Can You Make a Black Girl Feel Pretty? The Lesson I learned

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Can you make a Black girl feel pretty?  Christine relates how her daughter, Maya became upset when her wet hair showed its natural curls.  Maya later apologizes to her grandmother for showing up with her hair undone.

Christine laments how straight hair, particularly that of white women, is held up as the normal beauty standard.

Beauty Standards

Christine refers to an article by Stephanie Hinds, another Black journalist and writer who feels that straight hair makes her feel prettier.

Stephanie’s article : https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/byblackscom/black-beauty-standards_b_9693854.html

Christine then discusses how Maya took influence from Disney princesses, struck at first by their gowns, and then by their hair.  Maya says “mommy, she’s beautiful I want to be like her and have my hair look like hers.”

Diversity

More than 22 million millennials are raising the most culturally diverse generation in American history.  With many inaccurate representations of Black women in the media, teaching the young Black women of the new generation can be hard.

Christine admits that she has only had natural hair for the last four years.  However, she wore cornrows in a bun to her senior prom.  She has never felt pressure to conform to anyone’s idea of beauty.  She appreciates others for their hair, hoping that they will one day do the same for her.

Media

Christine remembers attending a private screening of The Princess and the Frog, featuring Tiana, Disney’s first Black princess.  After the screening a focus group of Black millennial women are asked questions on the media and on beauty image.  Christine responds saying that she does not care about the media, feeling that it does not represent or care about her.

Grandparents

Black members of generation Z and generation alpha are more likely to be raised by a grandparent than other races.  Grandparents can make Black children feel worthy of respect, as Christine’s grandmother did for her.  She remembers Edna’s Beauty Manifesto, given to her by her grandmother, about the importance of being yourself.

Final Thoughts

Christine ends with the observation that she cannot make a Black girl feel pretty, but her mother can.

 

An additional article on Black motherhood from Christine Michel Carter: https://christinemichelcarter.com/the-empowering-way-black-moms-are-celebrating-their-daughters-first-periods/

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