The March issue of Glamour magazine features a six-page spread titled Your Race, Your Looks.” The article is a response to the publication’s professional hair debacle of last year. In November, Glamour magazine rounded up a panel of esteemed journalists, beauty entrepreneurs, and academic figures to discuss the current state of the depiction of black women in the media and ways to create a future that embraces all shades and textures of beauty. The article featured a chorus of voices that revealed the same experience that I’ve shared with you, and so many of you have shared here with me — most of us have been made to feel less than beautiful at some point in our lives. Less than feminine. Less than desirable. It comes from your family, your friends, your work environment, from the media, and sometimes, from within ourselves.

beautiful black woman

Subtle slings and arrows are constantly flung at beautiful black women, and they come from all sides. There’s the ever-notable lack of inclusion on television, in movies, in fashion magazines and fashion shows. Fun fact, did you know that before they used the stunning Jourdana Dunn this season, Prada hadn’t used a black model on the runway since 1997? And despite that, Prada still was more inclusive than some of the other designers. Many of this year’s hottest shows at fashion week could be described as a whitewash.

The fashion issue’s been panel-discussed to death both Stateside — read this Jezebel article about last year’s panel discussion titled “Out Of Fashion: The Absence Of Color,” and in England. When the issue was vigorously debated recently, ever-outspoken designer Vivienne Westwood lambasted the racist industry. Now she’s chosen striking Kenyan model Ajuma Nasenyana as the face of her latest campaign, and the Juergen Teller photos reveal her posed with a spear, a machine gun, and alongside bananas and African masks. Some bloggers think it’s fly, others, most notably Make Fetch Happen (one of my new fave blogs on the block), critique the yawn-worthy “safari chic” theme models of color are so often photographed in. A “colorful native” version of the kind of fashion shoots that have also been analyzed over at Racialicious, if you will. I’d love to hear your views on this one.

Sometimes the people who love you will dim your shine without necessarily meaning to step on your self esteem. It can be a little off-the-cuff quip, like “is that what you’re wearing?” If you wear your hair in a natural style, you’ll probably hear, “aren’t you going to do something with that?” in reference to your style of choice. Or the offer of a well meaning older relative to help you “fix your hair.” Because in her eyes, it’s broken and bad.

Sometimes, it’s an incident with your employer or coworkers. I read this post on Racialicious
(penned by the super intelligent blogger of What Tami Said) and felt my pulse race with recognition at that feeling of not being considered just as female, sexy, and attractive as a lighter (or whiter) skinned counterpart. And I agreed most of all with her conclusion — “Sometimes it is freaking tiring being a beautiful black woman in America.” But not just America — these are situations and emotions that women of color all over the world can identify with. Sometimes it’s enough to chip away at even the most confident bella’s self esteem.

I don’t know about y’all, but I have had enough of doubting my beauty and my worth as a woman. I am not going to take it anymore — from the media, or from the people I interact with regularly. If you’re with me, can I get an amen?

I say, don’t waste your time buying Vogue or any of the so-called fashion bibles that hardly ever use models of color in their spreads. Support the publications that do — if you’re bored of Essence or Ebony, check out Trace magazine online instead. Or Amber Mag. Or read a black fashion blog, like I Like Her Style, or The Fashion Bomb.

I say, the next time you’re thinking about dropping dollars on a Prada bag or an overpriced item from insert the latest trendy product here, look at their advertising. Think about it, then spend that cash to support someone who celebrates you as a beautiful woman and a viable customer. We are tastemakers with our own ideas, so forget what Anna Wintour thinks should be the new hotness. Go get yourself an Alek Wek bag, or an Iman purse instead — Iman’s Global Chic line is both affordable and stylish. Before you support another designer who doesn’t see fit to send models that look like you sashaying down their runway, consider the designers who regularly use models of color. If I had the dough to spend on high fashion, I’d definitely spring for something by Rachel Roy, Diane Von Furstenberg, or Tracy Reese — designers who recognize that there are multiple shades of beauty.

When that well-meaning relative chimes in their two cents about the texture or length of your hair, don’t snap back a rude response (no matter how much you might want to). Take the time to explain to them why your hair is beautiful the way it is, or even better, show them how you style your hair, tell them what products you use, and explain why you do it that way. Mama Bella and my aunties will probably never go totally natural, but I think they admire the fact that I can wash and go without worrying too much. I can swim without worrying about getting my hair wet. Bellas of the relax-and-rollerset generation might never fully understand the new era of proudly natural women. That doesn’t mean we can’t respect each other and learn to embrace one another’s beauty. Starting a dialogue that examines your relative’s thought process about hair can do one of two things — it can make them seriously think about the reasons for their deep-seated prejudices, or it can make them totally sick of hearing your “nappy nazi” rhetoric. Either way, score! — you probably won’t have to have the same conversation again.

If a coworker or employer makes you feel uncomfortable about the way you wear your hair, or somehow makes you feel less than feminine (as happened to Tami), your first impulse might be a four-letter word that could get you in trouble at the office. Bite back the anger, and take a moment to reflect before you respond. You can’t let some out-of-touch d-bag steal your sunshine. If the people you work with make you feel invisible, or “less than,” then it’s up to you how you deal with that. Invisibility can have its benefits in the workplace (trust me,) but if your self confidence has been compromised, pick yourself up and celebrate your beauty. Look in the mirror and give yourself an unbashed grin. Know that you are beautiful and fabulous and you deserve all of the best things in life. If you can afford it, treat yourself to a fly, work appropriate top in a color you love — brights of all colors look stunning on beautiful brown skin. If you’re self-conscious about having short hair, get yourself some beautiful hoop earrings to show off your sassy side. Boost your own esteem from within by mentally listing all of your positive attributes — your beautiful eyes, the enviable shade of your skin (you’ll never need to be spray painted orange at a tanning salon, right?), the lush fullness of your lips (who needs implants? Not you, bella!), and most of all, your strong, sexy brain. We’re too smart and too fly to let anyone make us feel less than. Black is Beautiful. Sometimes we let ourselves forget that we are beautiful black women. Take the time to remind yourself today and every day.

FYI, I got the image at the top of the page from Gorgeous Black Women, a site I visit whenever I need beauty inspiration. Check it out!

Bellas, has anyone ever made you feel less than beautiful? How did you overcome those feelings of self-doubt?



