While trying to fit the beauty standards that society has for women in general, some black women sometimes find themselves also trying to fit the beauty standards of what a black women should look like. What does a real black women look like? Africans are more genetically diverse than other populations, so how is it possible that we can be confined to such a small box? It’s very possible, and with the help of the media it’s actually pretty easy.
It seems that big butts are in now. But before they were in style black women had always been known to have a little junk in the trunk, a little extra cushion.
Like Sir Mix-A-Lot once famously said “I like big butts and I cannot lie.”
Everywhere I look I find myself faced with the idea that black women should look a certain way and if you don’t look like that then you’re just some type of potato. As black women we are expected to be thick, boobs and butt in abundance, but absolutely no waist. I am willing to bet high amounts of money that in any hip-hop music video that you watch today, you will see at least one bikini clad women with a huge butt and boobs being ogled at by all the men. But it’s not only the video vixens sporting this “desirable” physique, powerful women in the industry, role models for black girls all seem to look the same. Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, the list goes on…
Being a tall, skinny black girl I have often been confronted with the fact that I don’t look like a black girl should. I lack a lot in the front and the little that I have in the back comes from years of track and hundreds of squats. Curves don’t exist on this black girl. My realization of all of this happened in middle school and high school where I went through a sort of “identity crisis.” Girls were going through puberty, guys were noticing and I was still flat. I looked around at all the curvy women in my family and cursed God for making me this way. Why was it that my chest was significantly smaller than my 16 year old sisters? What did I do in my past life to deserve this?
I found myself setting unrealistic body goals for myself, following every Instagram model with a big butt, and spending hours in the gym trying to attain something that was damn near impossible.
All for what? If I ever did reach the 24 inch waist and the 40 inch hips would I be any happier with myself? Would I finally feel that I looked like a black girl?
I’m sure that I’m not the only black girl that has gone through this body-image problem. We are such a diverse group of women that it is ridiculous for us to be expected to look ONE way. All black women are beautiful regardless of the body they possess. Having a certain body type doesn’t make you any blacker than the next person. It’s time for us to throw out these social constructs and accept ourselves.