Multiculturalism: The new beauty inspiration

Posted by Ria, 18 Sep 10

multicultural beautyThere was a time when the beauty of a woman was defined by the Caucasian woman – Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss… Every woman and every teenage girl did all in their power just to look like them.

But with interracial dating and interracial marriages came the Kim Kardashians, the Halle Berrys. And with these mixed race women came a redefinition of beauty. And today, women are looking for a more exotic look … Jennifer Lopez’s look, Shakira’s look, Beyoncé Knowles' look, – darker skin tones, fuller lips, sultry curves, warm hair tones … the look that is associated with women of African, Asian and Latina decent.

Before people who had plastic surgeries went for thinner lips, smaller eyes – but looking at the past decade, people want those broader noses they used to diss, people want fuller lips, darker skin. More Caucasian women desire these 'exotic' features. And according to psychologist Dr. Nancy Etcoff, this shift in perception of beauty depicts an appreciation for multiculturalism. "Our standards of beauty are changing and ethnic women are at the forefront today," she said. "It emulates our growing sense of cultural awareness."

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Looking at the beauty industry today, ethnic women are setting the trends. And using the words of Us Weekly fashion director Sasha Charnin Morrison, "The use of curvier, more rounded figures looks refreshing." For instance, larger behinds are being promoted by celebrities (Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Lopez) and media. Larger, rounder behinds are now sexy...a trait that was once seen as unattractive. This has inspired the ‘Booty Pop panties’ a padded underwear that gives women the illusion of a larger bottom.

Most men appreciate the exotic appeal that adorns ethnic women. And its not just about bottoms and bosoms – it’s also about rich brown skin which has inspired and boosted the sales of skin-tanning products.

This means the younger generation is more open to diversity. And individuality is now transforming beauty standards. All this is as a result of changing demographics in the US – the growing population of immigrants and mixed-race individuals. Beauty today is a reflection of culture – a blend of various cultures – America’s melting pot.

Some people think that these standards of beauty are a bit blurry. According to Sasha Muradali, a 25-year-old working woman of South Asian descent, the current standard of beauty is still a bit “skewed and contradicting” and that “we are subtly staying in the past.” She feels “... we are all raging about the curves of Beyonce and Kim Kardashian, but at the same time the media is telling girls that they need to be a size zero."

Are we living by the past standards of beauty all the while sugar-coating it with multiculturalism? Does this mean standards of beauty always have to be pegged on race and attitudes about beauty that exist amongst races?

21 responses to "Multiculturalism: The new beauty inspiration"

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  1.   serenity33 says:
    Posted: 19 Oct 10

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  10.   Soltis says:
    Posted: 04 Oct 10

    Multi culturism is alive and well in the USA...OK...and a new standard of beauty, definitely. I had a conversation with my oldest nephew (19) that made me realize how distorted, influential & destructive the media portrays those of mixed heritage, curvy booties & exceptional beautification professionals. My nephew & his friends had gone out and came back wondering where were the girls who look like the ones on tv or in magazines. Now, my first reaction was to tilt my head and blink several times, hoping for a jokie-jokie. I looked at him and his friends and decided to go online to people.com. They have their infamous stars without make-up (no airbrushing) articles reality is a great teacher =) After viewing & discussing what we had seen the hardest question came rolling off my tongue. What did you look like when you woke up or dressed up to hit the club today & where the heck does Boris Kodjoe types hang out most...lmao

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  12.   Jan says:
    Posted: 28 Sep 10

    Check out Mahogany, a 70's movie starring Diana Ross

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