Mrs.Mckinzie says:
February 27, 2008, 11:41 am
Just the other day my own sister (who still use lightning crack on her scalp,and can barely pull her hair into a ponytail)sent me an e-mail.The e-mail said,"It's finally Black History Month so acknowledge your roots ,get a perm, and send to all of your nappy head friends!not me, because i have indian in my family.Like heck she does ,because if my memory serves me correct we do not have even 1% of indian in our family.I was mad,but then a thought crossed my mind that she is just jelous of my hair,because of the length,the many styles that i wear,the compliments that i receive,and how beautiful it is.I just smiled ,and e-mailed her my best picture.
tip says:
February 27, 2008, 11:53 am
Amen to that sis! If you a black women living in America you know what it means to be told you’re not beautiful because you do not look like them. Let me share my experience and how I have gotten over this negativity. I am pecan tan complexion, hour glass figure, full lips, oh and a gap in between my teeth. So I have very "ethnic" features. Black men have always found me attractive, except for those who prefer light skinned and white women. When I was a girl I hated my lips, hips, hair and gap. There were not many beautiful black women on TV and magazines for me to look up to at that time, so I thought I was ugly. As I got older, I quickly learned to love my shape because I got so much attention from black men. I learned how to take care of my hair and make it look good. Honestly, I never struggled with my complexion. But my lips and the gap in my teeth I struggled with for years. My aunt once told me that my lips were beautiful and white women pay good money to get lips like mine. At the time I was a teenager and did not think that was true. That is until Lauryn Hill became popular and every one talked about how beautiful she was, including white folks. Sometimes they would even single out her lips as one of the best features. I also started to see that my aunt was right, white women were paying good money for what god had blessed me with naturally. Nowadays, I receive compliments on my lips from men and women of all races, because they are beautiful. I wanted to be what society says is the standard of beauty. Blond, blue eyes, full pink lips, a stick figure, with big boobs. Every day I embrace that good made me and made me different than that but I am unique and beautiful. I celebrate my uniqueness with confidence. When your confident in who you are it is beautiful! I hate it when women of color are put down, especially by our brothers, but I politely remind them that they too come from a women of color and I asked do they think their mother, grandmother, and aunts are ugly, and of course they say no. Sistas, don’t let anyone tell you you’re not beautiful, be the best you can be and work what you got. I promise you someone will take notice, even those of other races.
lockedgoddess says:
February 27, 2008, 12:14 pm
Love this post, Bella! I had an assistant principal in high school tell me that only black women could get away with wearing gold jewelry. When I ask her why, she said because it reflects better off of dark skin. At the time, it really pissed off me. When i got older, i realized she was trying to compliment me but, as a Hersey's chocolate bar browngirl it hurt. I grew up hearing compliments and insults about skin, hair, and even my style of dress. Now as a mother, i tell my daughters and son; as much as i can to not let someone's hateful comments about their hair, skin and being affect them. It's not worth wasting your soul for. Also like i have stated before I have waist length dreads,the craziest thing i have had someone say to me is "you'll never have a man, with all that nappy ass hair!" WHY? because I didn't told him no thanks for offering to give me a "hair relaxer and cut for $55"
TJ says:
February 27, 2008, 12:29 pm
Tip said it best. If you are the best you can be, people will notice. I've rocked the creamy crack, the full fro, and everything in between. It's all enhancement to me. The real beauty is inside. We have so many quality choices in hair, makeup and clothes! I've had people ask me if I was going to wear my hair/clothes like that because I chose something that was ethnic, but I know I'm beautiful, so I say uh huh, chile, and keep it movin. LOL.
Danielle J says:
February 27, 2008, 12:40 pm
Amen Bella! Thanks for this posted. I needed to read it. Sometimes it is tiring being a black woman in America, but I never regret it and I'm proud of it. I've certainly done the whole comparison thing and found myself lacking. Well enough of that crap! I'm getting my life together slowly, but surely, going natural, getting healthy and loving life.
Flygurl74 says:
February 27, 2008, 12:55 pm
Amen! When I received my issue of Glamour in the mail, I immediately ran to my pc and checked this site, to see what you had to say about it. LOL....I've been checking everyday, and I'm glad that you made a comment on it. I can't speak enough about the unnecessary catty remarks that have been made my way. I'm a lighter complexioned female, and I get sick and tired of the color of my skin tone being an issue. I cringe when I hear words like high yellow, piss color, oreo, etc. Just as hurtful as someone of a darker tone skin hue has with insensitive remarks, those are just as harsh. And then the hair, I decided to stop perming 4 years ago, and whew, the lack of support from friends, and catty remarks, is never ending. One of my "friends" even asked me if I thought I was mixed, because I wore it in a huge afro. This comment is from a sistah. Anyhow, as much as I love fashion, and expensive duds, I cannot support a label, that doesn't take people who resemble me seriously. We as black women, have the power to stop spending our hard earned cash on designers who could care less about representing us. With that being said, I agree with everything you wrote Afrobella, and will encourage others to take heed and do the same.
MMIM says:
February 27, 2008, 2:17 pm
I absolutely love this post. There is so much truth here. A lot of times people are so quick to support everyone else but their own. We need to look from within and then help those that look like us so that we can encourage growth within our own communities.
February 27, 2008, 2:22 pm
Just yesterday I had yet another black women ask me if my hair was naturally curly. I gues it's just hard for us to believe that you can have cute hair without perming it. I still don't understand why so many black folk hate themselves. You are fabulous no matter what your hair texture or skin color maybe. When are women going to wake up and realize that your looks really can't do a damn thing for you in the long run.
TX Woman says:
February 27, 2008, 2:36 pm
I wrote to Bebe about their models choices on their website. I did get a reply from their public relation department and they said they would look into it. That was about a year ago. If you check out their site nothing has changed. For encouragement to remain a natural woman(that's the way I look at it) I have receive the craziest questions at times concerning my natural hairstyles. A few times when having my hair twisted-out, I've been asked by other black women, Is that your natural hair or did you put something in it? How do you get your hair like that? Like what exactly I am not sure what they mean. I feel like saying other than gel, moisturizer and such this what afro-kinky texture hair looks like when you set it by twisting it. Often I've felt like I was some of kind oddity by their questions, because I realized and accepted in my mind that the hair that comes out of my scalp is not relaxer straight.
sherrye samuels says:
February 27, 2008, 2:37 pm
It is time for us to ebrace who we are, and not to succumb to the "ideal" looks of the world. God made us this way for a reason to be beautiful. Ladies stand up and look at yourself and say "I am beautiful!". If you don't love yourself no else would. Check out my beautiful handmade jewelry . All semiprecious stones and sterling silver. Indie-owned.
TX Woman says:
February 27, 2008, 2:52 pm
Amen sherrye samuels! What you said is nothing but the truth. We are wonderfully and fearfully made and our souls know full well!!! Your jewelry pieces are awesome.
ladybugfromthechi says:
February 27, 2008, 3:15 pm
Hi Bellas! Love the post. I am a light skinned, curly hair having, curvy sister who loves the space I am in and am proud to see you post a message such as this one. We come in all shades, with all hair textures and its time we completely love our selves with out apologizing for who we are. I am proud of you and I thank you for your blog! Keep educating and uplifting Bella!
SJay says:
February 27, 2008, 3:49 pm
Say it LOUD! I'm nappy AND proud!
