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Black is Beautiful… Just Not on Black People?

In a world where Kylie Jenner’s full lips and cornrows command the internet’s attention as the latest trend, it certainly makes you wonder. It’s intriguing to see innately ethnic traits labeled as the next “trend,” when said trends are bestowed upon Black women at birth. In fact, until recently, black women were so far off the grid when it came to European beauty standards that we were once shamed for our fuller lips, wider hips, and plump derrieres.

But, ya know, who understands those rap guys?They only talk to her, because, she looks like a total prostitute, ‘kay? I mean, her butt, is just so big. I can't believe it's just so round, it's like out there. I mean gross, look. She’s just so, black…

“But, ya know, who understands those rap guys? They only talk to her, because, she looks like a total prostitute, ‘kay? I mean, her butt, is just so big. I can’t believe it’s just so round, it’s like out there. I mean gross, look. She’s just so, BLACK…”

Fast-forward to present day and the world is living for fuller bottom halves, thanks to the likes of Kim Kardashian, Coco and Iggy Azalea, etc. All beautiful women with amazing figures. However, it makes you wonder, where is the love and embrace for the brown girls? To be fair, we do celebrate our curves among ourselves, but never to this extent. Today, butt pads, enhancement pills, shots, and surgery are all readily available to give you the fuller looks of your dreams. But is the dream to have Black features without having to fully embrace everything that comes with being Black? Does it take someone non-Black to make Black characteristics “trendy”?

A couple of weeks ago, MAC Cosmetic’s shared the following photo of a model Aamito Lagum’s heart-shaped lips sporting their richly pigmented lip stick.

MAC The post became controversial when comments turned ugly and hateful making fun of the woman’s full and plump lips. The same full and plump lips that helped Kylie Jenner sell out a lip stick line in a matter of minutes. I found Melissa Butler, owner of the Lip Bar, response to be both eloquently written and on point:

We all know social media can be the perfect playground for bullies and people with low self-esteem to really lash out with no consequences. Last week some of its ugly users reared their ugly heads and went ape shit crazy by commenting all sorts of disrespectful ignorance when they saw a woman with the most envious of heart shaped lips with dark skin posted on MAC’s insta page. Today I had someone ask why The Lip Bar primarily uses black women as their models and it brought me back to last week’s shenanigans. The Lip Bar exists to challenge the standard of beauty. Period. Our ingredients, our imagery, our packaging are all apart of a bigger plan to get people to accept others and themselves just a little more. It’s ok to be you. The reason there was such an uproar about a dark woman with full lips in a deep lipstick is simply bc most brands don’t represent anything out of the social norm of what is considered beautiful. We have been conditioned. The images you see, the celebs you idolize, the products you purchase are all the cause of strategic marketing. Love yourself. Love others. Even if they don’t look like you. -Melissa

One doesn’t have to be ugly for the other to be beautiful.

One doesn’t have to be ugly for the other to be beautiful.

Moral of the story, every culture has traits that are uniquely theirs and they are all beautiful; even if they don’t fit the standard of beauty. We should embrace the characteristics that make each of us who we are. And why’ll we’re embracing them, let’s remember to appreciate the things that make us different.

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Ashlee Marea is a lover of all things fashion, style, and beauty. She shares easy to conquer DIY projects, style tips an trend advisories for the everyday budget-nista on her blog www.houseofrehab.com |connect: @ashleemarea

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