Allure Magazine promoting Afros: How this further promotes the double standards that benefits non Black women

White girls with Afros

This whole picture sums up the topic of the whole post.

I am not a prescriber or reader of Allure magazine however news of an article in Allure magazine talks about how a woman(assumedly White) can achieve and wear an Afro out spread across social media. Many African American women were outraged and upset about this because Afros have been deemed unkempt and unruly for decades when it was wore on them but suddenly deemed as beautiful and stylish for White women to wear. And I also felt this same way, having seen and experienced this double standard, myself. Thus the double standards that let White and non Black women appropriate Black women’s hair styles, fashion and features without having to go through the disadvantages of being a Black woman in a White patriarchal and racist society while Black women who have these features naturally are erased and put down in society will be discussed.

America and the Western world profited from the exploitation of Black culture such as Jazz, Blues, Rock and Roll and now Hip Hop. These genres of music went from being predominately African American to being predominately White once the genre became more mainstream and widespread across the country. All the while, record producers profited and made more money from so called ”cross over” White artists as opposed to Black artists because the majority of the population in America happens to White and Whites prefer to listen to and buy records from those they are familiar with. And I see this happening now with the cultural appropriation of the stereotypically Black woman’s features on White women as a way to promote the belief that nothing is beautiful and worthwhile unless it is on a White woman. Black women wore Afros, twists, braids, bantu knots and had big butts, breasts and full lips for centuries. And these are the features and styles that has been and continue to be associated with Black women. However many non Black women have begun to capitalize on these features for their own benefit while Black women with these same features are mocked and ridiculed. Thus promoting the belief that White is beautiful while Black is ugly all at the same time.

As recently as 1979, Bo Derek appeared in the movie, Ten with cornrows in her hair while Black women who wore cornrows to job interviews or in the workplace face being ridiculed or fired. Then Angelina Jolie became popular in movies and Hollywood and her big lips became a thing to emulate in the media while Black women, who are known for naturally having full lips, were ridiculed and made the butt of jokes for their full lips. And when Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian came on the scene, their voluptuous figures were praised as the ideal of a female body while Black women with naturally voluptuous figures were called fat and ugly. Hence non Black women, who have Black features either naturally or surgically enhanced, can still reap the benefits of womanhood and worthy of protection much to the Black woman’s expense.

1366914835_bo-derek-560

Here is a picture of Bo Derek, wearing cornrows. from a scene in the 1979 movie, Ten.

Jennifer Lopez now

Here is a picture of Jennifer Lopez, singer and actress. She is known for her voluptuous figure.

Kim K

Here is a picture of reality TV star, Kim Kardashian, who is known for her voluptuous figure as well.

Angelina-Jolie-cropped

Here is a picture of Angelina Jolie, actress and the wife of Brad Pitt

It is not to say that there isn’t any White women, Hispanic women, Asian women or other non Black women who naturally have features that are associated with Black women. There are many non Black women who naturally have full lips, big bottoms and curly hair and there are Black women who have slimmer bodies(I am one of them) and thinner lips. However these features are commonly associated with Black women and these features are now being considered the epitome of what is considered beautiful on a woman without giving Black women credit for where it is due.

What does this have to do with an article in Allure magazine promoting Afros as a style of choice?

Many if not most African American women experience having to cover their Afros and natural hair in public or straightened their hair for job interviews. And face less opportunities to get a job, find a date or even be taken seriously in society when they wear their natural hair out. Many African American women feel the need to straighten their hair and wear extensions and weaves to be taken seriously and be seen as beautiful in society. Even in the Black Community, natural hair is looked down on and seen as ”nappy” and something to change and alternate into ”good hair”. Yet Allure promoted Afros as a style for their readers(mostly White women) to emulate because it is ”stylish”.

When a White woman has any presumably Black features such as full lips, big butts and now Afro hair, she is considered beautiful and exotic. Look at how Kim Kardashian is deemed as the ultimate woman in the media due to her voluptuous figure while Serena Williams is called manly and ugly and has the same figure. And how Angelina Jolie and now Kylie Jenner being praised for having full lips while Kerry Washington’s full lips are hardly ever praised and overlooked. I know this all too well because I was made fun of for wearing braids in high school yet when my White friend wore cornrows, she was seen as beautiful. All the while, White and non Black women benefit from wearing braids, having full lips, bit butts, boobs without having to deal with not being hired for a job due to their natural hair being ”unkempt”, having their bodies seen as lewd and manly, being told constantly how undesirable and ugly they are 24/7, facing both racism and sexism in the workplace and other public places, being denied housing, lack of access to healthcare and lack of access to quality education that Black women face in society.

The Kylie Jenner challenge was a good example of this. Many teenagers across the country shot their lips inside of a glass to create luscious lips like Kylie Jenner has but many of these teenagers ended up with damaged lips instead. Kylie Jenner said in a tweet that she wants teenagers to be themselves and not go through lengths to change themselves yet Kylie Jenner admitted that her full lips are a result of fullers. Yet Black women have been mocked and ridiculed for having full lips for centuries. Oh, the irony!

kylie_jenner_lip_challenge

Kylie lip challenge 4

Most of all, I am not saying that White women and women from other races can’t have big butts, full lips and now Afros however my intend was to speak about the double standards that benefits them much to the expense of Black women. In other words, one can be Black without actually being Black.

