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Blacks can not be ugly



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Photographer: Gabriela Hasbun, Hair and Makeup Styling: Whittany Robinson, Models: Deshon Andrews and Natalie Hayeems, Designer: Lauren Park

My understanding of beautiful, ugly, attractive and Other aesthetic related adjectives used to be extremely warped. When I grew up, I asked to stop boxing because they were too "different" from Nicole and Ashley's class.

I have followed the advice of family members to dodge the sun – God forbid that I get darker. I routinely clamped my nose and lips to make them smaller. All of these actions were my methods of adapting to western standards of beauty as it seemed to be socially acceptable.

However, my idea of ​​beauty changed at a young age when I came across a Facebook comment by Hari Ziyad, who said, "Black people can not be ugly."

I had never heard of one I thought thought about it earlier and thought more about the concept of beauty and how it relates to black people. When I understood the idea more – that there is no such thing as an ugly black man – I felt capable enough to adopt my own personal style.

To locate my own routine of beauty, one that was not about becoming "whiter".

If you have one in mind, what you really reveal is a colonized version of what beauty means. In a world where beauty ideals strictly adhere to the Western standards of Fair, Thin, Cis-Het and White People.

Black people are considered "unattractive" most of the time because they are further away from white ideals. It is not about personal physical, emotional or sexual attraction, but about the more comprehensive power structures that affect interpersonal relationships and social interactions.

Black people, especially dark-skinned black women, are often classified as unattractive without asking where this belief comes from. Without hesitation, we are automatically assigned a place of physical inferiority. And the consequences of this are omnipresent …

Serena Williams is constantly masculinized because of her bulkier body type, and often lesser compared to her white counterparts like Caroline Wozniacki. Leslie Jones, who was terribly harassed on social media, has been labeled "ugly" and "gorilla" by online trolls.

Even black children are not shielded from this criticism – Blue Ivy, who has a more pronounced nose, was mocked for her looks.

Another reason why society sees black people as "ugly"? Because our functions are punishable.

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The media repeatedly portray black people as the embodiment of ugly, dirty and criminal. Although offenses such as murder are widespread in all races, the media continue to overrepresent crimes committed by blacks and browns.

Also in fiction, the portrayal of blacks has generally been portrayed as a criminal, which has an effect on the manner in which as we are seen by young people age. Black people must always reactively question the narrative that they have been defined as unlawful.

In non-European countries, the desire for lighter skin, a colonial import, is a health problem. In Nigeria, 77 percent of women use skin bleach to lighten their skin, and 59 percent of Togo women use skin lighteners.

These products are widely used despite attempts by government intervention. Although these skin lightening products increase the likelihood of cancer and have other health consequences, governments have problems protecting them from consumers.

Abroad, colorism is often targeted at African immigrants and black tourists. In countries such as Italy and England, blacks routinely cite strangers as "ugly" or being kept away from clubs and other facilities because they are "too dark".

In the US, black girls constantly struggle with self esteem as a product of social devaluation.

In high school, I felt humiliated because I was unable to adapt. I used clothes to hide and correct my body. I wore big, loose shirts that wrapped my figure. I refused to take off my winter coat throughout the school day because I was embarrassed by what I looked like and I thought I was too ugly to have a style.

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According to this new philosophy, I now clothe and present myself as I would like to express myself. I wear brighter colors – red, yellow, white, as you call it – because I do not hide in restrained colors when I feel brave.

I wear my hair the way I want, be it diaper, braid, Bantu knot or straight; I do not let the fear of differences dictate how I want to style it.

I do not use make-up as a tool to hide or diminish facial features like my nose or body parts that I've learned to hate. Instead, I accept the lyric, an opportunity to play with the gift that is my face.

I understand black as beautiful. I totally welcome Black as tempting, even if other people, pop culture and the world tell me otherwise.

Blackness is not beautiful despite white. Blackness is not beautiful, because white blacks find attractive (or fetishize them and spend as "attraction"). Blackness is beautiful without being compared to any standards, without the reassurance of business or anyone else.

Black people can not be ugly because white can not define what beauty means.

White has created and enforced beauty standards that only celebrate those who have no black features. it has ruined the meaning of "beauty" and turned it into a racist term to embarrass differences.

The only way to have a developed understanding of "beautiful" and other aesthetic concepts is to broaden our understanding and separate "beauty" from white standards.

I refuse to hide. I choose to celebrate what I have been given in the way I choose. The world may cling to its bias and define "attractiveness" and "beauty" as white, but since I reject these standards, I reject participation and create new rules.

Gloria Oladipo is a black, freelance author who discusses everything about race, mental health, gender and more! Check her thoughts on Twitter or Contently .


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