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Friday, March 22, 2013

Who's Who? Afropologists Within and Beyond the Academy

I recently learned that there are graduate students of anthropology dissuading undergraduates from entering this diverse and very much needed field. Even though the news upset me, it did not surprise me in the least. There are many misconceptions that anthropology has no value. Anthropology, like any degree, is what you make of it. Getting an undergraduate or graduate degree doesn't count for anything, if you don't have the passion and/or drive to use what you've earned. There are anthropologists doing extraordinary things, and there are those who have become bitter, because they have yet to use their degree to its fullest potential. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

New Trend Among Nigerian Men: Tattooed Pink Lips?

According to Batta Box TV, a new trend is emerging among Nigerian men -- a desire to tattoo their lips pink. Some argue that the trend has become popularized, because some Nigerian men despise the blackness of their bottom lips. Certainly, self-hatred of one's Africanness is not a modern phenomenon or even unique to Nigeria. The globalization of whiteness, as a supposed ideal, has permeated throughout the African Diaspora and among other people of color. Historically hegemonic institutions such as colonization and chattel slavery reinforced this idealism that whiteness is superior to blackness. Consequently, this racial hierarchy has been transmitted generationally and is propagated through mass media, education, health care, and other industries. As anthropologist Lauren Gulbas addresses in her work in Venezuela, cosmetic practices can sometimes serve as stop-gap measure, or become quick fixes for individuals who try to resist racial marginality. You may alter the body, but if the inner self continues to experience racism, socieconomic inequality, and ridicule those same negative emotions that motivated a person to undergo body modification will resurface. Today it will be pink lips, but if those macrocosmic social forces that act upon individual choice continue to promote structural racism and socioeconomic inequality, tomorrow it will be something else.

As always stay beautiful,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Husband Sues Wife for Being Too Ugly ... and WINS

I stumble across a lot of bizarre body image news, but this one definitely takes first place. A Chinese man, Jian Feng, was shocked when his wife gave birth to what he considered to be an, "incredibly ugly" baby girl. Because the child did not resemble him or his wife, he accused his wife of cheating. However, hurt by the accusations, his wife eventually confessed that she spent $100,000 on plastic surgery prior to their marriage. You would think her hubby would feel relieved after realizing his wife was faithful. Or was she? He accused her of marrying him under false pretenses, and sued her for $120,000 ... and won! 

What are your thoughts? Is Mr. Feng just being superficial? Or did he have every right to sue his wife? Should she have came clean about the plastic surgery before they got married? 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Black Men who think Black Women Rock!

It was such a breath of fresh air to see brothers pay tribute to us sisters on BET's Black Girls Rock. Idris Elba introduced the singing trio Anthony Hamilton, Eric Benet, and Luke James. Elba felt no shame in telling black women in the audience, and across the globe, that he is in awe of our courage, strength, swag, sexy, perseverance, hustle, presence, beauty and power! Here at Body Image Central, we remind the world that not all black men view us as bitches and hoes, or measure our worth by how long or straight our hair is, how light or dark our skin is, or how curvy our figure is. Our beauty comes in all shades, sizes, and textures, and we salute those brothers who recognize that ALL black girls do indeed ROCK!