Black Women 's Self Esteem

1774 Words8 Pages
hair and is extremely damaging to the hair and from personal experience can lead to permanent scarring and scalp irritation to name a few. Since Black women are apart of the “mass” that McCombs and Shaw reference in their theory, they are also consuming these images and have no other way to think about themselves. This puts more pressure on Black women to want to assimilate to Eurocentric standards of beauty which has a direct effect on their self-esteem as discussed in the very popular documentary ‘For Dark Girls’ where Black women discussed their struggles with trying to achieve this Eurocentric standard of beauty. Along with the Mammy stereotype, the portrayal of Black women as being lecherous by nature is also a continuing stereotype. Lewd, hypersexual and loose are a few descriptive words associated with this stereotype (Thomas et. al, 2004). The Jezebel is everything the Mammy is not. Physically, she is seen as being a mixed-raced woman with Eurocentric features that those who fall into the physical characterization of the Mammy try to achieve. She has light-skin, less kinky hair, smaller lips and a more slender nose. Although the Jezebel fits the Eurocentric beauty standards, this image “branded Black women as being sexually promiscuous and immoral” (West, p. 294) due to the sexual violence committed against them during slavery. Hutchings et. al (2010) argues that, “explicit racial cues are not necessarily a thing of the past and under certain conditions they can be
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