The Reversal Phenomena

December 13, 2017
By anitaagudelo BRONZE, Luanda, Other
anitaagudelo BRONZE, Luanda, Other
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When it comes to the media, there are always people who would try to put other ethnicities or characteristic traits down, how being latina is better than being asian, how having blue eyes makes you more attractive, all of these are interpretations that make people insecure and want to become something that they’re not. These opinions however, are not constant because society is always in flux. Maybe fat people are more attractive than skinny people, maybe being a ‘stereotypical’ dumb blonde with blue eyes could be better than being a plain brunette now.
I like to call this the “reversal phenomena”, and I would like to discuss how this event is occurring between black people and white people. Let's not call it “Western/European” compared to the “African Society”, let’s be straight forward, because a European can be black, but not African, and could still be faced with the same issues as blacks in Africa. Throughout the dawn of modern civilization, since the discovery of the new world, the ‘white man’ has been finding ways of taking advantage of those different from him. Although definitely decreasing, the effects of the hold white people had on ones of other races has left prejudicial consequences. Connecting this to the 21st century, many black people have felt insecure about different aspects of their physical appearance especially, such as their lips, their complexion, their hair, etc. By the time, I've noticed, I am sure that many other teenagers my age who are frequently involved with celebrity news (and maybe even those are are not). Have started to feel much more confident in their skin, they now embrace their natural hair, and they can appreciate the features that they have been given at birth.

One example I've previously mentioned is the complexion of black people. Before 2015, there were plenty of black people who were insecure about their skin tone. From personal
experience, growing up in mostly black countries, many of the black friends I had been close to, always seemed to be insecure about themselves, they would even discriminate towards one of their own kind, and would have even compared their skin tone to mine to see who was lighter, and the lighter one would seem to be superior, which at the time I did not take as seriously, but when I look back at it, it was a pretty serious situation. Before, one way on how some black people decided to resolve the problem of having dark skin, is by bleaching their skin, or even using makeup products with a shade ten times lighter than their own skin tone. Many celebrities had done this remedy, such as famously known female artists like Nicki Minaj (image), Beyonce, and Rihanna. If searched online, you would encounter many before and after pictures of celebrities skin bleaching and never at their natural skin tone. But let's all recall that this was back in 2015 and previous years, I am trying to focus on the present and what has been happening nowadays. There have been many modelling shoots nowadays, where white people would use a lot of spray tan, or a lot of adjustments with photoshop, in order to look darker. One example of this being done is in a recent photoshoot where the famous entrepreneur and celebrity, Kim Kardashian had posted on her website, to advertise her new makeup brand, you can see the before and after picture of how much tanner she became because of the use of photoshop. This is in connection to what I have called, the Reversal Phenomena, seeing how nowadays, people are praising black people for their melanin skin and their luscious bouncy hair, and now trying to become one of them, were back in the day it was the complete opposite.

Also, something that has been also going on for quite a while, is the use of lip fillers, or more formally, lip augmentation, these procedures take place when someone (more specifically, a white person nowadays), would inject their lips with different substances to plump their lips. A well known celebrity and one that gained significant amount of popularity for it, is Kylie Jenner. This trend was being seen immensely right after many people had encountered some photos of herself online with the new appearance of her lips. Along 2016 and 2017, there are many white females who gained attention over this trend. But the sad part is, many black people were disappointed from it, since most are naturally born with big lips like since birth. Twitter, is a social media application that has grown tremendously over the years, but nowadays, there are many arguments that go on that relate to racial conent. Coming back to the point of white people doing lip injections, there was a teenager this year that posted a tweet saying “When you realize having big lips is a trend but it took you awhile to love your natural ones” and added a photo to show her own lips. This tweet had gone viral for some months and many young black teenagerss and young adults had retweeted it to show how much they could relate to it. Another example could even from a recent instagram posted from an account by the name of “Mochaprincesses” where she stated in the caption, how everyone would call her lips names such as “money lips”, “soup coolers”, “clown mouth,” etc. And how everyone that teased her are now using lip fillers, plumpers and lining over their lips to give themselves.

Given all of these examples of how the reversal phenomena is being applied to racial contexts, it shows us how confusing the media can be, and how unbalancing the vanity of our races can be. Even though, I am glad that now, blacks are getting more recognition, people respect them more, and admire their beauty, how it could be referred to as work of arts, and black people themselves are now getting comfortable in their own body. Although, there could be a risk, the same way as how blacks were once discriminated for their bodily and facial aspects, could now be done to whites. This is sometimes confusing in the media, we never know what to expect, there are always fights about inequality, although, we all know that this, would never be achieved worldwide.

The author's comments:

From all of the things I have observed through the media, racially related topics always seemed to arise so often, so I decided to do some digging and share my own opinion on this.

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