Beauty Defined By A Color and Society: A Survivor’s Story by Britni Thomas

You’ve heard about it and occasionally have seen it.  The difference a shade or a skin color can make a woman beautiful and model-like to not considered beautiful, for a lack of better words. The thing that separates these women from appearing on the front of magazines is either being dark skinned and short-haired or dark-skinned with an afro. The way society now views beauty has distorted many views of girls of themselves. The magazines are constantly showing girls how they should wear their hair or what make up to wear. Now, it seems like it is also showing girls who are pretty and that being black with and afro is an ugly thing. The profiling of beauty has now turned into the war of color and race. The war is not only in the fashion world but also in the minds of women everywhere.

I was a victim to the twisted thinking society has instilled in women today. I am personally have faced such harsh judgement when I went from living in a prodominantly white neighborhood to living in a neighborhood where I was no longer the only black girl in my class. Living in Redondo Beach, I was never ashamed to be me. I wore my hair in braids sometimes but mostly straight and I was pretty light because I spent most of my time indoors, studying.  I never noticed me being different from everyone else. As far as I was concerned, I was not really black. I spoke and acted as if I was just like the other white kids in my class. After i graduated from elementary school and got into middle school, my family moved to Lancaster, which was a big culture shock for me. I was no longer the only black girl in my class and I had even made an enemy because of the way I looked, acted, and spoke. I was a girl who was very quiet and very calm and never fought with anyone. I actually ran away from fights.

Within my first 3 weeks of school, I was hated by a girl in my class and her and her friends attacked me after school one day. They pulled my hair, called me white-washed and told me I was not beautiful, that I did not deserve to be considered a black girl. It is a issue that was never resolved but I later found out she hated me so much because of the way I was and the way I looked. She hated that I was light skinned with long straight hair and a skinny body and that I got good grades and spoke proper instead of cursing every other word. She hated me because I was different.  She hated me because I did not fit into the stereotype. She hated me because society lead her to believe that the way I looked was beautiful and that the way she looked was utterly ugly. I, as well, have become a victim to the lies society is constantly feeding us. That long hair down my back is gorgeous and that fake looks better than your natural hair. That my skin must be lighter to be considered a beautiful girl instead if the skin I have that tends to change with the seasons and sun exposure. I wanted so badly to be a model. I had the walk but not the body type or the look. To be that model, I felt like I must be underweight and look anorexic. I nearly destroyed myself to fit into these views. Suffered from anorexia, added fake hair to my hair to have the long beautiful hair but in the form of braids, tried to wear lighter make up, and hide from the sun so that my skin may lighten back up. I was a victim to society racial project.

In the picture below, you can see just how twisted minds can be when it comes to beauty. They lightened Beyonce’s skin in this advertisement because she was darker than what they wanted. Like I said before, beauty is being defined by a shade, by a color, by a race, and it is tearing women, young and old apart. I went through it but even though I was a victim, I now consider myself a survivor.


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