Shutting down the myths about black beauty

Sydney Shuler | Staff Writer

From birth, black women are given a list of rules of what they can and cannot do to be considered beautiful. But how much of it is true?

  1. Maintain a quiet crown

Black women are told that they have three hair colors to choose from: light brown (but not too light), dark brown and black. Anything else is unprofessional, uncouth and decidedly not for black girls.

Black women all over, including celebrities such as Rihanna, Lil’ Kim and Cardi B, have repeatedly proven that this is not the case.

  1. No nude for you

You’re getting ready for a night out and you’ve just finished your dramatic smoky eye. You remember hearing a makeup guru on YouTube say, “Always pair a smoky eye with a nude lip.” So you hesitate.

Too often, black women hear that nude shades will make their lips look dry and undefined, when that does not have to be true. The trick for a nude lip is to always pair it with a dark lip liner. Blending the colors of the liner and the nude shade will create a smooth and natural transition between the color of your skin and your lip color. As YouTuber and beauty guru Jackie Aina said, “Whoever says dark skin girls can’t wear nude lips just don’t know how to do it right.”

  1. Black folks don’t need sunscreen

As beautiful as melanin skin is, it cannot fully protect from the harsh rays of the sun. Although it offers some protection, the Mayo Clinic says that people with dark skin are at risk of skin damage from excessive sun exposure, despite getting sunburn less than people with fair skin.

Sunscreen is meant to intercept harmful UV rays from the sun before they reach the skin’s surface. Chineolo Chidozie, co-founder of the black skin care line Bolden, said, “Even though skin cancer doesn’t affect people of color as much as it affects people with white skin, that makes it more dangerous because it’s often not caught until it’s in an advanced stage.”

A common complaint among people with dark skin is the purple-tinted snail trail left by some sunscreen lotions. Some products that avoid this issue include Nivea Super Sun Protect Water Gel SPF 50, Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen.

  1. You’ll look like a boy

Our hair does not define us. Recently, more women have decided to “big chop” their hair as a part of the regrowth process, or simply because they want to.

“I definitely feel like more people are becoming accepting of short hair on black women,” said freshman major Kayla Hicks, who also rocks a short cut.

The best thing about a short cut: It’s easy to have fun with! Short hair can easily be dyed (any bold or natural color you’d like), chopped even more, brushed into smooth waves or glided into finger waves.

“I have 3A/3B hair,” freshman Rebekkah Maxwell said. “When it’s long, it is wavy because of the weight, but having short hair allows me to have tighter curls, which I enjoy.”

Make sure to keep your short hairdo moisturized and detangled for better growth. Who says black women can’t have short hair? Whether your hair is full of bouncing curls, locks down your back or a bald fade, it’s yours and it’s beautiful.


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