“Silencing of Black Beauty”

Ana Del Prete | Media Contributor

black-beauty

Artist Statement: Our culture loves everything about black women – except for black women. From their curves to their hair, to the clothing and facial features. We love big lips, curvy bodies, curly hair and dreadlocks, but on a white body. Why is it shameful for black women to wear these styles, or look a certain way? Why are black women and POC berated for their hairstyles while it is trendy and edgy for white women to wear them? Black women can’t use their physicality to speak out against oppression; in fact, they are often silenced by our society because they are deemed “inappropriate.” The stigma surrounding black women’s sexuality is overwhelming: a pertinent example comes from Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” music video. Taylor awkwardly twerks in front of a line of black women in the background, most of them noticeably bigger than her. Why is she using black people as a backdrop for her own personal gain, contrasting herself against them to make herself look cool and edgy? Black women are not props. They are human. And if their culture is to be displayed, it should be displayed by them, for them. Front and center.