Saturday, October 23, 2010

Are Willow Smith And Sesame Street Making A Difference In How Black Girls’ Beauty Is Perceived?

By Bossip Staff

Willow Smith

NPR declared it “The Best Week Ever For Black Girls,” with “Sesame Street’s” ‘I Love My Hair’ skit grabbing headlines everywhere, and Willow Smith simultaneously holding court over pop culture with the debut of her “Whip My Hair” video. Both were worthy of celebration, signalling young girls to embrace being confident in who they are and how they look, but with so many other images out there sending mixed messages, we wondered if these are true signs of change, or just temporary fixes.

Essence Magazine also recently released their “Hot Hair Issue” with Monica on the cover, which paid homage to black hairstyles, short, long, natural and “enhanced,” making us wonder how willing black women — adult black women in particular — are to stop making improvements.

It also hasn’t escaped us that there are still other examples — for instance, Nene Leakes, going public with her plastic surgery details — that highlight how much black women continue to aspire to a certain standard of beauty. No matter how expensive it may be for our wallets and our psyches. In Nene’s case, she blamed her fast fixes on vanity, “I admit it; I’m vain.” But what was wrong with the nose God gave her? Was she inspired by magazine covers and the images on T.V. and in films?

We thought we’d open the floor for discussion, to see how the Bossip readers feel about black beauty. Should we all be striving for a Naomi Campbell or Halle Berry standard? Does a woman have to be more confident in who she is to rock a natural style over a weave? Or at the end of the day is it all about what works for us as individuals? Do you think Willow Smith and “Sesame Street” are making the world easier for our children to grow up with broad noses and kinky hair? Is black beauty as a whole more appreciated now than ever?

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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