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Mabel Wiles
Views from a black women

My submission was identifying the struggle of growing acceptance for my identity as a black woman living in Australia.

When you think of the most beautiful woman what features comes to mind ? Well according to Fox 5’s “Good Day DC” Kate Middleton was revealed to have the most desirable face which of course is up for debate as beauty is subjective but the reason why her face was the most desirable is what struck me and as you might guess it was based on her Eurocentric features. 

Me listening to this as a young black girl trying to navigate how I am seen by society 
caused me to side eye the “study'” and who even conducted it. This is an internal battle I’ve had to constantly fight seeing white woman having their beauty and features celebrated while darker skin girls are pushed to the sidelines and left to build their own confidence with no representation. 

I grew up watching African movies and listening to African music so I was not subjected to watching Caucasian people on my TV all the time. I believed unknowingly to me this did something for my confidence and how I viewed myself in the world and how I interacted with the world. I believed I was beautiful even though I didn’t see this reflected in the world I lived in. I knew that Australia was only a small part of the planet and there are places in the world where having a broad nose is okay, darker skin is celebrated and Afro’s can be as big as you want. 

As I grew up it was hard not to notice how the world relates to black women and it 
slowly becomes more then just seeing white woman everywhere and only seeing yourself as the diversity hire. You slowly realise the issue goes deeper and the internal damage lingers through generations with the feelings of unworthiness starting to cross your mind. 

It’s knowing that no matter how beautiful you are you’ll always just be beautiful for a 
black girl, it’s the years of self work you have to put into your self esteem to ensure you don’t hate what you see in the mirror, it’s the limiting of dating options to ensure you aren’t being fetishised, it’s being an after thought for every product, it’s seeing black models having to do their own make up while everyone gets theirs professionally done, it’s the bleaching of skin to fill the gaps of being closer to whiter skin. 

There’s a box that the world has always wanted to put black women in to break their 
spirits but I’m glad that black women all over the world and of every shade are breaking all these enforced boundaries. We are rocking our natural hair, wearing the brightest of colours and being proud in the hues of our skin, the younger me leaps for joy as I see black women living in their beauty and I couldn’t be more proud to be a black woman.

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