wasn't as pretty because I wasn't white, told that I couldn't play with people because I wasn't "the same as them." But I don't think it's a uniquely "Western" to non-Western issue. It happens in many cultures all over the world. quote: Originally posted by Beppie: ...I think that any standard of beauty-- whether it be body size, colour or symmetry, is pretty arbitrary and culturally determined. Oh, absolutely. I do think that "Western" standards of beauty aren't necessarily as insidious as the ones different cultures may already have in place for whatever reasons.
For example, in many Arab/Desi/East Asian cultures, paleness is emphasized as being beautiful. You see all the movie stars as being pale, you can buy "whitening" creams and lotions and potions, etc. And they find it genuinely weird that tanning is considered beautiful here! Being super thin is also not as emphasized as much as it is here--in fact, I'd get comments all the time from relatives in Bangladesh telling me I was too thin. Being tall is also not as much of an indicator of beauty, because not very many Asians are tall. However, it's been like that for a long, long time, before those countries even had much "Western" influence at all--my grandmother for example said that pale and "curvy" and not too tall was considered beautiful even when she was growing up in the 30s, when nobody in East Pakistan had TVs or any major connection to "the Western world." It is arbitrary indeed. [ 05-26-2006, 02:09 PM: Message edited by: faifai ]
Member # 568
posted 05-28-2006 11:43 PM
is white right? oh lord i have so much ot say aobut this, but i doubt whatever i write will articulate just how much i hate the concept of "white is right."
let's start with Abercrombie & Fitch. their company operates on he principle of "white is right" which is why you hardly see any people of color (or size, or obvious non-heterosexual orientation) in their ads. their marketing campaigns follow a pretty strict formula: chiseled white men and lithe white girls wearing barely enough clothing to advertise it. The stores follow a similar vein. A few years back, a group of employees in Irvine, CA filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that people of color were seldom allowed to work the front registers, and instead relgated to stocking shelves and kept in back. These were not unqualified people, either -- many were UC Irvine students working to make an honest buck to pay tuition. I don't recall the outcome of the suit, but after a few debacles involving T-shirts offensive to Asians, I can tell you I will never shop there. I am Asian, and I grew up around a whole lotta white folks. So I know what it is to be a little bit envious of blue eyes and blonde hair. My features were dark in the time when few questioned Barbie as the ideal. My hair was pike straight in a time of crispy, curly bangs and home perms. my eyelashes stick straight out. I have pretty light skin (although i tan very easily and often inadvertently), but I have seen enough Asian magazines to know that women go to great lengths to lighten their complexions with expensive creams and dermabrasion. I know the skin isn't so much about the Western influence, at least not traditionally. The Chinese have favored lighter skin for millenia as a mark of wealth. wealthy women needn't work in the fields, needn't be roasted by the sun. But in Thailand, I think it's a different story. All the big celebrities are hapas (half Asian, half white). I have a Thai hapa pal who is often told she should become an actress simply 'cause she's hapa. In Thailand, hapas are favored because their appearance is often a melange of favorable Caucasian traits like high cheekbones, wide eyes and longer noses plus favorable Asian traits like custard complexions and slick, black hair. On top of that, these kids are often fluent in English. Then there's a shifting fascination with Asian exoticism. Oh lord, am i sick of this one. Popular culture portrays Asian women as demure, yet highly sexual beings. Soft spoken on flower feet. I just saw 'Memoirs of a Geisha' and let's just say that's gonna help dispel this stereotype anytime soon. So where does this leave me? I'm not blonde/blue like Barbie. I'm not a submissive wisp in a kimono like a geisha. I'm a chubby, brash, Asian-American girl. I talk too loudly. I wear offensive t-shirts. My hair is a slick, shiny black bob. My eyes barely qualify as slanted, but round they are not. Is white right? If and only if the question has a myriad of answers.
