Exterior beauty has traditionally held power in all cultures. There can be no doubt, however, that the indoctrination we received about beauty standards has greatly influenced our perceptions even today. As women, we all understand and recognize the benefits that come along with meeting this beauty standard. In fact, most of us appreciate compliments no matter its origins – – especially if it seems genuine and isn’t imply flattery for some gain. Yet, the ignorance and hypocrisy still held by some within our culture promoting limiting beauty standards is very disconcerting. When you know better, shouldn’t we all do better and be held to a higher expectation?
Remove the kinks from your mind, not from your hair.Marcus Garvey – – Political activist, Publisher, Journalist, Entrepreneur, and Orator
Sadly, the same old issues continue to fester with not just “others” but women of color terrorizing, isolating, humiliating other women within their own tribe using the same faulty belief systems based on colorism and featurism. And for what? How could it possibly make anyone feel better? In reality, while exterior beauty is one indicator of personal value, it should not be the only focus – – at least not in my opinion. Internal beauty, personal character at a soul and spiritual level, is the most invaluable attribute any human or woman can possess. To embrace a healthy mind, body and soul and to radiate positive energy and love towards others is foundational for long term mental health and wealth (not simply physical looks and money ).
Teachable moments happen every day if one is willing to review your own thoughts and actions. If we can be completely trUthful now, we also should be able to acknowledge that we collectively have conscious and unconscious biases within communities of color. This is a fact! Therefore, WE must be accountable for how we continue to perpetuate and promote stereotypes that no longer serve our tribe. We may not be able to change the perceptions of “others” towards women of color but we can change our own perceptions of US and redefine our standards of worth and value. It’s time ladies to find and take back your SUPERPOWER. We already have women who have modeled authentic character and beauty proving that we possess diverse and distinct manifestations of womanhood beyond our exterior features alone. The content of one’s character matters – – immensely!!!
Whether all women (not just women color) are successful by the world standards is not as important as the mental and spiritual substance they bring to any situation in living an authentic, quality life without unnecessarily causing harm to others. Are we really prepared to accept colorism and mean girl behavior within our own tribe?!? It may be an ambitious feat to know and appreciate one’s authentic self and to respect our tribe’s diversity but it can be accomplished if you have the heart and intention to do it. (period) We must also hold each other accountable for unbecoming behavior and not representative of who WE claim to BE. Manifesting the greatest version of you, as determined by the divine, may be a work in progress for all of us but it is most definitely worth the effort.