As I sat down to write this blog as the Scholarship and Resources Coordinator for the Multiracial Network (MRN), I was thinking of recent articles that have been published online regarding multiracial beauty. Anecdotally, as a multiracial person it was not uncommon for my siblings and I to have strangers comment on our physical looks growing up. Sometimes the comments would be, “Oh your parents did good!” or “Wow, you all are just so beautiful!”, while these comments were unexpected and flattering I was always taken aback by the strangers who amongst stopping to comment us about our looks, we would also get the follow up question, “What are you?” The typical response, “I’m… [insert racial identifiers],” would ensue.
A few weeks ago a friend called me to share what she deemed to be very disturbing news. “Today is a terrible day,” she moaned. “I found my first gray hair!”
“Guess it’s time to find a good hair colorist!” I replied without thinking.
Recently I was reminded of our exchange as my YWCA York colleague and I chatted about our agency’s upcoming Girls on the Run season – our biggest yet. Throughout the fall, our staff and volunteers will work with hundreds of pre-teen girls to encourage self-confidence, positive body image, and an appreciation of health and fitness.
Last week, the YWCA turned tension into a teachable moment by creating a forum for positive thought leaders in the aftermath of the hurtful Psychology Today article by Satoshi Kanazawa titled “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” The ridiculous theory was quickly discredited and an apology was issued by the publication, yet the negative tones of the discussion lingered on the Web and surely in the minds of many.
"Very skinny" women make $22K more than average-size women?
What is the cost of beauty? I’m not sure that there’s an actual dollar amount, but what I am certain of is that women are paying for it with their careers, health and sanity when they don’t measure up to the narrow standards of our image-obsessed culture.
Confirmed speakers include Susan L. Taylor, Deborah Rhode, Gloria Lau, and Stephanie M. Crumpton.
YWCA USA will host a free, live webinar entitled “Beauty and the Beholder: The Politics of Beauty and Image” to address the issue of Appearance-Based Discrimination. The webinar will explore the impact of discrimination based on looks for all women across the nation. The webinar will also focus on this issue within the context of the mission of the YWCA: Empowering Women and Eliminating Racism.
Date and Time:
Monday, June 20, 2011
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST
(2PM CT, 1PM MT, 12PM PT)