Shades

Posted: April 28, 2014 in Current Events, General Interest

image Here’s the deal:

Who do we grant permission to define and affirm our beauty? Who do we allow the privledge  of determining the opinion of the reflection we see? Is the space in print and digital media so purposely limited when it comes to covering non white beauty, that  journalists of a certain pale hue limit their choice to a very few or just one, and then write about the newly annointed one like dark skinned beauty was just invented? Suddenly popular, desirable, and attention worthy.

This need by the press, to over-hype a single icon is annoying. I’ve been  debating with myself for months on how to share this perspective without it sounding like a rant, a whine, or Lupita hateration. This post is none of those things (okay, maybe a little bit ranty). I’ve been watching the trajectory of Mz Goddess Nyong’o since  I saw “Twelve years a Slave,” and the beginning of awards season. I cheer and wear my “We Love Lupita” team jacket and my pride and admiration for her continues to grow with each new achievement.

I’ve done multiple posts on her. She’s poised, well spoken, humble, yet cosmopolitan. She seems grounded with the ability to stay above the constant attention and not get blinded by the glare of her new found celebrity. I’ve adopted her as my global daughter. Felicidades mija! Lupita gives a voice to girls and women who look like her, who’ve often been relegated  to the outskirts of what’s considered beautiful. Her Essence  and Academy Award speeches were the ultimate truth, and left me twisting a wet hanky, moving me with her raw honesty. She was recently named People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Person, and journalists are in full swoon.

As I champion Lupita’s success and the sudden demand and popularity for her visual aesthetic, the frenzy from the media is jarring. Yes, her look is unique when compared to the typical Eurocentric definition of beauty, and perhaps there’s more interest because she’s international, but truthfully, brown women from all corners of the globe have been beautiful for centuries, since before there were mirrors, since forever. Go any place where there are enough Black women and you’ll see a wall of 100% chocolate good looks. All shades, shapes, heights, ages, natural hair, locs, heads shaved, or fluffy kinks, permed, dyed fried, weaved, twisted, and woven.  Full of class and feminine swag. Clothes worn expertly tapered,  because why not show that shape, no matter the size. Stunning, attractive, exquisite, impressive, fine, flawless, pretty, statuesque, petite, eye-catching, adorable, traffic-stopping, brick house, amazon, picturesque, ravishing, fierce, WERKING deep ebony realness. As I celebrate Lupita, I celebrate all the everyday home grown lovelies, whose beauty continues to unfortunately be overlooked, and for whom acceptance is long overdue. All beautiful. PERIOD.

 

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Comments
  1. resurgee says:

    I totally agree with you. However, it’s not just “journalist of a pale hue” who seem to marvel at this exotic one. I remember growing up hearing that I was “pretty for a dark skinned girl” as if it was some oddity. The sad thing is that the remarks came from black people (mostly black men). My two cents …

    Like

  2. puccdetroit says:

    Very thoughtful! Write on!

    Like

  3. Petronia says:

    So true!!

    Like

  4. Well said for all the beautiful dark brown ladies.

    Like

  5. zoerabbit says:

    Very well said!

    Like

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