Black Child Beauty Part 2
Cartoons and tv shows
When you think about what a popular Disney princess looks like, not many children can even claim that they might grow up to look like any of them. When these fantasy characters, cartoons and toys represent beauty to a child that doesn’t look like any of them it can send a silent message that they don’t measure up. Children don’t have the capacity to understand that people don’t think and act like they do on t.v. Depending on how much they watch these become their formative opinions. Lack of representation of non european standards of beauty is a problem. If a young girl doesn’t see herself in the depictions of what is seen as beautiful then it will be almost impossible for her to believe. That’s why I try to use pictures of black women when I post these blogs. I try to be intentional on my forblackgirlz instagram and facebook pages to post positive images and accomplishments of black girls and women that I come across.
Lack of affirmation
Some children just don’t hear often enough how special and unique they are. If they hear other children getting compliments and they don’t receive them they may feel like it’s because they don’t deserve them.
What can we do?
Notice our own biases and make a conscious effort to fix them
An important way we can help heal the next generation from having to go through some of the pain we did is to recognize how we’ve internalized some self hate. What seeds were allowed to grow within us? We need to recognize our own beauty so that we can help children see their own. Let children know you appreciate your own natural beauty by showcasing them when you have the opportunity.
Children need our partnership to create a healthy network of protection for them. We need to remind them that they are intelligent, beautiful and gifted. We need to focus on building their character so that they will not think everything is only about what they look like and what they have as kids. Children need to learn to recognize good character traits in other children that they would like to be friends with. Teach your children not to be shallow and to look deeper than material objects and looks. Is that other child nice? Do they share? Are they interesting? These are great questions to help your little one choose friends. Expose your child to the beauty of other cultures. If we do our part we will be creating a healthier world for the kids of tomorrow.
Do you remember any experiences as a child that made you feel like you were ugly? Do you have any stories of people that helped you to value yourself?