Member # 22756
posted 05-30-2006 03:55 PM
I know how uncomfortable it can be to not fit the accepted mold of beauty, and I do think that sometimes the pressure to look a certain way can really get to women who don't fit that mold. Well put, faifai. I griped about this in another thread recently. I'm of southeast Asian (Indian) and Eastern European heritage. I grew up in massive urban areas and isolated rural ones - I'm living in the latter right now. A white friend said to me last week, "Oh, white guys would definitely not care what color you are and would date you anyway... I think that's a cop out." This comes from a woman with a (literally) Anglo-Saxon background who's only dated men of the same race. It sounds harsh, but sometimes empathy has a stopping point. Only about 5% of marriages in the US occur between two different races - and there are definite reasons for that -social and psychological reasons that haven't been resolved for centuries. The media and the fashion industry rarely, if ever, offer examples of mixed-ethnic beauty. Beyond beauty is the limited ability of non-white or mixed-ethnic people to fit into accepted social molds. Examples of interracial relationships or even the suggestion is practically nil. I'd argue that's equally damaging. While I'm not being brainwashed to popular media and advertising, I'd be hard pressed to deny that it doesn't exert subtle influence on my life. People with less cultural exposure/flexibility either ignore me or gush about my "ethnic/unique" beauty. If I were blonde and white with a 36C-25-35 figure, would I get more dates in racially conservative areas of the US? Certainly. In the US overall? Probably. And that's a pretty heavy idea for non-white or mixed-ethnic people to deal with, especially girls. It's evident that this country, and some parts of Europe, are still heavily invested in the mold of light-skinned beauty. I don't know if we can interrupt the persistence of sexual/racial/body stereotypes any time soon. Media influence is entangled pretty well with cultural mores in the US, so much that they're interdependent now. It's only natural for mixed-race/non-white people to sometimes feel isolated when they're surrounded by images of people who look nothing like them.
Member # 28374
posted 05-30-2006 05:11 PM
It seems like most people posting here are talking about how being part of a racial minority is difficult for several reasons including being excluded socially or not considered 'beautiful'. Many also seem to think that if they were tall, white, blonde haired and blue eyed this wouldn't happen to them. Perhaps that is an accurate prediction. Perhaps it isn't.
I am coming from the position of one who could possibly considered stereotypically beautiful in that i am quite tall, i have big blue eyes, i'm thin, white, and blonde haired. I have never been descriminated against racially, but have felt repercussions of reverse descrimination. It might even just be a guilt thing that just because i was born like this, i haven't had to deal with the same kinds of barriers and a lot of the time i feel like people will hold that against me. I am by no means saying that white girls have it harder, just that being stereotypically 'beautiful' is not a surefire way to have boyfriends, be popular, or solve problems. (I don't think that anyone here is saying that it is, but one could easily interpret it that way) I can't empathize with people of racial minorities, so I guess my point of view may be somewhat invalid on this topic... but that pretty much sums up what I am saying here- my opinion is not allowed just because of my race, unless I am very, very careful.
Member # 22756
posted 05-30-2006 05:55 PM
my opinion is not allowed just because of my race, unless I am very, very careful. No... nobody's suggesting that your opinion isn't allowed, or is invalid because of your race. When people hold things against you because you're white, or discriminate against you, they're absolutely wrong. I can't empathize with people of racial minorities Again, not true. Anybody can empathize with anybody. Empathy is not the same thing as sympathy or compassion. Empathy is merely the ability to put yourself in somebody else's boots, as it were. These threads are suggesting that mixed-ethnic/non-white people are subject to stereotypes that are based in "whiteness" (in the term's symbolic sense) to an unfortunate degree. You're right - stereotypical beauty doesn't solve anybody's problems. On the other hand, it's equally true that, for instance, mixed-ethnic people encounter unique circumstances in seeking relationships, or in establishing ideals of "beauty" for themselves. I think the idea of collective guilt is pretty baseless. Nobody's born with guilt - whether for white people in the US re: slavery, or Germans re: the Nazi era. Nobody should make anyone feel guilty as a result of their background or their ancestors' actions.
Member # 94
posted 05-30-2006 07:49 PM
I think it's important to draw a distinction between empathizing and speaking on behalf of. Empathizing is saying "I can imagine what racism feels like," but speaking on behalf of, actually saying "Racism feels like this for a black/asian/hispanic/whichever-other-arbitrary-way that-race-is-designated person" is wrong unless you have actually experienced it yourself.
Member # 17973
posted 05-30-2006 10:39 PM
I know all to well about the ideal of the European standard of beauty. I am an African American but fortunately, I haven't allowed that ideal to totally consume myself but I have fell victim to its influence. It has been drilled into my head since the age of three (when I got my first perm (which straightens our hair) that straight hair or "good hair" is the ONLY option to be beautiful to the point where children are teased for having a "nappy head". I have secretly wished for "good hair" and light eyes so I would be a "pretty girl" As a child I wanted to be white.
