Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Out of the mouth of a four year-old

Nowadays little black girls are bombarded with images that the media holds in high regards; the European standard of beauty. Television, and magazines alike showcase images of blonde, blue-eyed, artificial breasts, and rail thin bodies. The message often conveyed is, "you're not beautiful unless you look like this." Rarely do they see images of themselves in their natural state. Oftentimes they see a black girl with weaved extensions down her back. When asked, who's the prettiest black female on the celebrity scene? Beyonce, and Halle Berry are always at the top of the list. Black beauty comes in all shades from dark chocolate to damn-near white. Unfortunately it's the lighter side of the spectrum that gets props and adoration.

I recently witnessed my four year-old cousin push and taunt another cousin, who happened to be five. The four year-old told the five year-old that she was "black" and "ugly," and for those reasons she didn't like her. Mind you this four year-old told me that she only played with white dolls because they were prettier. This upset me terribly and what's more disturbing, when I told the mother about it she merely shrugged it off.

Imagine a beautiful four year-old girl already ingrained with the notion that black is ugly and inferior. This disturbed me so that I am making it my mission to teach our little black girls self-esteem. Don't mean to sound racist but when I hear a little girl in a sense saying that everything she is has no value then I have to interact. I don't want her to grow up with an inferiority complex and then pass that on to her children and children's children.

I believe self-esteem starts by embracing everything beautiful about yourself; your culture, your history. To be honest, I don't see anything positive in the media, therefore it has to begin at home and if it's not starting at home, it has to be taught in school or church. I'm on a mission to teach my children to not be influenced by the images they see on television or in magazines. Their culture is a rich culture, my daughter will know that black dolls are just as beautiful as any dolls, her skin is not inferior and she should never be ashamed of who she is.

Valleys Of NeptuneValleys Of Neptune

1 comment:

  1. Funny that my sister who is now an adult had the same issue. She thought little white dolls were prettier and the black dolls were ugly when she was little. So my mom took all of her little white dolls from her and made sure that she had black dolls of different hues so that she could see the wide array of colors. The wide spread media does not highlight and portrait people of color enough and so we must do our part to provide those positive self-images for our little girls.

    Shun C