Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Erroneous Definition of African Beauty in The Media

Beautiful Igbo woamn Photo Credit: DMV Africans.

Physical attraction in human romance is mostly based on physical beauty.
How we look either attracts or puts off others.

The natural attraction and selection of the opposite sex begins at puberty when we become conscious of the individuality and sexuality of our personality. We begin to attract or solicit attention for relationship and companionship.

Our choices are often based on physical attraction normally determined by our perception of beauty and humans fall into two opposite categories of those we see as beautiful or handsome and those we see as ugly, which in biology does not depend on us, but on nature, since no human has any choice on how, when and where to be born or who should give birth to it. So, we are either born pretty or ugly without our knowledge or consent. And we end up in a world that has already decided to appreciate and favour those who were lucky to be born pretty and to discriminate and make jest of those we were unlucky to be born ugly and would need make up, make over or plastic surgery to correct whatever makes them “ugly”.

Black model Cynthia

I believe that the human perception of human beauty has been determined by how humans look different from other creatures in the animal kingdom. So, any human who unfortunately has similar facial features with an ape, monkey or dog is seen as ugly and that is why the first sight of blacks by whites affected their perception of Africans who they see as looking as similar as monkeys and apes, because of their bolder facial features of broad noses with flared nostrils and dark skin. They did not waste time in addressing blacks in the derogatory terms of “black monkeys” or “apes” and called them ugly until they saw blacks who had facial features similar to their own white Caucasian features of aquiline noses and narrow lips and with fair skin. Therefore over the centuries of western invasion, occupation, domination and imposition of their civilization in Africa, they have made their own Caucasian perception of human beauty the standard world view of beauty which they have drawn, written, photographed and recorded in print and electronic media of modern education for general information in their own nations and the colonies. They have miseducated and misinformed their black colonial subjects and victims to accept this erroneous and ambiguous perception of beauty and made the blacks to use it to define and judge themselves. So, the closer a black person looks like a white person, he or she is seen as beautiful or handsome, but the farther the looks are in contrast to Caucasian features, the black person is seen as ugly!

Portrait of a Whiteman

Portrait of a Blackman

The current perception of African beauty has been influenced and defined by Western Caucasian views as we have been seeing in the selection of the majority of the winners of African beauty pageants.

Oluchi Onweagba and Adriana Lima Victoria's Secret "Sexy Volume 3:

Majority of the winners of black beauty pageants have been those who have Caucasian features like aquiline nose and lips with flowing long hair or braids and this Western perception of beauty is been promoted by both the Western and African media as the epitome of beauty.

Pretty and sexy Black woman Jasmine Murray

Pretty and sexy White woman

We have seen majority of black girls and women who prefer to look like the page three models in American, European and Asian tabloids and those parading on the red carpet in Hollywood or at beauty pageants. Weave on is now a must have by most black girls in Africa and in the Diaspora and they also do skin wash, bleach or tone their dark skin in their attempts to look as fair as mulattoes or white women.

To be obese is now ugly to an African girl! But not so to African mothers who still insist that a typical African beauty must look plumb, well fed and not looking like someone on hunger strike! No native African mother would watch and bear her daughter suffer from the Anorexia nervosa (AN) afflicting many girls in the western world who are obsessed with looking like the malnourished models on the runways of Paris and Milan.

Photo Credits: Dawnali.

The original and natural African or black beauty, a woman should be plump with round buttocks and not lean or thin like the models of Western haute couture. That is why we have fattening room beauty tradition in South Eastern Nigeria as studied by Ann Simmons in "Where Fat Is a Mark of Beauty" on, and and the following features:

The Efik send their women to 'fattening rooms' in preparation for marriage. Further modification of the fattening process requires women to go away to 'beauty ...
• Fattening Rooms in Africa Stir Different Perceptions of Beauty - Cached
17 May 2011 – Fattening Rooms in Africa Stir Different Perceptions of Beauty. In countries such as Nigeria and Uganda, young brides embark on an ancient ...
19 Jul 2007 – Further modification of the fattening process could require women to go away to 'beauty rooms' instead. I would be very envious of any woman ...
• Fattening room: Efik's robust, fading culture - Cached
28 Aug 2011 – The concept of the 'Fattening Room' is an age-old tradition of the Efik people of ... It includes all round beauty treatment from head to foot, using ...
• Where Fat Is a Mark of Beauty - Los Angeles Times - CachedSimilar
30 Sep 1998 – The fattening room is at the center of a centuries-old rite of passage from ... "Beauty is in the weight," said Edet, a woman in her 50s who spent ...

The news media in both the print and electronic channels seem to be the amplifiers of Western Fashion Products and services who are making billions of dollars from selling beauty products based on Caucasian standards of beauty.

• A beautiful woman should be fair.
• A beautiful woman should be tall and thin
• A beautiful woman should have long wavy hair.

The hair weave business in Africa is flourishing, because every African girl wants to have long wavy hair like the white girl they see in newspapers, magazines, on TV and on the internet, etc.

Typical Caucasian beauty

Portrait of a Black woman

Look at every copy of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit calendars and there is little or no difference between the white models and the black models. The only distinction is the dark skin of the black models, but they are the same with the white ones in physiognomy and anatomy.

Africans have accepted the Caucasian definition of beauty and use it in their choices of friends, lovers and spouses. The closer a black girl looks like a white girl, the more attractive she is to the black guys and in fact, they go gaga over how heavenly she looks and compose love poems and songs in eulogies of the aesthetics of her beauty. We see the examples of this perception in majority of the music videos of African singers and musicians showing African or black girls and women looking like white girls. This African admission and submission to the Caucasian definition of beauty has made Africans to feel and look inferior in comparison to white people and only increases the ego of white superiority complex in their relationship with blacks.

Most black guys want their black girlfriends or wives to look like the white beauties.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima


Zamarii said...

and it is a very sad thing that most black men prefer to have women that are as light as white women. It is like some type of inferiority complex and borderline self hatred. The question is, what will someone do about it? The only way to embrace black beauty is to represent more of it in print, film, ads any type of visual form of black on a higher platform of beauty.

Michael Chima Ekenyerengozi said...

I agree with you.

I love our women who don't bleach.
I love them dark and lovely.
I love them black, bold and sexy.
I love them as God made them for me to love them.