Black Women In 1950

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Black Women 's Assimilation in 1950
In the 1950s, African American women assimilated to the European beauty standard because they wanted to be seen as beautiful in the eyes of white Americans. White people thought black women were ugly because of their “unattractive” natural hair texture and their darker complexion. Because of this, African American women ceased wearing their natural hair because of the continuous judgment of African characteristics and adopted a new type of beauty. Some things that black women would use were skin lighteners and perms. Black women felt that they needed to conform to white society’s narrow standard of beauty to feel valued. So, they changed their skin color and hair to better emulate the societal beauty
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With this, there came the constant feeling of self-hate, stereotypes and negative stigmas specifically based on black women’s hair and skin color. There wasn’t a lot of positive representation for black women and young girls to see. If there was a black girl shown in the media, she would either be stereotypical and offensive or a woman with lighter skin and straight hair. There were also a lot of stereotypes about them. For example, the Mammy archetype was a popular comedy act in 1950. “Mammy” portrayed an African American domestic servant who is generally servile or protective of the interests of the white children she takes care of. This archetype contributed to the stereotypes that African American women being bitter, mean, and violent towards people other than their white bosses. This representation of black women didn’t help them and crushed their pride. Seeing this terrible representation of African American women in the media made them more willing to change themselves just to get away from the stereotype that white people had put upon …show more content…
Their natural hair texture was “wild” and “unkempt”. According to Bill Gaskins, “Many African Americans wore this style to personally reject as culture from Africa”. This shows that black women felt ashamed and insecure about themselves and would rather be white to fit in then be called ugly. The idea of long and straight hair was more popularized through advertisement. Also according to Bill Gaskins “A culture that celebrates a single standard of beauty, a standard that excludes full lips, dark skin, and kinky hair”. Especially during the 50s where racism against black people was infamous in

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