Thursday, April 8, 2010

Good Housekeeping: Stop Messing With Photos of Michelle Obama

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I know that photo-shopping images is now the norm, but more often than not, it has become completely ridiculous.  Michelle Obama is an absolutely stunning woman and does not need to be photo-shopped.  In fact, no one needs that; we simply need to move away from our ridiculous concept of beauty.  What did they do to Lady O’s head and why does her hair which we know is beautiful and healthy, look like a helmet all of a sudden?  Her face looks so squished, it could belong to a cartoon character. 

I get that they think that tinkering with images brings out the best in the subject, but it does not and it sets up unrealistic beauty standards.  If a beautiful Black woman like Michelle Obama needs work, what hope is there for the rest of us?  I know that there have been worse examples of photo-shopping run amok, but this really bothers me because Michelle is not just the first lady, she is THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN first lady.  Her presence in the house that slaves built means a lot to not only Black women, but to young Black girls that are looking for a positive role model.

The image of beauty has historically been the White woman and this continues to this day.  Look through any fashion magazine and you will find blondes, brunettes, red heads aplenty but finding a beautiful Black woman can sometimes be like looking for a needle in a haystack.  Due to sexism, beauty remains one of the few ways in which women have access to power and this has been denied Black women.  We have been constructed as the angry,ugly ball busting, harridan. Ugly is a slur constantly thrown at Black women and therefore when they take someone as beautiful as Michelle Obama and alter her image, it reaffirms the idea that the Black woman is always and forever less than.

So, I’ll just say it once.  LEAVE MICHELLE OBAMA ALONE.  Young Black girls need at least one attractive, intelligent woman that they can look up to.