Standards of beauty vary from country to country. However, one type of beauty that struggles to be accepted is the Black beauty. Black beauty features like thick hair, full lips, large breasts and butts are all highly sought after by other races, but these features are deemed unacceptable if a Black woman has any of these.
M.A.C. Cosmetics recently received negative comments about using a Black model wearing their makeup for during New York Fashion Week. The company posted a close up image of the model wearing a dark shade of lipstick on her full lips.
On social media, one comment that expressed true ignorance in regards to Black beauty stated “Black women will never be as beautiful as white women. The only argument Blacks have is they have more melanin like that matters *laugh emoticon* Yes white women can get injections and when they do they are basically flawless.”
Comments such as the one previously stated adds to the stigma that Black is not beautiful, even though many want the admirable features of a Black woman. Negative comments make it a little harder for some people of color to accept their skin color and features when they are constantly being criticized and disliked about their beauty.
Fourth-year Matthew Moore, an American Literature and Culture major, comments, “I feel like now we are pushing pro-Black which I feel like is a really good thing for people to do. As far as just getting [Black] men and women to love themselves and love all of their features, but of course because we live in this particular society pro-Black is seen as anti-White.”
When a person of color is present in white dominated industries in an effort to increase diversity problems often occur surrounding their natural physical features. For Black women in the fashion world these problems include lack of makeup that matches their skin tones, clothing that does not adequately cover their curves, and hairstylists unable to work with their tightly coiled crowns.
When asked about the negative feedback towards M.A.C. Michael Moore continues, “It is so threatening especially in cosmetics or fashion or any other type of industry where you promote different body shapes, hairstyles, or features on your face. I believe that is why it is so threatening and why so many people who are not of color are getting riled up about this whole pro-Black movement which is decades behind.”
Similarly, there were comments made that confronted the irony that Kylie Jenner was praised for getting lip fillers last year, yet the Black M.A.C. Cosmetic model was subjected to racist and hurtful remarks for the natural appearance of her lips. The notion that someone such as Kylie Jenner can receive compliments for fillers while a Black woman with natural full lips receives hate is a form of societal double-standards.
Although double-standards are normally associated with gender roles, it can also be associated with culture. The idea that novelly Black features, such as wearing braids or having a large butt, are widely accepted and admired by non-Blacks, but are not as adorned when naturally displayed adds to the double-standard.
Accepting the beautiful features of Blacks, but not accepting those features on Blacks themselves, pushes any progress towards diversity back to square one.