It’s been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Yet, for so long, the media has taught young black girls that in order to be beautiful, they must look like Beyonce and Halle Berry.
Back in the days, black women wore their Afros proudly and their noses were the ones they were born with and the whole community embraced it. Now, those images have taken the back seat to plastic surgery, skin brighteners and long, flowing hair bought straight from the beauty supply store. Nonetheless, this imagery was recently challenged with hope that the next generation of black girls will embrace and love who they are.
NPR sited last week as the , “Best week Ever for young Black girls.” Sesame Street aired, “ I love My Hair,” where a young African American Muppet rocked a mini Afro danced and sang , “Don’t need a trip to the beauty shop because I love what I got.” This groundbreaking skit is the first one in history that addresses this issue and because of Sesame Streets vitality and influence, it will positively effect African American girls and challenge them to accept their beauty.
Another program that has a similar mission is Black Girls Rock. Their first annual Black Girls Rock awards ceremony was recently taped in New York city. This show started as a non profit by Beverly Bond that was created to empower, mentor and teach young black girls about the music industry. It was a reaction to a very limited image of black women in the media who were usually depicted as scantily clad music video vixens.
Bond’s ultimate goal is to encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media. After many years, she is able to do this on an even larger scale than she dreamed. In an effort to diversify their image, BET Networks collaborated with Bond to produce a one of a kind awards show created for black women and by black women . The show highlighted achievements of black women of all facets who have positively influenced black culture. Honorees included Missy Elliott, Ruby Dee, Raven-Symone, Keke Palmer, Iyanla Vanzant, Teresa Clarke, and Marcelite J. Harris. The audience was treated to a stellar performance of “I’m Every Woman,” featuring Ledisi, Marsha Ambrosius, and Kelly Price. With all of this girl power in the room, I’m sure there will be a lot more to give very soon.
Through these examples of positive black images in mainstream media, I challenge you to stand in front of your mirror and embrace who you are. You were created so wonderful and so unique that you are worthy of all the love in the world, but that love has to come from you first. India Arie coined it best in her song Video, “My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes, I’m loving what I see!”
YOUR BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!
Black Girls Rock’ will air on BET on November 7th at 8pm EST.