AmiJane says:
February 27, 2008, 5:28 pm
Black women stand up! I'm confident most of the time. When I was younger my closest friend use to constantly tell me about what I did not have, so she could of course feel good about herself. She did damage my self esteem. Thank God I caught a clue, and learned to love who I am and the image I display! Oh, and I had a co-worker ask about my hair at a party. I had it in a MoFro (Mohawk Fro). She asked me if I was mixed. I told her no. Then she questioned me again. It's like she couldn't understand why my hair looked good and I wasn't mixed. It's like I got more respect since my natural hair is kinky and I had guts to wear it out, and it was beautiful. Huh?
Miss Sonya says:
February 27, 2008, 5:32 pm
I love that black people come in so many different shades. They're all beautiful. I'm light skinned with long hair and freckles. There are plenty in my family with freckles so I couldn't understand why people thought they were so unusual. What bothered me growing up (and still does to this day) is being made fun of because of my skin tone BY MY OWN FAMILY. Both of my parents and one brother are darker than me. The other one is only 1 or two shades darker than me, but you'd have thought he was dark as heck. It was ok for them to make fun of me but if I said "smile so I can see you" I was the one in the wrong. Anyway, I don't tolerate that type of attitude any longer and the first time someone said something about my daughter - who's a gorgeous caramel shade - I snapped. I don't want my daughter to think she's better than anyone because of her shade, or worse than anyone because of it. I want her to celebrate everyone's skintone because they're all beautiful.
Yvette Wallace says:
February 27, 2008, 5:36 pm
I have to say first that I LOVE this site. While I am not African American I am Latina and love reading about beauty in all the shades that it comes in. I can really relate to this topic since Latinas face the similar issues. My parents both never compliment me or my sister when we have short hair. It doesn't matter that short hair suits my face or that its soooo cute. Its not long, its not traditional and therefore not beautiful. As for the black women who are reading this, I have been jelous of your gorgeous hair since I could remember! I would love to have my hair be both that thick and soft. In middle school I would tell my black girlfriends this and they would just look at me kinda crazy since I had long straight black hair. I would see them in so many styles and braids and wished that my hair could be so versitile. I guess it does always seem like the grass is greener on the other side. I saw the way boys of all colors at my school always seemed to like the black girls and I guess I did the what does she have that I dont? and I in my young age concluded that it was that they could have different hairstyles and still be themselves not a less pretty version of themselves.
Syretta says:
February 27, 2008, 5:56 pm
AMEN! I'm tired of my family members (the same ones that rocked fros in the 70s) telling me to get my hair pressed (why have a natural just to get it straightened), or offering to "help" me with my hair! I'm TIRED OF IT!!! I cannot leave my home without getting compliments on my beautiful mane from others, so why the grief from my family. Not my whole family mind you, but a sad few.
paradisebird says:
February 27, 2008, 6:16 pm
Amen, amen , amen! I wont`t under no circumstances let anybody including myself tell me that I am less than fabulous! Still we rise! after spending my teenage years wishing to be like the other girls at school (white and blonde and whatsoever), spending my twentys worrying of not being attractive to men, now in my thirties i am am finally able to celebrate every curl on my head and every inch of m skin. Bella, i adore your blog and your brain! and after this it was the last time i have bouhgt something from someone who is too blind or too ignorant or too much in his/her vision on how the world should be. If someone cannot see our beauty they won`t see any Euro of my money. This is such brilliant idea, thank you so much. My english ist not so good but every word is from deep within myself.
Gorgeous Black Women says:
February 27, 2008, 6:57 pm
As an African women, I'm starting to understand the politicization of hair. I've had my hair in every style (afro, braided natural, relaxed, relaxed and braided, micros, cornrows, etc) except for locs. I tend to look at hair as an accessory as the woman stated. I do one thing for a few years, get bored and go to another. I had the luxury of spending about 7 years in my homeland. There were women with all sorts of hair around me. My very elitist, well-educated professional superwoman grandmother cared for me and she had a very low opinion of the skin bleach brigade. I soaked her hard-to-describe standard of beauty and I've always known that the texture of one's hair and the shade of one's skin have nothing to do with their exterior beauty. I've taken that for granted and it frightens me that my children will likely not have an opportunity like that. It saddens me that so many black girls and women around the world don't have parent figures who acknowledge their beauty, not as nice in a different way or beautiful "for a black woman," but beautiful. Period. Same goes for intelligence, academic and career achievements and value to the world. My hair styles change based on my boredom with current look and convenience. I don't feel badly when my female relatives tell me to get a blow out for an interview. If you have work in a field or company in which you can choose whatever style you please with no consequences to career advancement, that's grand. I'm fresh out of school. When I say it's just hair, it is indeed just hair. If I had it my way, I'd be rockin a shift dress in a lovely color and fabulous 4" heels daily, but I can't. I do what I need to do to get to where I want to be. When I get there, I can change the rules of the game. So many alumnae I've spoken to, mostly white women, have stopped working all together because they take issue with the unspoken rules for career advancement. It's nothing they didn't know before coming in and since they've left the field, the same people are in power and the rules stayed the same. 10 years down the line, I want to be able to rock the fro, the colors, the dresses and the pumps. I want women to not reach their max the minute there's even anything resembling a baby bump. If all the women leave to go to equally unfriendly companies in the same position they had to begin with, where's that going to get us?
Sabrina97 says:
February 27, 2008, 8:51 pm
Amen Bella! I have not had a lot of bad experiences with other people besides the usual amazement that my hair is actually curly...I will visit these other sites and really think about the power of the purse that I wield. I'm happy Glamour chose to revisit this topic in light of what happened last year, but they have to continue the progress by using beautiful in all colors and sizes.
jessica says:
February 27, 2008, 8:55 pm
i laughed when I read that part about Glamour magazine. After 20 years I finally find myself beautiful. I was one of those kids with low self esteem and my hair wasn't down to my butt. All the negative feelings I had came from others (i.e. my mother, other family members, strangers). It took me a long time to grow into my skin, it wasn't that I didn't find others that looked JUST liked me beautiful, i always put myself out of the mix. But now I can see the beauty and I can just fully correct others when they say disparaging remarks. 1977? Prada needs to do better I would like to see more African Americans on tv and movies and magazines year round, not just during BHM.
Tycajam says:
February 27, 2008, 10:52 pm
AMEN indeed!!!! This was so very, very, very necessary. Thank you for this, there is so much more that I could say, but just thank you for this!
Simone says:
February 27, 2008, 10:52 pm
I'm 27 and I live in a mostly caucasian town in southern california. The people out here really don't know what to make of me at times. It cracks me up often. My wardrobe is very preppy and I stay poppin' that Ralph Lauren polo collar while rocking my afro lol. Heads turn all the time. I don't think it's because people out here find natural black women unattractive, I think they just don't see` us in our natural glory often. Even my fiance (who is caucasian) is like "Baby, you have way to much flava for this place, I love it"! I love my natural self so when I catch people looking at me quizically I just smile. Which usally moves them to ask how my hair grows like that. Is it hard to manage yadda yadda yadda. More times than not they have said that they wish there hair could "do that". Keep your heads up sistahs. We are beautiful. Don't let the world doop you into thinking otherwise. Stay golden!
jessica says:
February 27, 2008, 10:55 pm
Bella,This posting could not have come at a better time. I just emailed yesterday about not wanting to support those who do not showcase brown beauty and cited Prada's first black runway model in 15 years. Thank you.
