In Toni Morrison’s book, “The Bluest Eye,” a little girl named Pecola is teased because she has a very dark complexion. Pecola is treated so horribly, she thinks something is wrong with her. But she feels all her problems would be solved if she had blue eyes.
I believe there are Pecolas all around us. If everywhere you turn, the images of beauty you see look nothing like you, how are you supposed to feel?
Self-esteem plays a major role in people’s life. But a constant lack of validation can wear down your self-image.
Every time I turn on TV, the standard of beauty I see contradicts the beauty I possess.
A current Victoria’s Secret ad flashes three big, bold words across the screen: WHAT IS SEXY?
The question is answered, judging from the images they show next: four long-legged, long-haired white women, none of whom look like me. Apparently, tall women with long blonde hair are the only women sexy enough to sell lingerie.
The new season of MTV’s Real World premiered two weeks ago with a pleasant surprise; two black men are on the show. But guess what’s missing, a black woman. Come to think of it, there haven’t been any black women on the show for the past few years. I guess there are no black women in the real world.
Maybe we just don’t make good TV.
Have you ever seen a guy, using terms like, “she has Chinese eyes,” salivate over Hispanic women or women who look mixed? Have you heard a brother say he wants a girl who looks “exotic?” After talking to my best friend the whole summer, a guy actually told her, “I like you, and you’re real cool. But you aren’t light enough for me.”
News flash: when Europeans stumbled onto Africa, the people they observed there were the epitome of “exotic.”
And this trend of attraction does not lie only in people our age. My 6-year-old sister watches the Disney Channel all day, and she can only expect to see characters who look like her during two shows, “That’s So Raven” and “The Proud Family.”
It seems that since Snoop Dogg’s 2003 “Beautiful” video, which was shot in Brazil, a black woman in a music video is hard to find. We take our cultural cues from these artists, and the women they choose to feature are the ones they have selected as objects of desire.
I’m not clamoring for my chance to put on weave, high heels and tons of lip gloss to dance on a car, but videos by artists like Diddy and Pharrell pass black women over in favor of women of other races.
When I see this, I can only conclude one thing: Our own men don’t think we are beautiful either.
Driadonna Roland is a junior broadcast journalism student. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.