Omission is Oppression: Addressing Social Exclusion


Jessica Udeh, Staff Writer

For decades, people of color have gone to great lengths to receive accolades in the Eurocentric world of beauty and entertainment. Society plays a huge part in setting the standard in all realms. In regards to beauty, there is a lack of makeup products for women of darker skin complexions. This perpetuates the idea that the demand is in favor of fair-skinned people. Something as simple as entering “beautiful women” or “beautiful skin” in a search engine can depict the long-lived notion that the lighter one’s complexion, the more visually appealing they are.
Even the very few photos of black women that you may find—after continuous scrolling of course— are of a lighter skin complexion, and express more Eurocentric characteristics of beauty. You would be hard-pressed to find a woman of a darker complexion among any of the hundreds of millions of results.
Other aspects of society—media in particular—express this subconscious oppression through the absence of cultural representation. In a December interview with Queen Latifah, singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer Janelle Monáe, broke down at the news of a 10 year old girl in Louisiana considering her a role model. “Never in a million years did I think that I would see a young black girl wanting to look like me.” said Monáe, proving that cultural representation is not only significant, but pivotal.
Whether instances like this are a result of a “white dominated” supply chain or the aftermath of slavery can be debated, albeit, this generation of society has aided people of color in reaching a separate standard that represents & uplifts individuals of all sizes, shapes, and ethnic backgrounds.