In this video I wanted to explore what beauty means to black women and how it shapes or warps the black body. Here hair is not only an object of desire but it's a symbol of the black female body. I featured quotes from Christina Sharpe's 'In The Wake: On Blackness and Being', as well as my own writings, about creating space for real care (repair, maintenance care) and the idea of the black body being 'inviable', which largely influenced the themes within this video.
Violence is an element that shapes what black femininity means to black women. Through its use of different methods, violence dictates the acceptable state of the black female body, whilst simultaneously conveying the black female body as not acceptable. Taking time for care is celebrating and embracing our identity in order to re-imagine our presence within white spaces. It also involves understanding and undoing the extended effects of European beauty paradigms that are imposed onto us. Eurocentric beauty standards operate within patriarchal constructs, revolving around fairer skin, straighter hair, and smaller physical features. These are all actively linked to traits such as gentility and purity. Thus, what’s regarded as true femininity. The darker the skin, the more coiled the hair or the larger or the more ‘unique’ the physical features, the further from the ideal you are. Additionally, affecting the black female body and her experience within certain spaces on a social and economic level. Whilst also erasing our own identities through the over representation and the inflated value of the ideal, both outside and within the black community.