In the wake of my essay on beauty, I am able to give a much more critical eye to events like Black Girls Rock, and understand the need for their existence.
Mind you, I wasn’t able to watch it for myself – the downfalls of being a workaholic – but I’d been seeing the photos for days and spent plenty of time
gawking at all the beautiful skin and glorious curves marveling at all the awesome that congregated in New Jersey that night.
I mean, look.
LOOK AT HER.
What did you think? Did you love it?
Side note: I noticed, on twitter of course, a few people who didn’t love it.
— Red Stater (@DPRFOZ) November 4, 2013
— Katie Hartshorn (@krhdz1902) November 3, 2013
— ★Call me Andy ★ (@Mynameis_mac) November 4, 2013
— ✨Dana*Leigh♥️ (@dlb_10) November 3, 2013
— Tommy Chaw (@TommyTheTin) November 4, 2013
And, in the aforementioned essay on beauty, what did I say?
Beauty, as it currently stands, becomes a competition within beauty, itself – it encourages placing women on totem poles, one above the other. Otherwise beautiful girls find themselves bickering with one another because they both know that, in order to continue to curry favor, they need to feel like the queen of the roost. Women inadvertently find themselves picking one another apart – they need to know, and have it reinforced and validated by others, that they are higher on the totem pole than the others – and will slaughter your ego and self-esteem in the process while doing so.
Making beauty such a rarity also means, quite frankly, that all a man* has to do is call you beautiful in order to get your attention. We’re all clamoring to be considered beautiful, and who better to bestow that honor upon you, than a man? “Beautiful” becomes a bargaining chip, especially for women who’ve rarely heard it as youth and consider it such a prize, that immature, childish men wield in order to get you to give them what they want. It’s also the reason why men who shout out “Hey, beautiful,” also promptly shout out “Well, f— you, then, b—-!” when you continue walking. They paid you the utmost compliment – they called you beautiful. How dare you not promptly remove your panties?
Setting such a narrow standard, and then keeping it narrow by saying “beauty should be unimportant because the standard is so narrow” is ineffective – it only further validates the belief that beauty is rare. So rare, in fact that those who couldn’t fit in are now merely trying to convince themselves of its unimportance.
Instead, we should encourage people to embrace non-standard ideals of beauty. My kinky, coily, curly tresses are beautiful. Your funky red straight-haired bob is beautiful. Those frizzy honey blonde curls are stunning. My deep brown suntanned skin is beautiful. My winter caramel complexion is beautiful. My mother’s fair, almost passe blanc complexion is beautiful. When we diminish the rareness of beauty, it doesn’t become a marker of inferiority to speak of the beauty of someone who doesn’t look like you. Also, since my own beauty is not in question, that makes it easier for me to compliment my polar opposite, and likewise.
And, also, jokes.
— Grand Old Parody (@GrandOldParody1) November 4, 2013