Saturday, December 20, 2008

This particular post is a reaction to a quick video on ABC about black women and their potential upliftment as a group because of Michelle Obama’s rise to fame in America.

As much as I found this video entertaining, there is a part of me that does not even want to discuss it, partially because it seems to suggest that black women on average have some serious self-esteem issues to deal with based on how the media has constructed their image. However, the part where they show the experiment with the dolls (where the black children choose white dolls over black dolls because they view the white dolls as “better” - in whatever way they perceive “better” to mean), is troubling. Consider the video below, and consider how a young black girl would feel in the same position:

(Feel free to see my comments on this video on another blog entitled "Own Your Beauty".)

Interestingly enough, despite the media's obsession with particular images and standards, studies that have shown that black women have, on average, strong confidence in their body image (and they are less likely to be prone to issues such as anorexia, bulimia, etc.). Also, generations upon generations of black women have taken intense pride in their natural hair texture and have shown great affection for their own individual skin hues (whether that be dark chocolate, caramel, mocha, tan, or very light). However, I do believe that Michelle’s rise to fame and attention will help some black women feel more comfortable with their beauty when they see their own image thrown back at them in the role of First Lady of the United States. However unfortunate it may be that people are affected by images in the media, it is important to realize that women who have been pushed to the fringes of the accepted beauty standard in America have their own range of features that are very worthy of praise and should be acknowledged as traits that are to be admired and ACCEPTED. Perhaps Michelle and her daughters may be able to assist in such a realization for women of all shades and sizes.