The Truth says:
February 27, 2008, 10:57 pm
As a woman of colour I understand you all .I`m South African Indian. The forced and one sided view of "white beauty" has to change. I admire black women because as a majority you know that it is a problem amongst the community and you rebel and do what you have to do to battle this demon of self-hate. Indian woman are oblivious to this and refuse to acknowledge it. That is possibly what makes it hurt more. So many people use whitening creams today and indian and such it is a billion dollar bussiness. It`s rather sickening . Your basically considered beautiful only if your fair or have a point nose and such . Hopefully one day soon this will not be an issue for all people of colour . The irony is that white people do the same thing but in reverse; not to the same extent of course . I guess you`ll always want you don`t have .
nyc/caribbean ragazza says:
February 27, 2008, 11:12 pm
Amen! I am a dark sister with a natural. The year I finally cut the chemicals out of my hair one of my uncles said I needed to grow my hair back and straighten it because it looked ugly. It was Christmas day. I have had black men here ask me why I wear my hair the way I do. What kind of dumb ass question is that? Not everyone can or should have Beyonce's haircut. Working in Hollywood is a trip. There are only two other film executives/producers with kinky hair. Everyone else either relaxes, wears a weave or is bi-racial and has naturally curly/wavy hair. It even worse for actresses. Actors can be all shades but not the women. I feel for young girls today. They have to grow up exposed to even more negative media than we did. Hopefully they have people in their lives who can tell them they are beautiful just the way they are.
LB (Miss Lisa) says:
February 28, 2008, 3:36 am
Amen Bella. I'm glad you always showcase everything that makes all women of color so very beautiful. Ladies please remember that the Creator made us special, and for that reason we are blessed and highly favored. People will always envy everything about us because women of color are truly the loveliest creatures on the face of this Earth. Hold your head up high and let your beauty shine.
Adrianna says:
February 28, 2008, 4:10 am
I love this post. You always make me feel like a million bucks. I will check out the blogs and mags. We need our own vogue. we can do it it's time for us to create the stuff we want to see. Be it movies, Magazines, fashion. Come on future media moguls. Let's get out there and do it !
simone also says:
February 28, 2008, 8:26 am
amen.i got over this crap about our hair by reading this site and experimenting and practicing relaxing mind, you know. just not caring and then finding myself pretty and then taking it up a notch. the thing i respect about fashion is its putting yourself out there. inviting people to look at you and looking at yourself. not hiding. i think i look pretty ok. some people think i look hot. some people are confused but struck. because i'm very tall, dark skin and oh all that hair! i'm into it. i really wanted to relax and figure out what i needed to do to make myself comfortable with myself. so i work out a lot and you know do things that i can do instead of awaiting judgement and fretting. i feeeeeeel like the after picture in a makeover show. really good and fantastic when it counts -- as i wake up, when i meet new people, when i'm chillin,when i have to present myself in an important setting and when i go sleep at night.
islandgirl550 says:
February 28, 2008, 8:32 am
Bella: this really got me thinking about my own hair story. I linked to your post on my site. Thanks for your post. It was something I needed yesterday as the questions about my hair really were strong yesterday. I love your site and while I'm a lot busier that usual, I still find time to read everyday. Keep up the good work.
RObleu says:
February 28, 2008, 8:39 am
Amen Ms. Beautiful and Fabulous Afrobella! XOX
edesse says:
February 28, 2008, 10:30 am
Never ever felt "less beautiful" sorry. I don't need the media to validate any part of my being. Their opinion does not count and never will. As Tim Gunn would say...carry on....
Pixiecita says:
February 28, 2008, 10:33 am
Lovely, lovely post Ms. Afrobella! It is vitally important to spend our money consciously - just 'cause something look cool does not mean it jives with our consciousness. We certainly can't NOT be a part of the market - everyone's gotta eat, be clothed, and have a stash of beauty products :) Might as well be from companies and people who are on the same level we are.
Sumatra77 says:
February 28, 2008, 10:41 am
I completely agree with Bella when she says we should take the time to discuss our hair with other people instead of just jumping on the defensive. When I was in college, I did a study abroad stint in Japan. I wore braids pretty much the entire time I was there. The Japanese were fascinated by them. I would be in subway trains and would feel fingers in my hair. I learned how to explain the braiding process in Japanese and they would exclaim how beautiful they were. I mostly wear braids or twists but sometimes I will wear my hair natural. I usually get a lot of nice compliments, but when I first went natural, people would ask "are you trying to become a dreadhead now?" Even then, I took the time to explain my hair. I've never been into brand names so I wasn't aware of the lack of black models in specific designers lines, but I did know that there is certainly a shortage in general. I think before we can expect other people to make peace with our beauty in all its shades and textures, we have to make peace ourselves. Be who you are and not who you think you should be and let the chips fall where they may. says:
February 28, 2008, 10:43 am
I agree with edesse. As black women we should never allow the media to dictate to us, who is beautiful and who's not. We don't need to be validated by anyone! I know it's hard, especially growing up and not seeing our images portrayed "right" in the media. BUT IT'S OK! I AM WORKING ON SOMETHING FOR BLACK WOMEN TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT! Email me! Bella, you email me too! By the way, I love your site! and great post!
edesse says:
February 28, 2008, 11:51 am
sumatra: I love your story. When you go out and travel the world and actually experience it, you will find out that the media is so....blah. Nothing beats an actual experience. I grew up in the rural deep south--on a farm actually. When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I watched, for about 2 hours, a spider making a nest for her eggs using puffs of my discarded hair. The next day, I saw her completed web and her eggs wrapped safely in a big wad of my nappy hair. That did it for me. That is why I would never, ever perm my hair and never allow media and images to persuade me into changing the genetic structure of my hair or anything else that is inherently me. There was something so organic and beautiful in the time I spent observing that spider.
February 28, 2008, 12:36 pm
Why is it that damn near every women in Hollywood has a weave? Why is it that the same black women who are walking around here with severly damaged hair continue to relax it. It's almost like they would rather have damaged straight hair rather then nappy hair that is healthy and thick. A friend of mine is being pressured by her family to relax her child hair. What sense does that make?
Ayosi says:
February 28, 2008, 1:46 pm
Bella, I will echo the sentiments of all the above, you are doing a great job of promoting the fact that black is beautiful no matter the shade of skin or kink of hair! In relation to the hair issue. You must have some type of third eye or something! Just the other day on my `lil rock` 30 mins from T&T (wink) there was an issue regarding how some male students wore their hair (they had either long hair or locks). Could you imagine having to present a letter proving to be part of a movement in order to attend class with your locks….supposedly it’s a rule. Something about that just does not seem right…..the MEN all over 18! Higher education by bum! Btw—I always read your blog and love it. This is the first time I’ve posted a comment!
