*DISCLAIMER: This post does not apply to all Black women and it doesn’t apply to all white women on the blog, in the real world or elsewhere. There are many white women and Black women who have solid friendships, relationship and support each other.
Racist beauty standards cause division between women. As a woman, I know that beauty is a beast in general. Every woman feels pressure to conform to some standard, but when you add race into the mix, things just get downright ugly…pun intended.
I was recently browsing a website that featured a picture of Serena Williams. The author noted that whenever a picture of Serena Williams was posted, racist comments were made, such as “Black women look like monkies,” “Black women are ugly,” “go back to Africa,” etc.
“Every where I turn on the internet, there are tons of comments that are anti black women. The post could be about food and someone will change the subject and start a debate about black women and how we dress, eat, talk, look, etc. I think it’s an obsession. It seems that “these” people have a jealous and envied filled obsession with black women. Why else would they spend so much time worrying about how we live our lives?”
I noticed in response to the article, some women were bickering in the comments section about who was jealous of who, who had ugly hair, ugly features etc.
These are two comments that I pulled from the blog:
Brown woman writes,
“This is funny! We all know that white women are jealous of Black women so trying to use other ethnicities now is a lame excuse. Black women are BROWN SKINNED full stop, they mainly have full or thick lips and curvy body shape, curly or frizzy hair, some have naturally straight hair! White women knows these particular features are solely found in women of African decent! Confession is good for the soul. White women are jealous of black women!
What is funny is that you and many other black women are clearly jealous of White women. White women would never write catty blogs such as this since they stay mature, however, blogs like this written by black women shows off their insecurity and jealousy. Your words show your jealousy of White women. White actresses such as Christina Hendricks and Kat Dennings are clear examples of White women with natural curves and full natural lips, these are the women Whites want to emulate…..Not you! Trust me, I would know this better than you:) and nobody is tanning and getting full lips to look black, some* are getting tans to look golden and some* getting full lips to look young. Womanly curves are also naturally found in many White women so some getting curves surgically has nothing to do with your race. Get over yourselves since the world does not revolve around you and grow up.”
While, I do not agree with some of the Black women who were stereotyping all white women, any more than I agree with stereotyping all Black women, and I certainly think that there are beautiful women in every race, I did find angelbaby’s comments ironic.
If you read the blog post, the author is referring to the vitriol and racist remarks leveled at Black women by non-black women (and men) and angelbaby was so blinded by her privilege that she wrote in her post that “white women weren’t jealous and would never be catty toward Black women because they stay mature…the world does not revolve around you.” Angelbaby didn’t seem at all bothered by the racist and stereotypical comments about Black women, but was quick to jump to the defense of white women when they were being stereotyped…Again, I do not agree with the ignorant or stereotypical comments about white women on the blog either, but her comment just confirms to me that some people are just blind to discrimination Black women face. Black women are demeaned and stereotyped all of the time, but it wasn’t until white women were stereotyped that angelbaby spoke up about ignorance, stereotyping etc…it was all okay when Black women were being stereotyped and demeaned.
So, after reading some of the vitriol, I had to comment and paraphrasing, this is more or less how I responded:
” I am not sure where all this hostility is coming from on a thread that is about uplifting Black women, but I will say this, there are beautiful women in every race and not everyone is supposed to look the same. We all know that every one is different, but there are certain features that are more common in women of West african descent. These include full lips, curvy figures, kinky hair etc… and there are traits that are more common in European women, such as Light hair and Light eyes. It is not to say that any one feature is superior to the other, but it is apparent that there are differences. Now, not all black women have curvy bodies, kinky hair etc…and not all white women have blue eyes and light hair and some Black women can have blue eyes and some white women can have curvy bodies etc..but most that I see do not conform to this standard.
With that being said, what i wonder is, why is it that when a positive topic about Black women comes up, you (angelbaby) would come and make degrading comments about black women? Do you defend Black women when Black women are called monkies etc…or do you only care about humanity and steretoypes when white women are the ones being stereotyped for a change?
That is my question to you because I was taught that we are all equal humans who are worthy of respect and we’re all made in God’s image of beauty. All races are equal and we are not all supposed to look the same. We look the way we look and I do not agree that ANY ONE race is superior IN ANY WAY to another, this includes beauty. There are beautiful Black women, Asian women, white women, Indian women and every other ethnicity. But please, let’s not be hypocritical and be silent when Black women are stereotyped and demeaned all of the time and only get offended when innapropriate things are said about white women. That is not right…
Poster Fierce writes,
” You sound like a jealous and insecure person by spreading your lies and hate. Don’t be mad because you are unwanted!
White women are lazy?….tell that to the countless doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs who are WHITE women. They run this country. The first US president will be a White woman since White women dominate politics as well. Oh yea, many successful authors are White women as well like J.K Rowling.
There are many White female scientists who have invented the things you use on a daily basis so instead of bashing them, kiss their feet.”
“I think that you need to remember that we do, unfortunately, live in a white supremacist culture and there are certain privileges and economic advantages that would make it easier for a white woman to excel in the political world than a woman of color, especially a Black woman. That is reality. If you look at the bias in the criminal justice system, the glaring inequality in the public schooling system, the bias in the health care system and the inequality in the political system, it is very obvious that racism and white supremacy is still a problem. White women benefit from white supremacy. Even the media is set up to favor white women’s beauty, while degrading women of color.