I do believe that the "white is right" concept is alive and well. What is really sad is how I see other African Americans criticize other African Americans for being "too dark-skinned" or "too black" to the point where many blacks despise their heritage and suffer from low self-esteem because they are "too black" I think this directly stems from the concensus that fair-skin, light eyes, and straight hair is the only facet of beauty. It is disheartening to hear someone say "Oh your pretty for a dark-skinned girl/boy." Personally, I have never had anyone say this to me because I am not "dark-skinned" but it bothers me all the same. 'Oh your pretty for a dark-skinned girl/boy" is profound statement to make because it implies that dark skin isn't beautiful which is saying that the history and heritage of African American culture does not meet the standards of modern society. This line really kills me: "You are cute for a black girl/guy" So what are you saying? Might as well say "African Americans are ugly but you are an exception to the rule kiddo!" These things are said so casually that it scares me because people don't realize the gravity of what they are saying and implying. This "light skin is in" thing is so profound that I actually dodge the sun so my skin won't get darker and I can maintain my smooth buttery brown complexion. I remember hearing my mother say "Stay out of the sun so you won't get black!" and "You are getting too dark, you need to stay out of the sun" I think I've rambled on enough...i'm done
Member # 19692
posted 05-31-2006 08:00 AM
This may sound bizarre, but in my area, ever since I was a child, I've noticed girls being outright harassed for being "too white." Perhaps this is because I come from a low-income area where kids have nothing better to do than torment each other. On the other hand, the racial makeup of my hometown is 50% African-American, 44% "white", with the remainder spread out amongst several minority groups, most having less than 1%. That's just representing those who filled out census forms,though. We all know the census is only as accurate as people allow it to be.
Anyway, I've noticed a trend of white girls putting their hair in cornrows, adopting slang, and trying their best not to "act white." I was just wondering -- has anyone else experienced such Twilight Zone stuff that makes it appear as if (at least in some small areas) the pendulum has swung the other way?
Member # 23917
posted 05-31-2006 08:20 PM
My area has a large percentage of Asian people, and I've noticed that, far from experiencing discrimination from white people, many of the Asians at my school actually are themselves racist against whites. People say things like "see, this is how the order of things goes: there's Asians, black people, hispanics, flies, dirt, worm feces, mold on worm feces, and then whites." *hahahahaha*
I find it rather offensive, but I feel like I'm not really entitled to my feelings, because I'm not part of a racial minority. Whenever you try to respond to something like that, people will just say "oh, you're racist against Asians." Now, that's not to say that all of the Asian people at my school are like that. In fact, the large majority of my friends (not to mention the girl I have a huge crush on) are Asian, and I wouldn't be friends with them if they called me worse than mold, would I? Still, it's difficult to respond when someone of a racial minority does make a racist comment, because when you do you only get attacked for being racist and an oppressor yourself.
Member # 568
posted 05-31-2006 11:01 PM
The lesson everyone needs to learn is that racism is not exclusive to white people. BiGoddess was right to point that out: just 'cause you're not white doesn't mean you get to pick on other folks. Racism is stupid no matter what color you are.
And daria points something else out: minorities come in a lot of colors, and when you're one of the few white people in a largely black, Latino or Asian neighborhood, then you wind up getting marginalized.
Member # 29307
posted 06-10-2006 12:30 AM
I don't think the poster was being racist per se, for example, I'm biracial, but ever since I was very young I denied my black half because on the news all the people I saw getting arrested seemed to be black, so as a 4/5 year old I assumed they were bad people and I didnt wanna be one. and then all the children in my school [since I live in a largely white town - seriously, there's probably 10 black families TOPS.] I'd be called "the n-word" and other horrible things..
I see how our culture does seem to set race standards, even if they aren't aware of it, cause I was severely confused. I refused to be black till I was 9..then I was "proud black woman" till I was 14, and now I'm "miss biracial pride" -- I guess eventually people have to push out the biases and make choices for themselves.