11 thoughts on “Allure Magazine promoting Afros: How this further promotes the double standards that benefits non Black women

  1. I think it’s jealousy. They see that the natural hair movement within the BC is growing every day and they see that more and more black women are becoming weary and unimpressed with white women’s straight hair, so they want to jump in and get in on it. I imagine it won’t be long before mainstream white cosmetics companies try to buy out natural hair companies like oyinhandmade or mimic natural hair products that black women youtubers make and sell. i’m not buying it, I know their game at this point. other black women need to be warned. I read an article about a “study” that said black women with natural hair have low self esteem and I call bullshit on it most of the bw with natural hair in my life showed MORE self esteem and self love after going natural, so I think it’s class A shit, it’s just another way to try and tear bw down and yet now we have white women in allure with afros. this all goes back to slavery. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and I just have to get this off of my chest, white women many of them were very jealous when their white husbands raped their black female slaves, even though it wasn’t the black woman’s fault, many of them were extremely jealous and insecure. read the diary of Mary Boykin Chestnut, even in the west indies where white men frequently slept with their female slaves, sometimes when the white women were there, they would see or hear their husbands with the black women having sex and they’d get upset and jealous. Now, it is understandable why a married woman would get upset by a husband’s infidelity and ultimately the white men got with the black women because black women were powerless and white men wanted to exert their power over black women. But, nevertheless the white women many of them were very insecure and this is where the whole mammy and jezebel stereotypes come from. These stereotypes were designed to make black women look undesirable. you see the mammy stereotype and the ugly black women stereotype is a derivative of the mammy stereotype, so of course any features that might be deemed beautiful like full lips, protruding behinds, kinky hair, or exotic booty dancing, have to be taken from black women and put on a white woman because even on a subconscious level, many white women (not all by any means) but many white women are insecure about black women’s beauty. the same way that white men are insecure about black men.

    For example, do you remember srgtwilliepete from youtube? He used to make videos bashing black women, but he has since renounced his ways and he did a 180. he talks about white supremacy now. he used to date white women and he posted a video a while back which I found very interesting. in this video he told a story of how he had pictures of beautiful black women on his screen saver. he usually would turn the screen saver off in public, but he forgot one day. so he met this girl, who is white, who he used to date at the library and they were studying. while he was away, his screensaver popped up. It was all pictures of dark-skinned, curvy black women with natural hair and when he came back this white woman says to him, “nice screen saver is that what you like?” he goes on to explain how her comment was based in whit supremacy. she assumed and felt jealous that a black man had pictures of beautiful black women and not one of white women, even tho swp is black himself. but in her mind, she assumed that any man would prefer a white women over black.

    I also had a similar experience with a white woman when I was in brazil, I wrote about it on my blog, but the insecurity is clearly there, but many white women will NEVER ever admit that they are jealous or insecure.

    Now as a disclaimer, not all white women are jealous, not all are insecure around Black women. Many are secure and they’re cool. I won’t even say most white women because I haven’t met most white women, but i’ll say many white women and the insecurity is rooted in their racism.

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    • EDIT: “They see that the natural hair movement within the BC is growing every day and they see that more and more black women are becoming weary and unimpressed with white women’s straight hair.”

      I want to rephrase this because it comes off sounding more negative than intended. there is nothing wrong with having straight hair, but black women are becoming weary of the promotion of white women’s straightened hair as the epitome of beauty and more bw are starting to reject the idea that only straight hair can be beautiful.

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    • Well said! I was teased and made fun of in high school by White women because I didn’t fit any of the stereotypes about Black women and I always made better grades than they did. I was bullied so badly that I had to switch to another school the next year. So I can attest to many White women being insecure about themselves. However I have met some White women who were nice and encouraging to me as well.

      Yes, I do remember hearing about Sergeant William Pete. I don’t care for him even if he did an 180 because I have heard that he is a Black woman basher and gave Christelyn Kazarin a hard time online. Again, I am not a fan of Christelyn Kazarin but I was upset at the way he came for her. Anyways, I am glad that he turned his views around and is celebrating Black beauty regardless of what others think.

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      • i am sorry you had to go through that at school. I understand about SWP, he did come for Karazin and it was ridiculous, but some of the stuff he says about black economics, I agree with.

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      • SWP says great stuff about Black economics? If so, I want to hear it. Honestly, I don’t trust many of these Black men here in America. Way too many of them would throw Black woman under the bus for White validation.

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  2. “These stereotypes were designed to make black women look undesirable. you see the mammy stereotype and the ugly black women stereotype is a derivative of the mammy stereotype, so of course any features that might be deemed beautiful like full lips, protruding behinds, kinky hair, or exotic booty dancing, have to be taken from black women and put on a white woman because even on a subconscious level, many white women (not all by any means) but many white women are insecure about black women’s beauty. the same way that white men are insecure about black men.”

    EDIT: To elaborate the ugly black woman stereotype is a derivative of the mammy stereotype, they are both designed to desexualize black women and make black women appear undesirable. the mammy stereotype was used as a tool to absolve white men of their rape crimes against black women because in the minds of racist whites, a white man wouldn’t dare touch a negress, let alone rape her if we’re all so ugly, asexual and repulsive. mammy stereotype also served to assuage insecurity of white wives at the same time and the ugly bw stereotype, I believe is a derivative of the mammy stereotype and serves a similar purpose of desexualizing black women. This relates to appropriation because if black women start loving our features and if we are dancing in booty videos and getting millions of views from men, then that jeopardizes the mammy stereotype, so naturally any desirable feature must be taken away from black women and glorified on white women. it’s all connected.

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    • I do think owning our own businesses that promotes products that caters to Black women’s hair and beauty is a good start. We need to let outsiders know that there is a fine line between cultural appreciation and appropriation

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