It is sad because we are all human and at the end of the day, everyone deserves a full chance, everyone deserves respect and every woman deserves to have her beauty recognized, but that is not the reality. This needs to change.
@ Black women/everyone else.
There is no need to degrade white women or other races. We know how [western] society has demeaned us and we know that we face discrimination just for being Black. We know the history that we have to deal with, we know we face more discrimination in the workplace and in society in general. We know that our children face discrimination in schools and most white women do not understand or deal with this, but let’s not stoop to the level of ignorant people by demeaning white women. Fight with your gloves on and we can uplift ourselves and our beauty WITHOUT degrading other people.
If there is any lesson that we can teach to the world, as BLack women, it should be that we’re all beautiful women and that we don’t NEED racist hierarchy of beauty in order to uplift ourselves. We can be beautiful all on our own, without dragging others down.
I know that there are a lot of nasty things said about Black women all over the internet and in society, and most white women, will not come to Black women’s defense, but let’s not do the same thing that is done to us, to white women. This will only bring us down to the level of ignorance. Rise above it all and teach the world a lesson that no one race is superior to another.
and @ everyone,
STOP measuring your worth and value as a woman in terms of how well you can conform to the male gaze. Stop going around saying “well white men want me so this makes me better,” or “Black men want us and don’t want you, so this makes me superior.” Your worth and beauty as a woman is not validated by your ability to conform to the eurocentric,erotic male gaze nor is it validated by the male gaze in general.
You have value and beauty all on your own.”
Expanding My Thoughts:
First of all, it is sad to see the division between women. Racist beauty standards definitely bring out the ugliness in women.
I felt that many of the comments on the blog were ignorant. Both white and Black women were making ignorant comments. I am not understanding why people have to continue to propagate the idea that one race’s form of beauty is superior to another race. Where is the rule that says we can’t all look different and still be equally beautiful?
In an ideal world, we could all just be individuals and beauty standards would be more egalitarian, but we live in the real world and it’s not that simple, unfortunately.
I did not like the comments that were made about both white women and Black women on the blog, but I can understand the frustration. My frustration stems from the fact that some white women just do not care to understand the inequality that Black women deal with and some just will not acknowledge their privilege as white women.
This is partly where my frustration with “angelbaby,” came from. I did not agree with the stereotypes about white women on the blog, any more than I agreed with the stereotypes about Black women (as I’ve said before) but I did NOT like that angelbaby seemed ot be unfazed by the stereotypes thrown at Black women originally and only got offended and “righteous,” when white women were stereotyped. That was the root of my frustration.
Black women face discrimination and racist beauty standards that tell us every day of our lives that we are inferior. We are told that our hair is inferior, we are told that our body shapes are inferior, we are told that our lips are only beautiful when they are on a light face and we’re told many more things. I know how Black women feel about beauty standards because we live in a very racist society and many white women just do not understand what it is like to grow up in a society that portrays you as inferior from birth. They do not understand or acknowledge the privilege that they have, just for being white. They do not understand the inequality that we face in the workplace, in the academic realm, in the political realm and in society in general.
They don’t understand how it feels to be told again and again that your looks are inferior, that your hair is too kinky, your butt is too big, your lips too full, your dance too vulgar. They do not understand the frustration that comes when Kim Kardashian, J.Lo, Angelina Jolie and Miley Cyrus, who does one twerk video, are lauded for having the very same features, which Black women are castigated for having. These features are only beautiful…when seen on a white face or body.
Many white women do not know about Sarah Baartman, they do not know that Black women earn less than white women in the workforce , even when working at the same occupation, and many just do not understand our struggle. Many white women benefit from white supremacy, so some choose not to understand. Not all white women have this disconnect, I know some white women are just as concerned about the well-being of EVERYONE, not just white women. But, it seems that some white women just are out of the loop when it comes to their own privilege and the inequality that Black women (and WOC) face as a result of their privilege.
So, I can certainly understand where the frustration and anger comes from for Black women. There is frustration due to the privilege that white women have and the inequality that Black women face and that was my problem with angelbaby’s comments.
But I also have to say that I disagree with the Black women who were stereotyping white women.
As Black women, we know how it feels to be stereotyped and demeaned and we know how painful it feels to be stereotyped, so why would we do that to someone else? I believe that Black women can defend ourselves and rise above all the adversity, without degrading others…even when they degrade us.
We can show the world that we are classy and can uplift and value our own beauty, without degrading others. Set an example that we do not need to tear others down, like some people do, to feel beautiful and valuable.
When we stoop to the level of the people who call Serena Williams a “monkey,” and who degrade our Black First Lady, despite all of her accomplishments, then we’re just making ourselves as ugly as the people who make these comments are. So, I never want Black women to let people turn us ugly. I understand where the frustration comes from, but we can’t stoop to the level of those who discriminate against us. We can defend ourselves and still maintain our integrity and dignity.
All races are beautiful and we should all be treated with respect and dignity. We can challenge racism and inequality by showing the world that we’re all equal, not by demeaning others and stooping to their level. So, there were both Black women and white women on that thread, in my opinion, who behaved ignorantly. Those are my thoughts.