Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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WHY ARE THE WOMEN OF COLOR LEFT OUT

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Body Positivity Series III

So now we’ve talked about it; we’ve learned about eating disorders. We’re open to discussion about all different types of disorders, and what we can do to help. We’ve included plus size models in the magazines and websites of our favorite brands. There is still something missing, though. When the body positivity campaigns emerged from brands, artists, and creators, many were happy to see people talking about what is not so easy to discuss.

(Pictured is Meghan Trainor’s, who has talked about body image, music video that was photoshopped without her knowing.)

People felt a sense of comfort knowing that models on runways would look more like them, rather than the ones they were used to seeing in the past. However, when body positivity became mainstream and trendy, a group of people were left out; women of color.

When the inclusion of plus sized models came about in several brands, these companies received much praise for the inclusion of women of all sizes. What many failed to include in the beginning of these campaigns, though, were representation of people of color, and diversity across the campaigns. Where people thought progress was being made in these campaigns, they were still steps behind. Many companies did hire plus sized models. However, many of these models were not women or people of color in general.

When a campaign that preaches body positivity is supposed to be uplifting, how are women of color being uplifted when they are completely misrepresented?

In addition to the misrepresentation of women of color in these companies’ campaigns, they are also not included in the overall discussion concerning body image. Discussions about body image issues and body positivity stay relevant, but they only touch on certain aspects. The struggle that women of color face with body image is often ignored.

This dates back to the rejection of black women for centuries in mainstream media, through the overrepresentation of European cultures. Black women have often taken part in skin bleaching because of the racism they face in the American society. In addition, they feel insecure about their hair and often face discrimiation in schools and workplaces based on it. Here, the body image struggle of women of color is not just a concern of being over- or under-weight but also being devalued simply because of their natural features and the color of their skin. 

As the global discussion about body image continues , our society needs to make sure the terms “acceptance” and “uplifting” are not being used lightly. In order to fully come to a place of acceptance and promote body positivity of all females, we must make sure females of all colors are being represented equally.