Below is an exceprt from "The Beauty Ideal: The Effects of European Standards of Beauty on Black Women," published in Columbia Social Work Review, vol. IV:
Clark and Clark (1947) and Kiri Davis demonstrated (in the "Doll Test") that the internalization of racial beauty standards is a societal problem that begins in childhood and has a significant impact on the self-perception and self-worth of black girls and women throughout the life course. Not only are black women negatively categorized by society for both their gender and race, but they can also be subjugated within their own communities. This article aims to bring awareness to an issue that, if properly addressed, could positively affect the life trajectories of young black women. The self-hatred of black women based on European beauty standards is not commonly acknowledged in social work conversations or practice. Black women need to be empowered so that they can protect themselves against the negative messages that they receive from their environment.
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