Women are often the victims of unfair beauty standards pushed on them by society and Black women are certainly no exception. Not only do Black girls have to deal with the ordinary scrutiny that all girls face from not being "perfect," Black girls are often told that their more Afro-centric features are unattractive (e. wider noses, kinkier and thicker hair, etc.) because they don't fit the white status-quo.
1. Having scars
"My biggest insecurity is my surgery scars. I had surgery when I was born because I was premature and I needed it to keep me alive. This is my biggest insecurity for many reasons. The first reason is due to the placement of the scars. They are both on my stomach and are very visible. Society looks down on scars and deems it almost an abnormality that causes you to be an outcast. I first experienced this in middle school where I wore a crop top and my scar was seen. Many people, including the teacher, asked questions like "what happened?" and "why would you show that?" Later, I learned that scars looked different on my skin than on others, so I became uncomfortable in my own skin."
"I've struggled with maintaining [my weight] and keeping it off. Sometimes, people make comments about it or assume I'm incapable of doing certain things or playing a certain position/role because of it."
3. Hair texture
"My biggest physical insecurity would be my natural hair — my curls aren't really defined and, in my mind, it doesn't fit traditional hair beauty standards. I've always straightened my hair because I thought [my hair] was too big and frizzy and it didn't look like other girls' hair. I'm getting better with that now, though it is still something I am cautious about."
4. Having dark skin
"Light-skinned individuals have been seen as more attractive and delicate compared to dark-skinned individuals and I've often have had people comment negatively on my skin complexion."
5. Makeup (or lack thereof)
"My biggest insecurity is my face. When I'm not wearing makeup, I feel ugly and that everyone is staring or talking about me. When I do have makeup on, I feel confident and more comfortable. This is my biggest insecurity because I was bullied a lot in elementary school and once I started wearing makeup, the bullying stopped."
"My biggest physical insecurity is probably my forehead and it's my biggest insecurity because of how it looks with my hair."
Everyone has insecurities — young Black girls are far from the exception. Just two years ago, I had found my wide nose to be an ugly feature and wished for nothing more than a smaller, Eurocentric nose. Now, I look at my face proudly.
I have my mother's nose, the Afrocentric nose of my ancestors, and I realized I was beautiful not only in spite of my insecurity but because of it. The girls who I interviewed are beautiful, not only in spite of their insecurities but because they make them who they are.
And you, reader, are also beautiful, no matter any negative feelings you have about yourself.