The Hair Up There

blackstraighthair

By Tami Winfrey-Harris, Co-editor of Love Isn't Enough My hair is remarkable. This weekend, I went home to the Chicagoland area for a party. My hostess had welcomed old friends and family into her home to celebrate the life of her sister. Folks crowded into the basement and hugged and laughed and hollered and drank, while a … [Read more...]

Korean Star Speaks of Her “Asian Bottom”

Korean singer Lee Hyori

Originally posted at SexGenderBody. Cross-posted with permission. By James Turnbull Well, the bottom half of her body is Asian to be precise. But then she is Korean after all, so what on Earth does that make the top half? Western, according to her. And while she’s happy with that at least, in contrast she’s quite … [Read more...]

Are Your Roots Bad For Business?

Disney's Jasmine

By Debra J. Dickerson, SLATE Two very different stories about women—i.e., strength, beauty, femininity, fantasy, cowardice, bravery, and acquiescence—struck me this week.  I still don’t know whether they fill me with hope or sadness. First, there was the 22-year-old U. of Illinois student Disney recruited online and … [Read more...]

Is There a Problem with a White Fashion Director at a Black Magazine?

August 2010 cover of Essence magazine

"Essence Editor Responds to Controversial Hiring of a White Fashion Director" by Jessica Wakeman at The Frisky On Monday, a media industry blog revealed that Essence, a lifestyle magazine geared towards black women, had hired a new fashion director named Ellianna Placas, to begin in September. But it was not the lines on her … [Read more...]

Why Not Being Colorblind is a Good Thing

colorblind

By Adriel Luis at Change.org When I was in fifth grade, my very liberal teacher decided to familiarize our class with the concept of race. Since teaching a roomful of 12-year-olds about things like the cycle of oppression can be somewhat complicated, he turned to some abstract metaphors to help him out. "A melting pot is the … [Read more...]

Brazil’s Runway Models Predominantly White

Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen, Photo courtesy of AP

"Off Runway, Brazilian Beauty Goes Beyond Blond" By Alexei Barrionuevo at The New York Times on June 7, 2010 Before setting out in a pink S.U.V. to comb the schoolyards and shopping malls of southern Brazil, Alisson Chornak studies books, maps and Web sites to understand how the towns were colonized and how European their … [Read more...]

What is the “Colour of Beauty”?

ellecover

By Sharon Haywood According to a 2008 survey about models in New York fashion week: Six percent are Black Six percent are Asian One percent are Latina Eighty-seven percent are White … [Read more...]

New Photo Exhibit Looks at Disturbing Quest for Beauty

BodiesAltered

by Valerie Martin The New York Times Lens blog (on Photography, Video & Visual Journalism) just posted an eye-opening piece, Bodies Altered in Pursuit of Beauty about photographer Zed Nelson's most recent exhibition, "Love Me." As Nelson traveled the world taking photos, he was amazed at how all the faces he saw were … [Read more...]

Global “Colorism” Looks a Lot Like Racism

Candid photograph of Beyonce (left); Beyonce airbrushed in a Loreal ad (right); juxtaposition by Feministing.

What Can We Do About Colorism? by Courtney Young at the Ms. Magazine blog As a woman of color who is deeply concerned and invested in interrogating the ways in which women continue to be marginalized, I've often wondered why more work hasn't been done on the issue of colorism, both domestically and globally. … [Read more...]

Jamaican Beauty Trends Complicated and Risky

The Jamaican vision of beauty keeps evolving. "Most of the young girls now coming up ? they don't want fat no more, they want slim and trim," says farmer Kadesha Abrahms (left) at a feed store in Treasure Beach, Jamaica. (Image: Davia Nelson for NPR)

Every culture has its idealized woman - a standard of beauty that is sought and valorized. And everywhere around the world, women are altering themselves to achieve the look that is celebrated, from cosmetics to liposuction. In Jamaica, women have come up with some of their own unique, homegrown beauty enhancement techniques. … [Read more...]