“Have your pigment ever made you feel less than?”
As a Black male growing up in the United States my mother taught me at young the uphill battle of dealing with a certain demographic of people. A certain demographic that might not like simply because the color of my skin. But what is not talked about as much is the lack of representation in me being seen as an exceptionable image of affection. Not just Black men, but also Black women as well. The images I saw of Black men and women were either overly sexual, or shown from a space of shame and unattractive physical appearance. But who makes those decisions regarding on what’s beautiful in our society?
Well, since I was young the fashion industry was strong in promoting the image of that beauty to society. An image that has effected more women than men. The body type is expected to me lean and thin, while the woman is supposed to be tall with symmetrical facial features. The ethnicity of the woman is typically a White girl, 18 – 25 years of age. This image effects so many girls, excluding even more Black women, then it leaves Black women to look to other images. It’s why Essence, Jet, and Ebony have been so pivotal in the Black community.
So how has this effected me, or others that look like me? In reality, it has not done much to effect in how I see myself. But I have seen the effects on the attitudes of Black women in society. Verbal comments regarding any other woman’s appearance that is easily dismissed is elevated when directed toward Black women. So who’s to blame? Should it be the job of an industry or should it come from the people who are effected? Me personally, I have my own view on this topic.
As much as we want to blame fashion and entertainment, I don’t see these mediums changing anytime soon. So to say this is the reason only, then a group of people are in trouble. It has to come from the person/people because who are effected. Because I don’t think the people you want to care actually cares. So you have no choice but to take back your identity. If not you’re going to have a generation of males and females who lack self-esteem. Especially if you’re looking for other ethnic groups to validate your physical. To me, in the end, it has to come from you as the person. No one is going to care because it doesn’t effect them. So what happens in positions of duress; adjust? Adjust, and carve out your own identity.