Question submitted via Formspring:
“Hi, I’m a nineteen year old African American female and ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be attractive. In this society, being “HOT” is valued. At least in the mainstream sort of way. But I look absolutely NOTHING like that, at all. I’m 5’1 110 pound African American young woman with a medium chest and butt. My natural hair is thick and curly. In society’s eyes, you must be tall, blonde with big boobs and a big butt. I am being shown images of “beautiful “women and none of them look like me. I have no desire to be WHITE. According to mainstream black is not hot unless they have white features. I am unwilling to sacrifice my blackness and black pride just so society thinks I’m “HOT”. I know this may seem like a vapid question but it’s legitimate. I’m sure there are a lot of black girls just like me who feel the same way. It has nothing to do with wanting to be white, it is the desire to be considered “hot “. Can I have some LOA help here please?”
I have put a lot of thought into this; as a father of two little black girls who’ll have to grow up in the exact same world that you have, this is a question that is very close to my heart.
First and foremost, let me tell you something important: This is not just a problem for black women; all women the world over are often subjected to an unreasonable, unsustainable, if not outright unattainable standard of beauty.
Men have our own unrealistic standard to be sure; but it tends to be tied more to accomplishments and possessions than our physical appearances. This picture basically says it all.
Another important thing to remember is that those women you are comparing yourself to don’t look like that all the time. A few years ago, a rumor came out that the average Playboy photo shoot took between 50 and 70 thousand pictures that they picked the best 8-10 out of, BEFORE the photoshopping and everything else.
And that’s not counting all the other…alterations.
You can’t compare your fresh out of bed look to someone else’s professional hair / makeup / styling / personal training / week long dieting look!
That being said, there are some things you can control, and some things you can’t. One thing you CAN control, is to stop comparing yourself to anyone else; there’s no power in it. Not only that, often times the people society perceives as most beautiful, can be the most insecure…nothing to envy.
So you’re 5’1 and petite; not only are there literally millions of women who wish they had that build, but here are an equal number of guys who love it. So the most important thing is that you love it. You’ll only ever look as hot as you feel!
You are who you are, and look how you look; it’s up to you to make the most of it (however YOU define it). If you have natural hair, look up pictures of women with natural hair that you like, and style your hair like that. Do you wear makeup? Look at tutorials of new things you can do yours…Miss Fame has several YouTube tutorials that can help you look like any way you want.
If you’re unhappy with your body, look at pictures of women whose bodies you do like; yoga, pilates, running, weight lifting, dancing, crossfit…all have very different effects on the female form. Once you identify a shape you find pleasing, do what they do to look like they look.
Fashion, career, lifestyle, you can pick and choose the best out of the lives of anyone you see. You’re 19 years old; you have *infinite* options. The sooner you release any sense of injustice at what some people believe is beautiful—or anything else for that matter—the happier and more successful your life will be.
And, on the off chance that you are still doubting me, Tina Turner, Serena Williams , Hale Berry, Beyonce Knowles, Mariah Carey, Iman, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, Nichelle Nichols, Janet Jackson, or Lena Horne don’t look like what you described as beautiful, but no one could deny that they are all gorgeous inside and out.
Not to mention the black supermodels you may have never even heard of. And that’s not counting all the other ethnicities of the world, or our white sisters who still don’t fit the ‘big-boobed blonde- stereotype who are just as hot.
So, to answer your question: You use the Law of Attraction to deal with this by filling your mind with images of what YOU perceive as beautiful, surrounding yourself with them, and as much as possible working to emulate them. Realize that your beauty and sense of worth do not, and never will come from anything outside of you, and more than anything else realizing that appearances are only a piece of what makes someone beautiful. Grace is beautiful, Intelligence is beautiful, elegance is beautiful, courage is beautiful, personality, self-sufficiency, being able to tell a joke…all that is beautiful. Strength is beautiful.
Never mistake hiding your greatness for humility; those are two very different things. You are who you are in this world; shine and make the most of it. Not everyone is going to love you, but you don’t need them to; like Dita Von Teese said: You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.
And above all else, remember this: The most beautiful thing in the world is a woman who is comfortable in her own skin. It doesn’t get any hotter than that!
What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!
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B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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