Brigitte says:
February 28, 2008, 2:01 pm
What a fantastic post Afrobella! I also echo your sentiments completely. I hate that there really isn't an inclusive fashion magazine out there today that is comparable to Elle or Vogue but my heart is warmed knowing that there are blogs out there like yours which help to fill the void in some ways. Also, thank you for mentioning my blog. I'm always surprised when I find that I'm not the only one reading it :)
Brandee says:
February 28, 2008, 4:41 pm
THANK YOU, Bella. I also thank you for using your blog to help others realize that it's not whether we wear our hair "natural" or not (I do and love it), or even what shade of brown/cream/whatever we are, but rather that we realize our worth and our potential. And Edesse, your spider story blew me away. That one's for the memory bank; thank you immensely for sharing that. That image will stay with me for a long time. You're fortunate in having such an affirming experience so early!
Chic Noir says:
February 28, 2008, 6:42 pm
Very good post Bella!
Funkyblackchick says:
February 28, 2008, 8:20 pm
Great post, Bella! I've had natural hair since I was about 17 yrs old. So most people who know me, already know how I feel about being natural. It's often interesting to hear a coworkers reaction when I happen to blow my hair out and/or straighten it instead of wearing it curly. Most have gotten used to my hair but occasionally I'll still get a sarcastic comment or two. I love the variety that natural hair gives me. At any given moment I can have curls or blow it out for a straighter look. What so many people fail to realize is that, it doesn't matter whether your hair is natural or chemically treated, it's all about how you feel about yourself. I never look down on someone b/c of the choices they make when it comes to their hair. Never let the media tell you how you should look or what stereotypes you should portray. Be true to yourself first & foremost.
dettygirl says:
February 28, 2008, 8:45 pm
I love every twist in my body & every curly kink in my hair. I just feel more honest for celebrating myself the way I am. I think people have such a reaction to seeing us natural heads b/c they are conditioned too! They see the same mainstream media we do & don't really see us being represented, so they don't understand what "kind" of black person we are. America is stuck on labels. Thinking globally helps lessen the sting of people's ignorant comments. i.e. I was in an Indiana Target w/ my hair twisted out the other day & a white lady asked me was I "Creole" ?? I was thinking, are you SERIOUS?!? Then I calmed down & told her I was not. I was like WOW isn't it 2008? Sooooo important to know better b/c most people don't....
Janelle says:
February 29, 2008, 3:27 am
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It's rejuvenating to read your post and the myriad of comments on this topic. We all have some healing to embrace on the topic of skin color/hair texture/racial self worth. It often amazes me when people have the audacity to ask me "so ummm are both your parents black?" when they see my light skin rocking my hair au naturel (well actually not completely au naturel as I am loving the blonde my stylist decided I should be). I despise the assumptions people make about who they think I am because of my appearance. Yes I like it when my hair is straight. Yes I like it when it's curly. Why do I have to chose, pick a side? Does chosing one way over the other define me? I embrace the versatility of the woman within. I've learned to accept me for me. Yes I am blessed to have my "high yella" skin (despise that term) and my curly/wavy textured hair. I say I am blessed not because of some idiotic feeling of superiority. I am blessed with these traits because they were divinely given to me through my parents. I am blessed because my skin color and my hair texture is a beautiful combination bestowed upon me by my parents. I would feel just as blessed if my skin were darker and my hair kinkier. Being aware of this blessing makes it easier to deal with the ignorance I've encountered. From the ex who refused to take me to a work function because my hair did fit the "corporate mold" to the headmistress who kept me after class because "you people tend to say ax instead of ask" and made me say it over and over as if I hadn't said ask in the first place. These idiots are just tests of our strength. Strength that probably makes my hair stand out taller all over my head. LOL
Lola says:
February 29, 2008, 5:53 pm
Bella you are amazing, I've been lurking for a little while but I feel like getting out of lurk-mode and state how I see things. How do I overcome these feelings of self-doubt? I think of all the black beauties of all shades that we have from Iman to Halle Berry to Erykah Badu to Naomi Campbell to Alicia Keys to Tomiko Frasier and Lauryn Hill and Tina Turner and Liyah Kebede. All of them are pure beauties. I think to myself those women have/had the world at their feet, they are to this day being considered some of the most gorgeous women in the world in spite of the discrimination we sisters face because of our skin and features. They had everything against them but they shined or still shine to the point that the world can't deny their light. They all made me realize that the power lies within us. You define who you are, don't ever allow the world to do so. If you don't allow anyone to make you feel low, their power DIES. In spite of all the obstacles and propaganda, we rise, we fly, we did throughout history and always will. We are the Oprahs, we are the Michelle Obamas, we are the Maya Angelous. It doesn't matter what the media tries to do to me, I am beautiful. It doesn't matter which degrading song is being played on the radio, I am beautiful. It doesn't matter what ridiculous remark I hear from some non-blacks and some blacks about my hair or skin shade (too black/not black enough), I am beautiful. It doesn't matter if hypocrits criticize my curves while praising JLO's, criticize my lips while praising Angelina's (no offense to other races, but the truth is the truth), I KNOW that I AM Beautiful! Not in a cocky way, 'cause I'm not above anybody, but I'm not "less than" anybody either. I have unconditional love for myself. I AM BEAUTIFUL. Why? cause I said so, cause I THINK so. It doesn't matter how you feel about it, you CANNOT change the way I feel about myself without MY permission. I don't believe the lies you spread anymore, cause truth is : I AM BEAUTIFUL.
BLKITTY08 says:
February 29, 2008, 11:59 pm
I read everyones posts and I feel like I want to add my opinion on the most bella here Ive had every type of hairstyle including natural...and I realized that maybe I need a bit more self esteem in the natural dept for the workplace...because in the workforce I felt like I had enough problems with just being black, no need to add more to the pot! know what Im talking about? So I came to the conclusion that its easier to just fit in..... just so I can do my job, get my paycheck and go home, or where ever else I want to do after hrs.. so this is what I do.... I wear my wigs or falls during the corporate hrs...and on my time I rock whatever do I want to, and to the people I encounter after hrs.... I dont particularly care about their opinion, but I do know for a fact that if you are one of those types that dont like explaining BHM to "others" on a daily basis at your job cause you got a short fuse like me, wigs and falls during the day is the way to go!!
LD in PDX says:
March 1, 2008, 12:19 am
LBellatrix says:
March 1, 2008, 4:55 pm
Yet another lovely and insightful post, Bella... Edesse, I too am filing that spider story away. That is simply AWESOME (in the literal sense). I don't really have much to add (for once)...except that I didn't start truly appreciating my unique (dark-skinned, nappy-headed) beauty until my 30s. Going natural at 30 definitely helped with that. Now, at almost-43, I feel more beautiful than ever...and also more distant than ever from a slavery-derived mentality that claims I can't be beautiful unless a) I'm white (Asian, Latina, Native American, or some combination thereof), b) I can pass for white (ALNAOSCT), or c) I bust my ass attempting to pass for white (ALNAOSCT). I have very little tolerance for people of ANY RACE who still think this way...and extremely little tolerance for people who want to laugh and say "it's just the way things are." If you accept white supremacy as a fact, then you accept black inferiority as a fact as well, because one can't exist without the other. I refuse to live my life feeling inferior to anybody in any way...and CERTAINLY not when it comes to physical appearance.
