Although there is more acceptance in wider variations of beauty,

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  1. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 10 years ago
    there is still the premise that lighter is better and more acceptable in American society.  Lighter complected women whether Caucasian, Latina, Asian, or African-American are considered to be more beautiful than those with more ethnic features.

    This beauty obsession with lightness results in many brunette women dying their hair blonde, darker skinned women lightening their complexions, and women with strong ethnic features obtaining reconstructive plastic surgery to fit within the lighter complected, beauty idea.  Why this obsession with lightness and will the beauty standard ever evolve to be more inclusive  and appreciative of the beauty inherent in all women?

    1. Credence2 profile image78
      Credence2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      As part of the Anglo-Saxon conquests in centuries past with the aid of guns, steel and germs, with the subsequent colonialism taking hold and lasting well into the 20th century, those that are in power need to enslave psychologically and not just physically. In my studies and travels to Caribbean, people black as tar would adamently deny that he or she had any African ancestry. So who had the wealth and power among native populations? It is natural to associate that wealth and power with those that are holding it, looking and behaving like them would in fact  make you believe from the outside that you too are more desirable and deserving. It has been a clever ruse by the masters as their standard permeates all aspects of the modern world from the billboard sign to what one sees on television. Its subtlety is responsible for a great deal of self loathing by people of color around the world

      I am taken back to the role the beautiful Grace Slick played in the James Bond Film "A View to a Kill" 1985

      1. gmwilliams profile image85
        gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        You mean Grace Jones, not Grace Slick.

        1. Credence2 profile image78
          Credence2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

          correction appreciated, got the my graces mixed....

  2. profile image0
    Sri Tposted 10 years ago

    It depends on who you listen to. They are only opinions. And who's opinion really matters? It was never an issue for me because I saw nothing wrong with any color. Whatever color nature creates is the way it is suppose to be. So everybody should be happy with what they have. To condemn anyone is to condemn nature and that would not be very wise.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      You and I know this; however, in Western and westernized societies, lighter is the idea.  Light complected women whether blonde or lighter skinned varieties of their particular race and/or ethnic group are viewed as more beautiful and attractive than their darker and more ethnic looking counterparts.  In the Indian community and/or culture, lighter skinned women are seen as more beautiful. It is also evident in the Black community, lighter skinned women are viewed as more beautiful and they are more likely to get hired into more desirable and upscale roles, particularly in Hollywood.

      1. profile image0
        Sri Tposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        We have to look at who is making those suggestions. And more important than that, who is accepting them. For one to go against ones own nature would be equivalent to slapping the face of God. He did something wrong in the creation of all colors. It doesn't matter what the world thinks or says. The whole world is an illusion, a passing phenomena. It may be true in Hollywood, but the determined ones can't be stopped. I could name a few.

        1. gmwilliams profile image85
          gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Of course, but so many young women are inculcated in the premise that lighter is better.  Look at the magazine, movies, and television.  There is a societal subliminal messages placed by advertisers that lighter is more beautiful and desirable while darker is seen as too threatening. 

          Even if a woman is darker completed, she has to be at an "acceptable"  level of darkness to be considered attractive by Western societal standards. 

          If the woman is considered to be quote, unquote "too dark", she is not societally attractive.  A documentary called DARK GIRLS by Bill Duke illustrated this point exactly.

          1. profile image0
            Sri Tposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            I get your point. But there is a famous quote that says, "when the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten". It is forgotten because it is comfortable. In other words, those who speak about skin are not really comfortable. I could repeat, the sky is blue every day. Sooner or later someone would say, we know, ok its blue. Then I would come outside tomorrow and say it again, look, the sky is blue! Here's the point, those who are not happy with their color have to constantly affirm something. Those who are happy with their color don't even think about it, because the shoe fits.

            1. gmwilliams profile image85
              gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              That is a great philosophy, too bad many women do not believe it.  They hate themselves because they do not fit into the lighter is better societal beauty paradigm.

              Some of such women even go further to erase all traces of their racial and/or ethnic identity.

              1. dashingscorpio profile image80
                dashingscorpioposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                Self-esteem is a gift one gives to them self. We're in big trouble if we are waiting for the outside world to tell us we are worthwhile. Comparing one's self to others is always a losing game because we tend to focus on those who have more or are doing better than we are.  The truth is no matter what one looks like there will be who attracted to you and those who are not attracted to you. Thankfully we live in a world with over 7 billion people which means there lots of people who will appreciate us no matter what our physical attributes are.  Dark skinned women find love and get married just like any other shade of woman. My advice to anyone is don't waste time worrying about things you cannot change. Then again I suppose someone could always bleach their skin. Nonetheless they'd still be the same person inside and would find something new to blame for their unhappiness.

