Perception Of Female Beauty In The Media

Perception Of Female Beauty In The Media

By: Anise Smith

When I thought about the perception of female beauty in the media, I immediately wanted to tackle it and I really felt like I had so much to say.  Then I started to give it some real thought and realized that my take on this topic would be very different than an article that I thought would appeal to mainstream readers initially.   This is because as a woman of color I have a very different view of beauty than what is traditionally believed to be beautiful.  I see things from a very chocolate tinged point of view, pun intended


Growing up as a young girl most would see beautiful women on TV and fantasize about growing up to be as beautiful and glamorous as these women were.   The slim sleek figure, the blonde hair and blue eyes; it is just the epitome of what is viewed by the media as beautiful.  Not to say that I do not find those characteristics beautiful, I just see things in a different way.

Mainstream media tends to portray women in a way that the average woman just cannot live up to. The average size of a woman is currently size 14 NOT a size 2 as is portrayed in mainstream media.  Most people have dark hair and brown eyes and are not blond, thin and blue eyed.  This “Blond Beauty” is what mainstream media presents as the “look” that all women should aspire to. This look may be attainable by some, but for many it is NOT.  If you were born a woman of color becoming what is considered a mainstream beauty would fit squarely in the SOL category.

I grew up with brown skin, curly hair and a curvy figure so the media portrayal of the ideal beautiful woman, I WILL never be. I actually never longed for the things mainstream media portrayed as beautiful. Lucky for me huh? Had I longed for such, I think I would have been in deep doodoo because it just wasn’t happening. This is a prime example of how dangerous it is to portray images of what is the ideal “look” to young impressionable girls because had I been more impressionable I would have been driven to accomplish something that would never be attainable. Lucky me, but some are not as lucky as they are driven by the images that are constantly shoved at them to be thinner, taller, blonder and bigger boobed sometimes to the detriment of their health.


Who says Queen Latifah isn’t beautiful?

As a woman of color I have a very different opinion of what is beautiful because of environmental factors and the people I grew up around. People tend to find beauty in what is familiar to them. So I would look at the women in my family and think that they were exceptionally beautiful.   As a teen I would go to visit my twin aunts and I just always found them to be absolutely beautiful.  They were brown like me, they had curly hair like me, curves like me and looked nothing like what mainstream media portrayed as beautiful.  However, for me this is what I found beautiful as a young impressionable girl and what I find beautiful now. So, what was portrayed as beautiful on TV and in the magazines always seemed like beauty in a very abstract way. I would say more like an abstract painting and not realistic.  That was not and has not ever been my reality.

The media portrayal of what is beautiful is especially cruel for the little girls of color because they can never be what the media portrays as traditionally beautiful.  Not with brown skin, curly hair, brown eyes and curvy figures.

I think that all little girls, young women and even older women must not internalize abstract beauty but find and embrace their own reality and what it means to be beautiful just as they are.

Be Sociable, Share!



Powered by Facebook Comments

Speak Your Mind