7 Ways to Resist Eurocentric Beauty Standards

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I found this wonderful article about resisting Eurocentric beauty standards on TheBodyisnotanApology.com  and could not resist sharing. 
Black women are particularly vulnerable to the effects of European standards of beauty because these standards emphasize skin colors and hair types that exclude many black women, especially those of darker skin. European standards of beauty can have damaging effects on the life trajectories of black women, primarily in the form of internalized self-hatred. The article lists 7 ways of fighting Eurocentric beauty standards with radical self-love, inclusivity, a conscious celebration of difference, and respect.

1. Identify the history of toxic, limited beauty standards.

2. Question beauty.
What is beauty, honestly? What does it mean? it's time to recognize that there are so many different forms of beauty. Recognize where beauty is and is not a valid vehicle for your soul, your goals, your heart, your mission. 

3. Redefine what beauty can mean.
What is beauty for you? If beauty is value, what do you value in yourself? Investigate your unique beauty. Define it for yourself. That is conscious, radical self-love.
To some, beauty means comfort. To others, it means showing off what they love most about themselves or performing their identity in a way that makes them feel most whole.  Recognize the mutability and ever-changing process of beauty. And recognize the ever-changing standards of “the most attractive.” Recognize capitalism’s role in that process — if there was an actual finite standard, they wouldn’t be able to keep profiting off of new products and trends! 

4. Celebrate what you find.
Actively and enthusiastically encourage other forms of beauty, outside of the limited scope of facial symmetry and paleness. Recognize the fullness of personhood. Recognize how silly and painful it is to judge yourself or others by the width of your nose or the texture of your hair. Recognize that others may have different standards of beauty than you, and as long as they’re not oppressive, that’s not just okay — it’s healthy, and standing up for them means you’re standing up for all of us. Recognize that others value themselves, their bodies, and their hearts differently than you might. Listen to them. Respect them.

5. Encourage transformative definitions of beauty in your life. 
Day to day, every day. Undoing ingrained, toxic stereotypes and replacing them with openness and understanding is a process, and it requires presence. It will get lighter, and it will make you fuller. Be conscious about how Eurocentric standards of beauty are influencing your assumptions of other people and your dynamics with them. 

6. Encourage a broader definition of beauty with your purchases.
Put your money where your heart is, where the truth is. Support businesses that actively try to create products for a diverse set of humans, and for non-normative businesses. Avoid giving your money to businesses that reinforce toxic, unhealthy standards. That’s how we’ll get there. Shape the market. As best as you can, within your means. If your budget doesn’t permit for radical support, get the word out.

7. Create. 
Go out and make art. Go out and speak truth. Create work that redefines beauty. Create work that challenges standards. Create work that is unapologetically defiant, unapologetically ugly, unapologetically yours, and consider where the value lies. Check your personal privilege — and use it. 

For the full article click here


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