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.

Sphere: Related Content


  1. Hey, nice article. Good pic of the back of my head too. LOL.

    I wonder if the dolls that oprah sent had long silky hair. Hmmmm...

  2. I wanted to get across texture and variety and thought that was a good shot to show that.

    Of course, the dolls had that texture of hair. I mean nothing wrong with it. We just know the politics dig so deep. Even my black Barbie had long hair instead of an afro. LOL

  3. As you said there is big money in black women hating themselves. I believe that the obession that many black women have with wearing the hair of other people have led some non black people to question how we can claim to be so proud of being black but at the same time are willing to spend our last dollar to buy the hair of non black people.

  4. I'll say it bluntly. I think a lot of our people are lying. When you have people who will buy fake hair over paying a utility bill, there is a problem.

    It's real easy to chant along with James Brown's "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud", but actions speak louder than words.

    With the high rates of black on black crime, our attempts to virtually erase the black features off of ourselves and the rates at which we're destroying our own families indicates to me that we really need to ask ourselves some hard questions and change accordingly.

    If we don't respect ourselves, then we can't expect anyone else to.

    When I see more of us being proud of our features, our wonderfully coily hair, our rich colored skin and our strong bodies, I'll believe it. When I see us being proud of our history, our achievements and, most important, our intellects, I'll believe it.

    Right now, I see a number of us sincerely trying for more and I think that's tied to that subsection truly loving ourselves. However, there seems to be a big percentage that needs some serious group therapy.

  5. This is very sad. There's a similar problem in India with fair skin. Women spend a lot of money on lightening creams, and the advertising is replete with the not so subtle implication that lighter is better.

  6. Yeah, I remember seeing an Indian TV for skin lightening cream.

    It was NOT subtle. It was a girl looking for a job but the light women literally laughed her out of the store. Well, her father couldn't accept that. So he went to a magical box and got the magic skin lightening cream. She used it. Gained a fairer complexion and zap, bang, boom...her life changed. The ad ends with her walking down the stairs rolled up to a private jet.

    I know black Americans aren't the only color-struck people. That's for sure.


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.