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This is killing us: Unveiling Beauty Standards in the Black Community

From childhood, I've lived with a unique internal dichotomy, personified by the north and south regions of my belly. The tyrannical north, is capable of ruining any bodycon dress I desire. On the other hand, the south leaves a lasting imprint, often referred to as a FUPA. These two regions are my oldest and dearest ambivalent friends, challenging my self-perception and adding to my insecurities. But the path to embracing my body as it is, without succumbing to societal pressures, is a daunting one.

Cosmetic surgery has transitioned from a secret exclusive to the rich and famous to a mainstream phenomenon. Countless images on social media depict women with augmented features, evoking both admiration and jealousy. It's tempting to believe that a flat stomach or perky breasts will magically improve our lives. However, the reality is far more complex and expensive. Achieving perfection requires not just monetary resources but also immense dedication, discipline, and sacrifices in the form of blood, sweat, and tears.

The history of cosmetic procedures dates back to the late 19th century, with breast augmentation leading the way. Over time, the materials and techniques have evolved, but the underlying desire to conform to beauty standards remains prevalent. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of black patients seeking plastic surgery. Chole Hilliard's article, suggests that this stems from a yearning for acceptance due to a lack of love and appreciation in society. This pursuit of acceptance has led many black women to alter their bodies in an attempt to conform to societal expectations.

In previous times, embracing one's body played a vital role in fostering black pride. Regardless of their body shape, whether resembling a rectangular box or lacking in certain areas, black women discovered means to celebrate their distinctive features and express their individuality. However, as the demand for a new black body has risen, there are downsides to consider. Some women resort to illegal injections or unregulated treatments, resulting in severe health consequences. Additionally, the quest for uniformity has led to a lack of diversity, with many women looking similar and losing their individuality in the process.

The concept of being a strong black woman has traditionally emphasized accepting one's flaws and celebrating personal authenticity. However, in today's society, the responsibility of strength should not come at the expense of self-love and self-expression. Each individual has the right to make choices about their own body without judgment or scrutiny. It's time to redefine the idea of strength and embrace the notion that self-improvement, whether through cosmetic procedures or other means, can coexist with self-acceptance.

In today's society, the pressure to conform to narrow beauty standards can be suffocating, particularly for the black community. Cosmetic procedures have become increasingly prevalent, promising a quick fix to achieve the idealized image. However, beneath the allure lies a dark truth: these procedures have a profound negative impact, not only on individuals but also on the collective well-being of the community, including our children.


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