For many Black people, altering their appearance and mannerisms to fit white expectations is a matter of instinct.
In many cases, the trauma of having to alter one’s appearance to meet arbitrary white standards of presentableness and respectability is a generational one, and living with that history takes serious emotional labor.
It is the blithe cherry-picking of Black anatomy ― the booty, the lips, the complexion, the texture of hair, even ― to embellish white beauty standards and fuel celebrity without addressing glaring representation issues.
The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) Releases New Report on the Reconstruction Era / Video
I was a fashion designer for around 15 years.
It’s interesting to see how my outward appearance measures on the scale of white respectability standards.