How are we viewed as individuals? Before we open our mouths to speak, before we even move; what exactly are they thinking about us? I have often thought about how others view me. I sometimes find myself trying to figure out what exactly do other people see when they look at me. Now hopefully I am not alone in this and there are tons of other people who have thought the same thing at least once in their lifetime. Is this idea simply curiosity, or is there a part of us that wants to know exactly what we are being judged on. If everyone see’s things around them differently, and what is beautiful to one might not be beautiful to the next. What exactly are they seeing?
We all know the saying “never judge a book by its cover” however we live in a society where people live by the “you get what you see” mentality. With the advancement of the media age and the strong relationship we have with our television and the internet, we are receiving a multitude of various messages telling us what is beautiful. One of the biggest issues in my opinion is the way beauty is shown towards women of different racial backgrounds. A lot of the time these women are portrayed in television shows, movies and in commercials, as secondary characters. They are chosen and told that they have to be “ethnic” enough to receive the role only to get the role and play the best friend of the main character who is usually of European dissent. Now do not mistake my words as hate but just examine the facts instead. I can count on my hand how many television shows have women of a different origin as the main character in this country. How does that reach a broader audience?
It seems as if there was a limit set on how these women should appear to the public. In the case of Asian American women they are usually portrayed as the super smart genius friend whose parents were terribly hard on them in order for them to obtain a career in a lucrative field. When did a stereotype become a premise to a character on television? Then you have Black American women who are shown as super sassy characters who are witty and sometimes on the verge of being verbally nasty. Their background is usually summed up with them being brought up in a rough neighborhood and are given some type of ridiculous catch phrase. Now the list doesn’t stop there, there are also women of European dissent that get ostracized as well. For example, women with fair skin and red hair are usually shown as the homely friend who doesn’t have much of a social life. Hispanic American women are usually shown in a house full of family members, who only consume food that is of Spanish dissent. This is not to say that other women not listed here are in any better of a situation when it comes to television roles. However at least there is a wider range of roles that they might strive for, this is also not saying that the women who get these roles aren’t talented. I simply do not believe that the only women with enough talent to fill lead roles stops at a specific race. Why aren’t we being shown different faces of beauty more often?
I would personally love to see a vast array of women with all different racial backgrounds on my television set. At the end of the day, after we break down the still prevalent class system and the color divide, we are women; we are wonderfully made, the carriers of the future. We are beautiful; every last one of us. It is time that we enter beauty and let it embrace us.