March 3, 2008, 5:18 pm
Suinda says:
March 4, 2008, 4:27 pm
I agree wholeheartedly. I'm Puerto Rican, and I constantly see spanish soap operas with the majority of the women being light skinned; whereas if you ever saw a black woman in the soap opera, she always portrayed the maid, servant, the poor woman from the "barrio", etc. These stereotypes and proclamations of women of color in the media is just mad, and I wish they would stop portraying women as such. Also, I have kinky curly hair and I love it that way, but everyone is constantly encouraging me to straighten my hair. Why should I do that when I like my hair in it's natural state? So that I can look more Americanized? No offense to anyone of Caucasian descent. I'm not Caucasian, my skin is not white, My hair is not fine, so why should I have to meet the standards that the media constantly places? To be lighter; have finer hair? Where are the women that look like me in the magazines and tv shows? Despite all this I hold no hate, because I know that I'm beautiful as I am, and I prove this by being myself each and everyday. Women of color don't fret or fall down to the standards of beauty that you see today, for you are beautiful as you are.
tanya says:
March 5, 2008, 10:04 am
another excellent post bella, thank you. and thank you for the links! you've rejuvenated me. i'm dark-skinned and have locs, which i've been growing for almost 10 years. i have a love-hate relationship with it (as we all do, no matter what the style) but i refuse to go back to straightening it. i find it really interesting that strangers, friends, and co-workers absolutely LOVE my hair, yet my own mother can't STAND it. it seems that the standard of beauty for her and many of my family members is the 'straight hair' look. i've read in some other posts that other women are grappling with the same thing. it's comforting to know this, but it shouldn't have to happen! my hair is apart of me, it's not who i am, and regardless of all my accomplishments (which my mom is proud of), my hair is still a sticking point. i hate that we as black women (even by the our loved ones), are still defined us by how we look, and not who we are individuals. (i love my mama, don't get me wrong! just in case you were wondering.)
Chocl8t says:
March 8, 2008, 2:35 am
I just found your blog! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! As my name suggests, I am a dark chocolate lady but it took a long, long, time before I fully embraced it. I think it would have been much sooner if your blog was around about 20 years ago! :) You've gained another faithful reader! Keep up the good work!
Es says:
March 8, 2008, 11:23 am
I agree whole heartedly. I decided to go natural about a year and a few months ago and I can count on one hand the number of people that think it was a good decision. My Mom, My sisters, most of my friends, average people in the street think I should straighten my hair. Up to now my Mom still says "I can't wait for you to start straightening your hair again! It will look sooooo good!" Fill in the blanks. Whenever I express to my sisters that I wish my love life may be better they attribute the lack I attention from the male species to the fact that I wear my hair natural. I don't even blame them for their attitude though. We live in Trinidad and there's always been this underlying racism toward dark girls. People make comments like "God, yuh aint see how black she is!" or "Hmm, yuh better look for a red, indian or white man because yuh don't want any late for school children with that kind of hair you have there!". Everywhere you turn you face comments which imply that how you look is inherently unacceptable. The result is a bunch of black girls walking around with dead straight hair, bleaching their skins, talking with an accent just to fit in. I am not exagerating... believe or not that's how it is in T&T right now. I think I would be able to pass if I had "good hair"; You know, curly hair. But I don't, my hair coils very tightly on head. Despite these comments I insist that I will keep my hair natural because it's how it's meant to be. Full Stop. It's called natural for a reason. And I refuse to be molded into something that I'm not just to fit in. Blogs like this are truly a lifeline to girls like us who want to try to appreciate who we are. Thanks!
Zee Harrison says:
March 8, 2008, 3:16 pm
Do you realise just how far we have to go? 'We' meaning black people. What is all this vacuous talk about beauty? Superficial and damaging. Let's add race into the equation and you are on a hiding to nowhere. Forget the notion of race - if you allow yourself to be defined by racists, sexists, homophobic, ignorant people then you are allowing them to set the agenda. Our focus should be turned towards embracing and changing our own mindsets, eliminating all forms of religion - which prevent critical thinking, logical reasoning and widen any gulfs humans have between them. Enough. Stop and think: Why am I so concerned about my hair? Why do I have such negative views about x race? Why am I bothered if I am viewed as beautiful or not? - and who has set the terms of beauty for me? Live in the moment, find out who you are and if you have goals just go for them. Life's tough sometimes and everybody has obstacles to overcome - adding that big heavy load of race division just makes it 10 times harder, not easier. Remember, esp to all those who make constant references to 'god') the racists read the same texts that you do and justify their views the same way you can. Do you really believe those mythical stories and then teach them to your children? Why?
Miss Profe says:
March 9, 2008, 7:28 am
I am all in favor of Black women loving themselves and appreciating themselves for who and what they are. Additionally, let's be honest: A lot ff Black women are seriously and dangerously obese, and it's not usually due to glandular problems like an under-active thyroid. Many Black women eat carelessly, and don't exercise on a regular basis. I a Black woman the other day who is dangerously obese. She couldn't have been more than 25 years old. She was walking across the parking lot to the university campus. She was struggling, just to walk across the parking lot to campus. Ladies This madness has to STOP!!!.
Matt says:
March 10, 2008, 9:48 pm
I havn't read through all the comments but i definitely think black women should love themselves, they are the most beautiful, sexy and strong minded women in the world. i'm mixed race black/white but i have never known my white dad or any of his family, he left when i was born beacuse i was darker than my sister and therefore my mother must have cheated :s anyway i don't dislike white people or my white blood i just dislike the white media and their idea of beauty. they portray light skin and white features to be the best things to have and that message is shown all over the world in all countries. it gets me real angry especially when black women start thinking that way too and get skin lightening crap n destroy their beautiful skin. i also hate when beyonce is brought up when talking about black beauty, that women is TRASH! and a disgrace, she actually went and got a nose job and lip reduction to look more white! wtf! in my opinion white women are unattractive in every way, flat body, no lips, pointed nose, stringy hair and skin that ages real bad just doesn't do it for me. i love real black women, dark smooth skin, curvy bodies, full lips, beautiful afro hair and amazingl beautiful faces. i respect, admire and love black women. i just wish they all felt the same. all i can say is f*ck the media, you and i know what real beauty is. BLACK WOMEN = REAL BEAUTY/GOD'S FINEST CREATION.
jacobia says:
March 11, 2008, 5:17 pm
Love the comments. Just one thing I want to add Not all light skin black women have the so called good hair. I am a light skin black woman with full lips and a gap with nappy coarse hair. I experience comments such as for me to be so "red" I sure have some nappy hair. I have not put chemicals in my hair for almost 2 years. I am frustrated about not being able to feel comfortable being natural. I choose to wear wigs and braids during my grow out because I had a lot of damage. Now I am looking at what kind of natural style to wear. I am in may late 40's and do have some gray that I don't like. Genetics cause graying early. Will coloring my hair make me not natural?