      2. dashingscorpio profile image80
        dashingscorpioposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I believe it's not just the color of the skin but the "perception" of the attitude that is attached to darker women. Naomi Campbell for instance is a dark skinned model a lot of men consider to be "hot". However her antics of throwing phones and cursing out the help play upon stereotypes you see of women from the TV show "The Real Housewives of Atlanta".
        The perception a lot of people have is dark skinned people are unhappy, angry, mean, violent, and hard. Light skin is viewed as soft, gentle, easy going personalities, non aggressive, with a good sense of humor.
        Personally speaking I've dated women of all shades. A Mercedes 600SL in any color is still a Mercedes 600SL in my book! In other words if I'm attracted to a woman's physical measurements, face, smile, and personality I would not rule her out based upon the shade of her skin.
        Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson, Jennifer Hudson, Nia Long, Angela Bassett, Megan Good, and Vivica A. Fox are considered to be hot looking dark skinned actresses. If the media had more of these women in a positive light it would counter some of the negative portrayals.

      3. skinArt profile image58
        skinArtposted 7 years agoin reply to this


    2. profile image0
      Beth37posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      You are brilliant.

  3. my_girl_sara profile image77
    my_girl_saraposted 10 years ago

    I agree that society has tapped one look as being "the look." All in all, too much emphasis is placed on a woman's appearance and not enough on her character as used to be in generations past. At least men are beginning to feel the same pressure. I'm just waiting for the hot guys to replace the old fat ones on the news!

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      They already have.

    2. dashingscorpio profile image80
      dashingscorpioposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      In all honesty I believe (women) get more caught up on their looks then men worry about theirs. This includes dark skinned men as well. It's women who compare themselves to the magazine covers and watch "the red carpet" before every award show, read articles about "who wore it best".

      Men basically believe no matter what we look like if we earn enough money or have enough fame/power we can attract any type of woman we want. We don't put anywhere nearly as much emphasis on our skin color or appearance nor do we "envy" other men's skin color or looks. hmmmm

  4. janesix profile image60
    janesixposted 10 years ago

    Beauty is determined by perfect phi ratios. I don't think color is actually a factor. It's more like a fad. halle berry has perfect phi ratios in her face and body. So she is universally beautiful to almost everyone. babies choose This type of face to look at and prefer them to less perfect features. if you take a thousand faces and average them out, you get a pretty face. The more faces you add to the mix, the closer the combined image gets to the phi ratios.

    The most beautiful face is the most average.

  5. Disappearinghead profile image59
    Disappearingheadposted 10 years ago

    I don't think it's so much as 'lighter is more beautiful' but 'wealth is more beautiful. For example, in Medieval Europe lighter was considered more attractive because wealthy people had the luxury of staying in doors whilst the poor had to work the fields and so developed sun tans. Darker skin signified poverty, and lighter skin wealth. Queen Elizabeth took this to the extreme by wearing pure white face makeup which unfortunately for her contained lead and she suffered terribly in her skin in her older years.

    In the 1970s the package holiday to the Mediterranean became popular for Northern Europeans. THe reason they liked to lay about in the sun working up a tan was so that when they got home people could see and marvel that they could afford a holiday in the sun. So dark skin indicating wealth became the notion for beauty.

    My wife for many years used to find Asian men giving her a lot of attention and she could never work out why. She had black hair, very pale skin and was over weight. When I went to India on business for a couple weeks I understood why. Wealthy women had pale skin indicating a life of luxury indoors and were over weight indicating they could afford good food. So for Asians, pale skin and of a larger build was considered more beautiful. Being stick thin and dark was a sign of poverty.

    Western societies are where most of the World's wealth is concentrated and historically these are Caucasian societies. The Black and Hispanic communities in America have traditionally been poorer. So it seems to me that pale skin today is a sign of affluence, and as affluence is something to be aspired to, paler skin is considered more beautiful.

    1. profile image0
      Sri Tposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Those who are happy with their skin don't really think about it. It's like talking about your hand all the time. There is no point. The people who put emphasis on skin color have some sort of insecurity, that's why they try to place some importance on it. It is a desire to feel superior.

      1. Disappearinghead profile image59
        Disappearingheadposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I'm sure many people are happy with their skin colour, but Western media insists that lighter is better, and it's going to be very difficult not to be affected by the media either directly or indirectly via contemporaries who apply peer pressure in accordance with the whims of the media.

  6. ikepius profile image60
    ikepiusposted 10 years ago

    One Idea that I have toyed with is that women are too easy to be manipulated. A woman only needs a few minutes with a photograph to BELIEVE that she needs to go under the knife, or become a diet fanatic, or dye her hair or apply skin lightening chemicals.
    Women find it almost impossible to be real these days, to love unconditionally, or to do anything else on their own.
    Please do not misunderstand me, I love ALL women.

    1. janesix profile image60
      janesixposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      wow. i have nothing to say to this little gem of wisdom.

  7. profile image0
    Sri Tposted 10 years ago

    Science reports that the purpose of melanin or color was to protect the skin from harm by the sun. In hot climates, temperatures are well over 100 degrees. So there is a reason. It has nothing to do with beauty. It has everything to do with survival in scorching hot climates. Some people have trouble living in those climates. The people who want to lighten their skin are just brainwashed. Nature has done it's job. Everybody should have self esteem to be free of the world's opinions and negative suggestions. Then it's irrelevant what the world thinks. If some people want to accept the nonsense, it's up to them.


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