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Ideals of beauty among black people: The beauty industry hates my broad nose. How I learned to accept it anyway

Over the past few decades, a lot has happened in the beauty and fashion industry in favor of the black community and aesthetics. Broad hips, fuller thighs and plump buttocks are no longer ostracized, but envied; For fuller lips you don't even have to go to the beauty doc anymore, you can conjure them up at home in no time with a few products. Even classic black hairstyles like braids or dreadlocks have in mainstream hair salons and on their heads whiter Women entered. So you could think that BIPoC has finally arrived in an industry that left them out for a long time - but none of them.
The fact is that the fashion and beauty industries still discriminate against black women in the 21st century. Do you want evidence? You'll get it: It wasn't until 2015 that Rihanna became the first black woman to be the face of a Dior campaign - after 69 years of company history. In the same year Jourdan Dunn landed as the first black woman in twelve years alone on the cover of the British Vogue (and second at all). In 2018, the multi-million dollar beauty brand Tarte Cosmetics had no problem with only offering three (of 15!) Shades for medium to dark skin tones in its foundation palette. We could go on and on with this list of examples.

“I don't think I'll ever love my nose. But I've learned to accept it on my face. "

And while at least some black ideals of beauty have gradually made it onto the catwalks and advertising posters of this world, this privilege has so far been withheld from our often wider noses. No matter which YouTube make-up tutorial you watch - one step will inevitably be nose contouring, no matter what skin color the YouTuber has. And the make-up artists (or cosmetic surgeons) are guaranteed to make their customers' noses a little narrower on the red carpets as well.
The explanation for this is very simple: wide noses - especially those of black women - have been considered unattractive, even masculine, for ages. In 2011 the evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa even went so far on Psychology Today publish an article entitled "Why Are Black Women Physically Less Attractive Than Other Women?" After he stated in it that black women are “significantly less attractive than white, Asian and Native American women, ”he concluded:“ The only possible explanation for the below-average attractiveness of Black women is their testosterone. ”The original post has since been deleted, and Psychology Today publicly apologized for Kanazawa's article.
It is this association with masculinity that led Nicole * to consider a nose operation. “I've always hated my nose,” she tells me. “I found a smaller nose always more feminine and cuter. I thought my nose looked like my father's - because it was wider, it looked quite masculine to me. That's why I thought [a nose job] would soften my facial features. ”After she sought advice from a surgical practice, she decided against the operation (when she was 22 at the time). Today, almost ten years later, she made peace with that decision. “I don't think I'll ever love my nose,” she admits. “But I've learned to accept it on my face. The older I get, the less important it is to me what an operation could have brought me. "

“Yes, I'll give your nose more contour - but you won't get any from me white Nose. That goes against my beliefs. "

For those who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their nose, there are now also non-surgical options - such as fillers. Dr. Tijion Esho is the director of the Esho Clinic beauty clinic in London and Dubai. According to him, fillers are the second most popular beauty treatment for his black patients, right after skin treatments. "I always say: Treatments like this should give you a better, refreshed version of yourself - but not change you," explains Dr. Esho. “Shedding your ethnic identity, on the other hand, is a huge change,” he adds, emphasizing how difficult it can be to make this clear to your patients.
Dr. Ewoma Ukeleghe, founder of the skincare service portal SKNDOCTOR. She says: “Many of my black customers want a more contoured nose, but not the same as one of them white Person looks. You don't want to overdo it. But sometimes someone wants a very European nose; then I have to assert myself. " Ewoma then criticized the harmful influence of Eurocentric ideals of beauty: “For non-surgical interventions on dark-skinned customers, the following applies to me (especially black women): Yes, I help your nose to be more contoured - but you don't get any from me white Nose. That goes against my convictions. ”She has a simple rule for this: As long as the wishes of her customers correspond to what they could have been born with, she makes the intervention. “Otherwise not,” she says.

"At some point I realized that I am beautiful the way I am - with or without a broad nose."

But where do these desires come from anyway? Such insecurities are only reinforced if we always and everywhere surround ourselves with images of non-black women who are admired for their looks. This is especially true for women, whose appearance has always been underrepresented in magazines and on social media. "If you only look at photos that question your own beauty, in my opinion you are looking at the wrong photos," says Benedicta Banga, founder of the shopping app Blaqbase, which sells products from black brands. But she speaks from her own experience: “I was always aware that I had a big nose, and I think I used to wish it was narrower. But today I think it's okay. It sets me apart and makes me look unique. ”And Grace Trowbridge, co-founder of the online shopping site Simply Noir, has had similar experiences. “Today I am celebrating my origins more than ever,” she says. "At some point I realized that I am beautiful the way I am - with or without a broad nose."
So that the beauty industry one day really respects and absorbs the aesthetics of BIPoC, gatekeepers all over the world should finally begin to celebrate these ideals of beauty in all their forms - and that includes broad noses. Otherwise, it continues to say: the darker you are, the less you feel priority white Belonging to communities; and the less you can influence how others perceive their own appearance in comparison to others. Hypocrites allyshipand supposed promises of the diversity alone will not be able to change that - and we will see whether the beauty industry is one day ready to provide real help in inclusion.