Member # 29368
posted 06-14-2006 01:00 AM
To respond to the question of beauty ideals:
It seems as if more little kids' dolls and such are more biased towards Western/white beauty than ideals of beautiful women. Still, the bias is there, though. In my personal opinion, I don't think white beauty as a whole is more pretty than any other "type" of beauty. I'm white and pale, and I have blue eyes and brown hair. My hair is plain brown, very straight and boring, in my opinion. I have admired other ethnicities, like a few Indian girls with beautiful shiney black hair with lots of volume; I've envied some Asian girls who had these lovely golden skin tones, and although I come from a suburb where the majority of people are white, I know a number of multi-racial people at my high school, and I've always rather found them pretty and unique-looking, like combining good things from each ethnicity, like one would mix paints and get a new shade of color. I've had crushes on many guys who were different ethnicities than me. Although current beauty standards seem to push Western ideals more than other ones, sometimes beauty standards favor minorities more, like the obsession with being "tan" and avoiding an "unhealthy, pale" look. And minorities have their own assets that not only should they be proud of (and hopefully, the majority will realize they should be), people who aren't the same ethnicity as they are appreciate their beauty, too.
Member # 29369
posted 06-14-2006 06:02 PM
It has taken me a long time to write my opinion on this, especially since I had to go back and re-read parts several times.
Beauty is beauty. What one person thinks is attractive might not be what I do. We've all heard the expression about being a "butt man" or a "boob man"...or lets be fair ladies...a "butt woman". Personal preference cuts through all races, body types and cultures. I may not be attractive to many people I meet daily, but I know in the evening when my wife comes home I will be to her. It's not possible to say beauty is a white culture thing, beauty is a global culture thing. I have been married twice in my life, once to an extremely average mixed Asian race woman whom I had two beautiful daughters with, and now to a Native American woman who has what could be imagined as issues with her complexion. But even through her acne scars I saw the PERSON she was. In high school I was an athlete who because of where I grew up (Southern Texas) dated ouside of my race without reservation. Between my marriages I went out with women who were black, Asian, hispanic and even an American Muslem woman who opened my eyes to a culture most of us know nothing about. The problem for a lot of us is we're so hung up on what we see in the magazines that we think that's what we need to be. To qualify beauty as "nice looking for a so-and-so person" shows ignorance, there is no one benchmark for it, no yardstick you can hold a person up to and say "damn girl, if you were 3/4" taller you'd be beautiful". Beauty isn't so black and white. Or Yellow or brown. Either in your own mind it is, or it is not. Thank Yoda for that one.
Member # 3
posted 06-14-2006 06:07 PM
quote: It's not possible to say beauty is a white culture thing, beauty is a global culture thing. However, I think what the original poster was trying to address was that the largest mass standards of beauty, especially via media, tend to reflect white culture and appearance.
It is not a universal or personal "global" beauty which drives these industries (or profits them most) and the attitudes which stem from them. Heck, you say your ex-wife was "average" in regard to her appearance: by what/whose standard? That right there is a place to start. I've actually stayed out of participating in this thread myself, because it's a conversation I really want to see people of color, especially women of color, having, without those of us caucasians co-opting it who -- while we may have had very diverse communities, friendships, partnerships -- are not right in the line of this fire, nor in a position to viscerally feel its effects. I've loved reading some of these responses, however, and what a fantastic job opening the topic, cocopuff. Brava! But while I'm here, I did want to share an anecdote which is a fine object lesson in how white beauty standards often are for those in doubt. I'm of mixed European heritage: half Irish, and half Mediterranean. I've had a good lot of visibility over the years in photographs thousands of people have seen as a subject. By virtue of the Irish part of my gene pool, I've got freckles, blue-green eyes, red-blonde hair. But by virtue of the other half of the pool, I've got a full mouth, a very prominent nose, wide eyes, high cheekbones, a round face. I once was pointed to an online discussion about me, in which people looking at me, by all means in physical judgement, had said that I looked too "ethnic." Just in general: not for any specific purpose. Dig that: for sure, there are other white folks in the world I make look REALLY white in comparison. Aryan, I'm not. But I am (given some racial mixing that has happened in history in parts of Italy, Spain and Portugal) a white girl. If someone like me looks "too ethnic," being, essentially, not really ethnic at all, how might biracial folks, Africans, Carribbean folks, Asians, Latinas and the whole rest of the very big, very not-white world often fare? [ 06-14-2006, 07:37 PM: Message edited by: Miz Scarlet ]
Member # 94
posted 06-14-2006 06:17 PM
PMC, I don't think anyone here was saying that the concept of beauty is unique to white culture-- the point is that in most western societies, the culture privileges white people, and one of the ways this happens is that the image of what is supposed to be a "beautiful" person usually corresponds to the image of a white person, even though, as you say, individuals find a range of different people beautiful, in ways that are not at all based on the colour of their skin, or other arbitrary features.
