Recently, n the Black Community we've seen a surge of pride in our African ancestry and features. Black women are embracing their natural beauty, and leaving behind Eurocentric beauty standards. Most importantly, they're treasuring the very thing that makes us black girls magical — melanin!
Our pigment has become a trending topic over various social media sites. The hashtag proudly plastered in comments and captions of beautifully melanated women; garnering the adornment of both black men and women alike. However, something about these posts was a little off-putting, but I couldn't quite place my finger on the common denominator. Then one day, while scrolling down my timeline, I came across a meme of a beautiful black woman in a bikini with coke bottle curves and natural hair. The caption read "We need more chocolate queens like this, and less thots." The more I saw post like these, my sentiments quickly shifted from pride to complete vexation. Then it hit me, the common denominator is hyper-sexualized beauty standards. Almost all memes referencing an "appreciation" for Black women and their melanin was of scantily clad, perfectly shaped women. Being a "chocolate queen" shouldn't be contingent on being shapely, but is simply celebrating your beauty as a black woman. Now, before I expound any further, I want to note that I do in fact support body positive, self-encouraging pictures. However, the real issue at hand is the double standards that the black community has embraced on social media. If we can be truly honest with ourselves, we can admit that if a black woman who didn't fit societal beauty standards posted a picture equally as provocative, she would have been deemed "a thot who doesn't love herself." Everyday we see Black Women getting slandered for posting body positive pictures, but it's ironic how it's only acceptable when the woman is shapely and "beautiful." But I digress.
The root of the issue is that a melanated beauty does not, and should not equate a hyper-sexualized image of the black woman. We come in all shapes and sizes, with stretch marks, cellulite, etc. If you're going to celebrate Black women embracing their beauty and melanin, it needs to be the celebration of all black women! When we pick and choose who to celebrate and who to slander based on societal beauty standards, we stifle the movement of black pride and create the idea that it's exclusively for certain black women. It's grossly counterproductive and is a reflection of misogynoir sentiments in our community. For centuries, black women have been hyper-sexualized from a young age because of their naturally curvy figures. By only celebrating black beauty through sexualized pictures you only further objectify us.