What Is Beauty?

Sunday of this week I received a phone call from the States, my colleague Sharon was watching Black Girls Rock and was asking if I was doing the same via Sky.  I checked my Sky Plus box and realised the show wasn’t going to be aired until Tuesday, so I set it up.

Black Girls Rock is a celebration of women of colour regardless of their origin, who have achieved, regardless of their profession or passion.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and was overwhelmed at the acknowledgement of women from Patti LaBelle to Jennifer Hudson to Marsha Ambrosius to Janelle Monae to Serena Williams, it was just brilliant to watch.

I also felt from an emotional point of view that the programme was giving empowerment to young girls who could not only see that they could achieve because of the women on the show, but they could also watch a sea of women whose images they could identify with which isn’t a regular occurrence on TV. So it was thumbs up from me all the way.  And well done to Beverly Bond, the founder.

Not such a positive outcome in the States, however, when #BlackGirlsRock started trending on Twitter and it was met with some backlash stating that it was racist and users starting tweeting #WhiteGirlsRock – I couldn’t believe it.

Olivia Cole

Enter Olivia Cole the Huffington Post blogger.

Olivia, who is white, took a look at the lack of diversity in all forms of media and wrote a brilliant article encouraging the users of #WhiteGirlsRock to take an honest look at the situation.  She mentions that if you Google “beautiful people” or “beauty” the screen is covered in white faces, giving young black girls and boys the impression that they have no claim to the word “beauty”.  I Googled “black beauty” went to images and it was a horse!

Do read Olivia Cole’s article about the whole beauty issue and why Black Girls Rock was a positive programme, you won’t be disappointed.

My question is closing: What is your interpretation of beauty?