Matt says:
March 11, 2008, 9:16 pm
i think coloring your hair would be ok because it won't change the texture right? i'm mixed race as i stated above so i can't tell you for sure and i'm only 19 so i don't know a lot lol but i do love black women's natural hair, everything natural about black women is beautiful and thats why none of you need to cake your face up full of make-up like the white woman
jacobia says:
March 12, 2008, 5:16 pm
Thanks Matt for the support. I do think I am beautiful and in fact as a child hated my full lips and everything else that didn't look "white" I also recognize that I am who I am and with each passing day embrace the beauty of it all. Just to day I had a someone say natural hair is hard to handle. That gave me the mind set to say I'll show you differently. I will go for the color but keep it within the range of my own natural color dark brown. Thanks
Matt says:
March 12, 2008, 6:15 pm
I'm glad to help and I'm glad that you know your beautiful. I'm sorry to hear that you hated your features when you were a child but It's great that thats all changed now. The sad truth is that we are all living in a white world and it will probably always be that way. I lived in africa for a while and still saw racism from white people, that's just crazy, what the hell are thy doing there if their racist??? anyways i think parents can do a lot to help improve their kids opinions on themselves. let your children know that their skin and features are beautiful at an early age and do NOT buy them those stupid blonde barbies or let them watch such disney movies as 'snow white' the racism is in the title, and the whole message to the movie is being 'the fairest of them all' its ridiculous. there does need to be more black dolls and children's programs in order for that to work though. so i guess there is a lot of work to be done and all i can really do at the moment is tell you that YOU ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL.
jacobia says:
March 14, 2008, 9:18 am
You have a point about the snow white. Fortunately I have never allowed my girls to have white dolls. In fact my youngest daughter never played with baby dolls. I believe that playing with baby dolls sends the message to girls that babies are fun there's nothing fun about being a teen mom. I work with teen moms and they had a fantasy about babies. I believe also that allowing little boys to have play guns sends the message that guns are not serious weapons. Anyway this forum is about hair. Is there anyone that have good suggestions about how to keep natural hair from being to dry.
Rashelle says:
March 30, 2008, 6:05 pm
"do NOT buy them those stupid blonde barbies or let them watch such disney movies as ’snow white’ the racism is in the title, and the whole message to the movie is being ‘the fairest of them all’ its ridiculous." I find the above to be a racist comment. We as a people have suffered enough racism in the past and less in the present time. So we should know best of all not to be saying such things. (There are black dolls, and plenty diverse and black television out there) Calling a Disney movie racist because it says "fairest of them all"(by the way not the message of the movie) is wrong. Where is the logic in that? Here are some definitions of fair for you... "free from blemish, imperfection, or anything that impairs the appearance, quality, or character" "pleasing in appearance; attractive" Fair has many meanings not just fair as in skin tone. On to my comment in regards to this article... Black is beautiful! I love my skin, hair, lips, and figure. Every race has beautiful, unqiue qualities to be proud of. This does not mean each race has to find your race beautiful. We are made differently and our minds are attracted to different things. I for one am attracted to the black race and others. (I know a hot male when I see one!) All races are beautiful and we should all be proud and show off ourselves!
Tracy says:
July 10, 2008, 11:20 am
I liked the article and I agree that as a black woman I am not represented by most fashion mags. I also get sick of watching those shampoo commercials, because even if they do have a woman of color in the ad, she has hair like a barbie. I though, find myself in a situation that to me, is much more distressing and disturbing. I am a very light skinned black woman who not only is seen as a negative by whites, but also am not really accepted as being a woman of color by my own race. I think that as African Americans, we have so bought into this slave mentality that lighter is better, and we can't move past it. If we as a race promote this idea through our negative attitudes toward others of our own race, how can we fault the white establishment for continuing to feed us this idea that we find so irresistible? We want to be proud of our race and who we are, we insist that we love being black woman, and yet those features that are distinct to us are seen as negatives. We scream," Acknowledge my value as a black woman, see me as just as good, just as beautiful as my white counterparts!" And then go to the nearest beauty shop and pay a small fortune to get tracks in our hair so that it is as straight, long and Caucasian as we can get it. So we have to figure out what it is that we want. I have a large fro, don't relax, press, or add tracks. My hair is a part of my identity, and I am proud of who and what I am, and what I came from. The only way society as a whole will see our beauty is if We can see our beauty, and stop feeding into the the ideas that they give us about what beauty is, especially if the ideas they give us don't include those things intrinsic to what makes us, us.
Jacobia says:
September 14, 2008, 7:51 am
Well it's been about 6 months since I have actually stop wearing the wigs and weaves and showing my own hair. I have gotten more comments from black women than anyone else. They seem to be shocked at the fact that I have a nappy head (as they say) I wear braids, twists, twist out, afro. Anything I can come up with for my natural hair. I am happy nappy. I don't have the hassles of all the equipment it takes to have "white hair." I have notice how some women would rather have short, super short, damaged, brittle, straight hair instead of their own longer, stronger, natural hair. I am HAPPY NAPPY!
loren says:
December 10, 2008, 8:26 pm
I am a relaxed-roller set kind of gal. I love myself regardless of my hair state. I recognize that my beauty is not represented within mainstream society but I am still happy with myself and my body. It is my goal to inform people about black beauty and its diversity; especially within [our] community. The fashion industry in my opinion is one of the worst types of media. A) effects Body Image B) effects Beauty Image C) Is not realistic D) is culturally constructed I no longer care what designers or advertisers percienve beauty as. I am beautiful & you are beautiful too! don't let anyone tell you differently
dennis starks says:
December 18, 2008, 10:27 am
you cannot truly love women without loving all women. all women are beautiful. i saw a black womon blush for the first time in my life, it was the most beautifl sight i ever seen. yes black people are loved but it is the media that put the sistas down. but hang tight to the wagon, you will have a comeback.
MLG says:
January 10, 2009, 11:14 pm
Hi There!
Black Man says:
February 22, 2009, 6:28 am
Yea, yea, it's a black man on a woman's site. But after hearing all the s*** black women have to deal with, I just had to say something (even though this is just on the internet). Ain't nothing more beautiful than a black women embracing her features. I see these Nigerian sistas rockin' dashikis and all sorts of traditional African wear and they got me thinkin', "damn, now if that isn't a goddess then she gotta be a queen..."F*** western standards of beauty, you African by blood. So how do you expect yourselves to comply to their standards? What up black women?
