What is beauty? This seems like a simple question with an obvious answer , I feel silly even asking it. In reality though we know fact and truth are not necessarily the same thing. So, let us not even define the word beauty, instead let’s just focus on the perception or idea of beauty within society.
If you have read my blog much you will have come to the realisation that the topic of woman and beauty fascinates me. The idea or perception of +beauty has been the centre of many heated conversation and argument even on social media. A few days ago I uploaded a picture of a random model on my facebook page, it was of a beautiful dark-skinned African model. She wore a lovely gold and cream designer dress – she had THE MOST AMAZING SKIN (that’s the first thing I noticed before focusing on her face) and bone structure. When I saw her picture I was excited, I thought I had to share it. She was a simple beauty with short hair.
The reaction I got from my facebook friends was of mixed reaction but nothing I did not anticipate. There are those who would like without commenting and a few who simply said true African beauty (I hate that term, beauty is beauty it is not African or western) and then came the expected comments from those who are ‘anti-black skin’, they went straight for the jagular and pointed out the fact that the model is too ‘black’ (too black for who? Or what?). Of the three types of people on +facebook I prefer the critics over the likes because with them at least I know what I’m getting.
The anti-black skin community believes if you are too dark (black) you are not beautiful, while the pro-black skin community embraces everything +African sometimes to a fault. Because in most cases they will pick a dark skin person over a light(er) shade or afro over a weave and African print over more contemporay attire. My only concern with people, friends and family that are pro African is they can get the lines between African beauty and African pride blurred.
Beauty is a universal term, there is no African beauty there is simply beauty and then there is African style or African inspired style. If a +model or woman from Africa is beautiful that should be because she looks appealing to the eye – she is a beautiful woman.
In many cases African beauty has been potrayed as that of a – woman, I do not agree with this ideology. In Africa we have many +shades of skin from the darkest to very light skin and kinky coily hair to straighter wavy hair. Yet, of all these differences the one the western and the world community embraces as ‘true African beauty’ is the darkest tone with the most coiled hair and in almost all cases the hair is short (African women love their hair, I have no idea why these iconic black woman have short hair-it might be a coincidence). The world perception of isolating African beauty into a category of its’ own is a great source of division.
I will not point fingers at where and how all this came about, we all know enough about the history of Africa to know that this is the effects of years of oppression of the body and now of the mind. African people need to know that colour does not define a person. We need to steer away from cosmetic +skin lightener (that’s a topic for another day). The world should let Africa decide what is African and what is beauty. I just hope in time African people can see beauty before .
What is your experience on peoples perception of African beauty or the beauty of an African woman?
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