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Culture Talk: Body Language

Women’s bodies and appearance have been a source of stress, anxiety and tension since the beginning of time. There has always been the understanding that a woman’s beauty is her currency. This type of thinking has lead countless women to diet, exercise and even go under the knife in order to achieve whatever “ideal” or standard of beauty reigns supreme at the time. For many decades, women of color didn’t seem to fall prey to these unrealistic notions of physical perfection. Women of color celebrated their curves and thickness with pride and had less instances of eating disorders or plastic surgery than any other ethnic group or race.

With the advancement of social media and new hyper unrealistic beauty standards circulating around, it seems as though women of color have become equally obsessed maintaining beauty norms and standards. How many times have you been scrolling through Instagram and happened upon an IG celebrity or influencer with eye popping bodies that defy logic? It happens daily. Small snatched waists that seem almost cartoonish. Large ample bottoms that defy gravity and reality.

Women of color have always been lauded for having body confidence and owning their curves. Somehow the curvy ideal has been distorted and turned into a caricature of what a real woman should and could ever look like.

We have to learn to love who we are and where we are – regardless of what the latest trends say. We all aren’t made to look like Jessica Rabbit. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles. Once we accept our brand of beauty and enhance what we naturally have, we can free ourselves from the hamster wheel called “beauty norms”. There is no normal – there is just what we are and how we naturally look. We are enough. Chasing unrealistic and unbelievable bodies may get you some attention in the moment but what is the price you pay in the end? Dignity, self-esteem, health and confidence.

Loving ourselves as we are is where beauty truly lives.

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