By: Nora Dagher
It is common knowledge that the American entertainment industry holds a Euro-centric view of beauty. Very often young girls are bombarded with images of blonde, straight haired, stick thin, fair skinned images of women in magazines, TV, and in film. These images perpetuate the idea that beauty is only one-note and put down women who do not meet these unattainable standards. For women of color, it is an even tougher daily struggle. These same standards of beauty tell African women to bleach their skin with whitening cream, east Asian women to get eyelid surgery, and Arab women to permanently straighten their natural curls. Simply Google-ing the term “beautiful” generates a plethora of images of white women with no diversity or gradient of skin tone present.
The Black Girls Rock! Foundation, founded in 2006, is an organization dedicated to the empowerment of young women of color. The Black Girls Rock! Awards are now featured on BET as a way of recognizing role models, encouraging teachings of self worth, and emphasizing the talents of women of color unseen in mainstream American media. When all young black girls or women of color see on TV are misrepresentations of who they are, they start to internalize that negative (or lack of) portrayal. The Black Girls Rock! Foundation does good work for young women searching for themselves in every avenue of media and it is vital for our youth that more organizations follow suit.
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