The Story Behind “You’re Beautiful”

I was walking through an airport the other day when I spotted the glossy cover. An unabashedly black Lupita Nyong’o, sporting her very own nappy black hair, cropped short, beamed on the cover of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful” issue. Another first for dark black women in American popular culture, courtesy the luminous Lupita. But for…

The Elusive Pursuit of Dark Beauty

“I can remember being in the bathtub asking my mom to put bleach in the water so that my skin would be lighter and so that I could escape the feelings I had about not being as beautiful, as acceptable, as lovable.” “She’s pretty for a dark-skinned girl … What is that supposed to mean?”…

What’s In A Name?

One of my dear relations through marriage has, for the last three years that Dan and I have been married, consistently misspelled my name. Dan and I have tried to gently draw her attention to the fact a number of times (by signing my full name at the end of emails or Dan posting a…

Black hair in and from India

You may not have seen Chris Rock’s movie, “Good Hair”, but I’m convinced that much of India has. What leads me to believe this (in spite of the country’s proud preference for Bollywood over Hollywood) is the number of conversations that I had during our three week trip this Dec/Jan that went something like this:…

Crossing the Racial-Romantic Line

Keeping with the subject of the racialised notions of beauty that we are all socialised into discussed in Dan’s last post, I was struck the other day when, on my walk home from work, I overheard a conversation between three trendy-looking black female students, maybe aged 20 years old or so. Sistah 1: … I’ve…

What’s beautiful?

I’m not in the habit of shopping for dolls or conjuring up theories about the nature of beauty. But walking through Shoprite the other day, a discount retailer down the road from our home (think little Wal-Mart but cheaper and more crowded), I couldn’t help but notice something peculiar in one of the aisles. All…