It's great that you don't construct your own ideas about beauty based on race, but that doesn't change the fact that people of racial minorities in western societies are inundated with images of "beauty" that dominantly represent caucasians. This isn't just something seen in magazines, it's something on TV, in advertisements that we see every day on the roadside, in the dolls that are given to children, in Disney movies, in educational materials for the classroom, etc. Remember also that this sort of conditioning is also often instilled at a young age when people don't realise that they should avoid magazines or certain TV shows-- they don't realise that there's no reason that they should trust what they find there as a representation of culture-- often, in fact, they encounter these things as a result of their parents. It's really pretty naive to say that, with all of that baggage, one can just shut up a magazine and have everything be okay. (Simultaneous post!) [ 06-14-2006, 06:19 PM: Message edited by: Beppie ]
Member # 29440
posted 06-18-2006 01:35 PM
I think people who are mixed are the prettiest. Like White and Black, or White and Hispanic or Orienal and Black... I think each culture, or for that matter each person of their particular culture has certain features that are great looking and others that arent. And that is why when you mix the two together, it seems like the best features are brought out, especially the skin color of people who are Black and White.
Member # 3
posted 06-18-2006 02:23 PM
The trouble with that, pht, is that in some ways, that itself is a racist statement: it states/implies that there is one or certain races or racial combinations which are in some way ideal (and that it's somehow "better" that all races are mixed with Caucasian genes). And that's an aspect of racism.
If you reread some of the posts here carefully again, including cocopuff's first post, it may be more clear how sentiments like that are flawed and not at all positive or empowering.
Member # 28429
posted 07-06-2006 11:22 AM
everyone has beauty,,, i guess media has portrayed certain people as much prettier than others, and mainly in the past it was predominantly white...but actually when i see the popular trends in beauty on tv or in magazines,,, just being white does not seem to be a trend,,,, actually each era and culture gets its turn in the spotlight, not that any are more beautiful than the other,, I remember when pale skin was really in,,, but now its to have dark golden tan skin,, and almost middle eastern features. I guess what I'm meaning is each race is beautful,,, the only thing that makes one dominate the fashion world and beauty industry are trends,,,, taking a closer look at arabia one time and then next month its russian princesses, African queens, German models, South american beauties,,, T.v. and media goes through phases,,, but it doesnt mean if someone isnt exactly the type portrayed in beauty this month,, wait a while,, you'll be in in a couple of trends later,,,
Member # 28375
posted 12-12-2006 06:28 PM
[ 12-12-2006, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: Officer Friendly ]
Member # 8067
posted 12-12-2006 06:34 PM
So why are we even having this conversation? Because for some people, it's not that easy. It sounds like you have a great sense of self-confidence and acceptance of your own body, but for a lot of women, getting to that point can be a real struggle. Analysing media pressures and seeing how we sometimes end up with distorted images of what is beautiful or how we're "supposed" to look can often be really helpful for people in disentangling themselves from those images. If you don't find a discussion worthwhile or necessary, that doesn't mean it can't be helpful for others, okay?
Member # 3
posted 12-12-2006 06:36 PM
Officer? This is now I think the fifth post of yours that is about either saying a thread or discussion isn't valid because it's not important to you personally and/or stating that no one else should be discussing issues that you feel aren't worthy of discussion, or where others feel differently than you do.
I''ve asked you to stop doing that twice now (in less than an hour, no less), and no one should have to ask once. Race is not merely a matter of outsides for many people in the world, nor is it treated as such by most of the world, especially when you're not white. So, this conversation is being had because some of those discussing it have had to deal with these issues. Please allow them to do so: if you can't be on the boards here without being disruptive, we'll need to ask you to leave. Sounds like you have plenty of issues that ARE of relevance and import to you, and you're more than welcome to go into or begin threads to discuss those.