Reasons why we need to question the Eurocentric standard of beauty in Western Culture

By Peter Graef

According to this article by Lexie Kite and Lindsay Kite in the blog beauty redefined, a particularly oppressive ideal of beauty excludes women of color. According to the article, even though one third of the US population is nonwhite, there is a serious lack of portrayals of women of color in the media. The article states that the reality is even when women of color are portrayed in the media, the examples of them being portrayed as beautiful of desirable are almost nonexistent.

When these Eurocentric ideals of beauty are questioned, there is often resistance. According to this article by the Daily Targum, this was especially signified by the online comments following the crowning of Nina Davuluri as miss America in 2013. Following Davuluri’s win, the internet erupted with racist comments. Even though Davuluri was Indian-American, people on twitter referred to her as a terrorist and much worse. There were some comments that said “this is America, not India”, and some people on twitter questioned why the runner up, a white woman from Kansas, did not win because she was more of a “real American”. The writer of the article goes on to say that the use of the word “American” to many means white, and the backlash surrounding Davuluri being crowned miss America “proves we are not in a post racial society yet”.

Both of these articles made excellent points that I definitely agree with. It seems the standard of beauty in the US, at least for a woman, has been “whitewashed”. Watching TV myself, I notice some of the themes that these articles bring up. It seems for all the talk of a post racial society, the idea seems premature if there are so many people who still don’t see realistic portrayals of themselves in the media. This standard of beauty is unfair and incomplete, and it has a devastating effect on girls and women of color, as I will write about in future posts.

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