Tyraebia says:
April 6, 2009, 3:01 am
i am a young 21 year old mahogany/chocolate girl and i love my complexion i feel that black women need to cherish the treasure that they have from their full lips, varying complexions, kinky, wavy or curly hair.most of all we are powerful and radiant and have a strong uniqueness that is amazing.
Young One (16 years old) says:
April 15, 2009, 9:52 am
Gosh, I've never read an article so true. The thing that hurts me the most is that if the fashion industry was more accepting of not just black women, but women with real real bodies, we would not have this 'video vixen' issue. I know alot of those video models would love to be a part of the mainstream industry. But, we are not welcome, so where else to turn to but the videos. Me and girls my age, we only see ethnic girls shaking their booties in front of cameras.How does that make us feel? Many of these girls are remarkably beautiful, and could fit in any high fashion ad, given the chance. Girls my age would probably get a huge attitude change if they saw girls 'like them' in elegant gowns, rather than an almost-birthday-suit. I can not lie, I am still struggling with my image. I find myself sometimes envious of my family members light complexion (even though im quite light myself) Alot needs to be done to change things. But I think if girls my age start now, the next generation wont feel the sting of our social exclusion from society's idea of Beauty
Delores says:
July 20, 2009, 4:11 pm
Thank you. Your comments and articles are inspiring. After reading and researching some of the most negative websites on the Internet, it is refreshing to see something so positive to help our sisters out. Sometimes, I get so depressed, but its nice to know that I have my siters with me in the fight. Thanks again and God Bless you all.
Willow says:
August 4, 2009, 2:36 am
This article was, for me, very empowering. I had just searched on Google "are black women beautiful?" because as a teen who goes to an all white school, sometimes i'm doubtful. But thankfully it is in a neighborhood that is very diverse with all sorts of people attending my school, even a few native americans. Over this summer I've come to realize that I am beautiful, with my mahogany skin, black eyes, kinky hair, the works. I have been wearing my hair natural for all my life except for about five months when i was feeling unusually insecure and got it pressed. i think god was looking out for me because had i gotten a perm, my hair would not be the shoulder length, thick, and healthy hair it is now. i saw one person put a comment that they switch up their hairstyle every few years, i do mine differently very few weeks. i can't stand to look the same all the time and i too have tried every hairstyle in the book except locs. right now i have twists, and my hair is at a length where i can style it with rollers for a vintage look, or just wear it in a modern shag. i love being black and all the things that come with it, things like not having to worry too much about sunburn and melanoma, being able to get away with not shaving for a while (at least if you have dark skin like mine), and being able to wear practically any color except gray or chartreuse :)....this article just reaffirmed all that for me. thanks again.
Willow says:
August 4, 2009, 5:04 pm
Ooops, I meant to put in a mostly white school. But like I said, it does have diversity because of the neighborhood it's in.
flustrated says:
August 2, 2010, 5:20 pm
The Black standard of beauty isn't much of an improvement over the White standard, coming from a woman stuck between the two. I'm too dark, eyes too brown, hips to wide, tad too heavy to fit the White standard. But at the same time I'm not dark enough, hair's not thick enough, hips not wide enough and a** not big enough to meet the Black standard either. I thought that Black people were going celebrate black in all its hues. I was wrong. Gotta be a Nicki Minaj to make the cut with BPs or be a Kate Moss to make with WPs. All I see is two standards I'll never meet. Thanx for posting, tho.
truth says:
October 9, 2010, 5:03 pm
Inside bueaty is more valuable that outside, remember that and you can never go wrong.
adeenmckenzie-kennedy says:
December 18, 2010, 6:45 pm
i am a middle brown skin tone and i am fifteen.i kind of feel non beautiful because i go to a lily white catholic school where the white girls get the boys.really,what is so attractive about them?Just because society tells them they are pretty doesn't mean they are.Some of them are pretty but the majority of them aren't pretty.Really why do I want to look like some pale behind person with stringy hair,and no butt,lips or color in their skin. And they age so quickly!At the end of the day,I know black is beautiful and I don't listen to the media
Zenzele says:
December 19, 2010, 1:42 pm
I stopped buying magazines long ago. Fortunately, I'm long past the point of folks making comments about my hair - these days, I get nothing but compliments, and the rest know better than to say anything negative. THANK YOU for writing this article; we all need to stop letting others define our beauty, and we definitely need to challenge those who think we are "less than."
Nedetti owner of Hair by Nedjetti Salon NYC/NJ says:
December 19, 2010, 2:11 pm
AMAZING article bravo Bella sistahs must understand God did no wrong when HE made us right !! If you want some inspirational natural hairstyles befriend me @ all extension free and I styled them all myself Also come to the 1st Natural Hair and Beauty Expo , NYC Apr 16 & 17, 2011 I will be givng a 2 day natural seminar, giving transitional cuts to those in the audience and selling my dvd tutorials ( come and let's celebrate our innate au naturale beauty :) Remember when you walk with confidence and embrace YOU, others will pick up on your energy and respect you oppose to challenging you, the power lies within !!! Let's break the cycle of the LYE and walk with spiritual gratitude....xo my sistahs
Kasalina says:
December 19, 2010, 6:13 pm
agreed, great piece.
ybw2010 says:
January 25, 2011, 2:11 pm
hi Afrobella - thanks so much for sharing - we have made a video here in the UK and we'd love for you to share it with your readers. Its called What makes the black woman beautiful - Let us know what you think!
Peter Vlietstra says:
March 18, 2011, 8:52 pm
It is not the colour, but the softness of the skin. That's just it
adeen says:
October 4, 2011, 10:33 am
Black is beautiful! Beautiful black women, don't listen to society and their narrow minded idea of beauty; blond hair blue eyes, pale skin, big breast, big butt and light skin, big butt and breast and long blond hair for black women. And I wouldn't buy that magazine at all! Glamour magazine like all magazines except Essence and Jet, idolize White beauty instead of Black beauty. And Blacks aren't any better either! They still have a Euro centric standard of beauty for their woman, which I think is not fair and wrong! Beautiful black women come in all hues like Tisha Campbell, Clara, Sanaa lathan and Gabrielle Union. And it's crazy that halle Berry and Beyonce represent Black beauty when they are mixed and there is Black woman who are far more beautiful than those women will ever be! I'm not saying that they aren't beautiful, they are but they is better. I just think it is sad that we Blacks don't think we are beautiful and we should ban magazines that exclude and degrade us! And for our brothas, I have a lot to say to them, why do you prefer light skin/mixed and white girls and in fact, any girl that isn't black? Why is it you seem not to love us anymore? You guys are never there for us anymore or defend us when people of other races call us ugly, etc. You guys are never there for your baby mama''s children or anything. I know some of us have bad attitudes but we just can't take your crap anymore! I am sick of seeing black guys with these plain janes/ugly white girls walking around! I just don't get it? Are they prettier than us.........well to your eyes? Never mind , unless the world see Black women's beauty, we as sistas should respect our selves and love ourselves before anyone else and the world does.
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