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The Challenges of Raising a Black Girl to Feel Beautiful

Anti-black racism makes raising black children a struggle. Thanks to branches of antiblackness such as colorism and eurocentrism. A whole other slew of problems arises when raising black girls. When raising a black girl, one of the major challenges to face is trying to make her feel beautiful. Beauty standards often exclude black women. Especially black women with dark skin, coily hair, wide nostrils, and other physical features often found on black people.

Most people, even other black people do not imagine black women when they think of beauty. Black people often internalize these standards. Sometimes express them by looking down on and being overly critical of black girls and women for doing things like wearing braids, or their natural hair. In this article, Christine Michelle Carter talks about how raising a black girl to feel beautiful requires less of a focus on diversity and more uplifting of these girls on a daily.

We need to shift the conversation from embracing inclusion to teaching pride.

Black girls must be taught to celebrate themselves, which is far more vital to their self-esteem and self-confidence than being celebrated by others.

Or take this comment pulled from a 2014 online petition for Beyoncé to comb her then two-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter’s hair:

“I’m signing because I think it’s very important that she gets her hair combed too, Beyoncé’s hair is always ‘Flawless’ when she’s out in public, but when it comes to Blue Ivy, Its lint balls and nappy dreads as a single mother I should know. I would never let my child out of the house looking a mess like that. What kind of mess is that having a baby girl with dreads! Come on now what is she a dyke?? Comb her hair!!”

Read more of Christine Michelle Carter’s thoughts on raising black girls to feel beautiful on Harper’s Bazaar.

Raising a Black Girl


Sneha Srinivasan

Sneha Srinivasan is passionate about working motherhood. She’s currently working as an assistant for Christine Michel Carter. Every two weeks, Sneha contributes to the newsletter sharing her best tips on how ambitious women can have rewarding careers AND be badass moms.