Sunday, July 15, 2007

Another Subtle Diss Against The Natural Beauty of Black Women

I was searching around to update my Kiri Davis post and found this at Black Voice News Online: Another Subtle Diss Against The Natural Beauty of Black Women

Not much to say. I've already said a bit on this topic already: January, May 7th and May 14th. You all know how I feel - somehow I've managed to become quite passionate on this issue. However, I think it's an important one because it's so very important to have a positive self-image. This is particularly true when the world you're in tends to view you negatively due to your ethnicity.

The content of our character still has yet to be the primary determinant of how we're seen. Quite sad, no?

Here it is:

African American women have been told their natural hair was ugly so long until very few challenge the assertion. The hair care industry earns billions annually by fostering this deception. Soft & Beautiful brand of hair care products has named film actress Sanaa Lathan named "Miss Soft & Beautiful 2007." Lathan is known for her bold, yet sexy roles in the television series Nip Tuck and movies such as Love and Basketball, The Best Man, Brown Sugar, Out of Time, Something New, and Raisin in the Sun, which will air later this year. This award from Soft & beautiful is said to recognize role models: however, I suggest that the award is a subtle (either conscious or subconscious) stimulus to keep Black women attached to chemically relaxed hair. The success of such promotions is guaranteed to keep Alberto-Culver the manufactures of Soft & Beautiful a multibillion company. Lathan was selected based on a recent Sister 2 Sister Magazine Internet poll. Readers chose Lathan from amongst a list of other straightened-haired or hair weaved beautiful celebrities, which included, Beyonce, Tyra Banks and Queen Latifah. Black female celebrities known to wear natural hairstyles were not among the list of candidates for the coveted Soft & Beautiful title.

The following quotes were taken from the Internet: "I'm so honored to be named Miss Soft and Beautiful 2007," Ms. Lathan said. "It is such a delight to be recognized by the women in my community. A huge part of my life intention is to uplift women. This means so much. Thank you."

"The Soft & Beautiful woman displays grace and dignity, has a wonderful spirit, fit body and healthy, soft and beautiful hair," Sheryl Adkins-Green, Vice President of Alberto-Culver Multi-Cultural Marketing said. "Sanaa's look, especially her soft and silky hair, and her persona are admired by women everywhere. We're delighted she was chosen as 2007's Miss Soft & Beautiful."

In a recent Oprah Show Kiri Davis the teenage documentary filmmaker of aired a segment of her eight minutes film A Girl Like Me, which revealed that Black children had an inferiority complex regarding the Blackness. Ms. Davis used a Black doll and a white doll to conduct the test. The children thought of Black as ugly and white as pretty. Oprah later stated that she had visited one of her two schools in Africa and discovered that all the children had white dolls. When she asked the administrators why the young girls didn't have Black dolls she was told that Black dolls are hard to find, even in Africa.

Oprah who also wears her hair chemically straightened or weaved didn't acknowledge that, in part, it is because of the celebrities glorifying chemically straightened and/or weaved hair that contributes to Black children fostering negative images of their innate beauty. However Oprah's noble but superficial resolve was to personally see to it that all of the children at her schools receive Black dolls. I think such a resolution is tantamount to sending band-aids to AIDS victims. African and African American children need to see more Black female celebrities displaying their African heritage instead of sending the false message that beauty is only achieved through drastically altering their appearance.
Thanks to webmistress at Nappturology 101 for letting me use the photo above.

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