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Ladine Professional Black Hair Commercial

In her film, Killing us Softly 4, Jean Kilbourne briefly addresses how women of color are forced to emulate Caucasian standards of beauty. The above commercial portrays an African American woman’s transformation from a big, puffy Afro to straight, shimmering hair using Ladine salon care products. It is implied that straight hair is vital in order for African American women to be estimated as desirable in today’s society.

African American women are urged to conform to a mold that judges women based upon “acceptable” standards of Caucasian beauty. The implicit positive associations with “straight hair” versus negative connotations related to “curly” or “nappy” hair is used to promote and sell hair-straightening products. Thus, African American women feel obligated to adopt mainstream hairstyles in order to assimilate into both professional and social circles. This pressure to conform is teaching girls to feel insecure about their hair from a very young age. 

Within the African American community, going “natural” is considered to be a bold statement.Women who are “natural” are stereotypically characterized as “rebels” instead of simply being identified as their natural selves. Beauty has become one-dimensional with no room for personal expression. Contrary to the claim in this commercial, there is no “science in being beautiful”. People who believe otherwise set themselves up for failure, which contributes to feelings of depression and low self-esteem. However a woman chooses to style their hair should be an individual choice without any racial influence or comparisons.

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How losing weight made me a feminist article


Last class brought up some of what I think are the most pressing issues for women on the issue of weight.

I’ve always struggled with the idea that any endeavor of mine to lose weight was buying into some bullshit standard the patriarchy stamped into me since I was a kid.

I could never just say, “I want to do this for me” and feel honest with myself. Coming from a family where all the women I knew were pre-occupied with their weight and appearance, it took me a long time to stop focusing on weight and figure out that there were things that were more important than a number on a scale. I felt like I was doing feminism ‘right’.

But why was I letting external ideals (feminist or otherwise) determine how I should think about my body? And even if I removed the moral right-or-wrong from my ideas, on what leg did I stand on to really decide if I wanted take care of my health and finding out what that meant to me?

I’ve gotten to a place where this conflict died down as I started focusing on my studies, separated health and appearance, and started living a much healthier lifestyle out of authentic concern for myself (and losing lots of weight in the process). But I still struggle with the perks that come with unintentional conformity…

how do others feel about this?

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