What is the feminine beauty ideal? Who decided that ideal and why is it what it is? Does it help anyone or does it just push everyone to want more? Listen as Alexandra D’Italia and Lenya Wilson explore their personal history of beauty culture, what is expected of women in the workplace, and how different the experience is for white women and Black women.
Alexandra probes as Lenya unpacks the details about what styles and aspects of Black culture are misappropriated and offensively misused, why it’s offensive, and how to remedy this mistake to show respect.
The Swirl Suite, https://www.swirlsuite.com/
Links to Lenya’s sources for her talk on Cultural Appropriation at Alexandra’s 2019 Writing Leap Art & Literary Salon, which celebrated Fashion & Identity.
- Mackenzie Wagoner, The Dreadlocks Debate: How Hair is Sparking the Conversation of the Moment, Vogue, https://www.vogue.com/article/dreadlocks-hair-debate-moment,
- Elle Magazine, Update: Marc Jacobs Responds to Backlash Over Spring 2017 Dreadlicks Look, https://www.elle.com/fashion/news/a39304/marc-jacobs-spring-2017-dreadlocks-controversy/
- Steven Reidy & Meher Kanigiri, How are Ethnic Hairstyles Really Viewed in the Workplace?, https://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1133&context=student
- Trevor Noah, Black Americans in the Workplace, The Daily Social Distancing Show, https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=289587739117002
Where Alexandra volunteers: Jacaranda School for Orphans, http://www.jacarandafoundation.org/
Want to talk about this with your friends? Use our conversation prompts to get you going:
- Who did you want to look like when you were in grammar school, if anyone.
- How much diversity was in your childhood world? Segregated?
- What picture books did you love…and those early novels, if any? Any black protagonists? Female?
- When you were friends, what magazines did you read? Who did you think was the prettiest? Why? .
- How did high school look? Cliques? Beauty? Who was the prettiest? Why?
- In twenties and thirties…who was your beauty ideal? Has that changed at you aged?
We want to hear from you! Let us know how you’re speaking about these issues with your friends. Let us know what topics you want to hear!
Email us at Lenya.Alexandra.BridgingtheGap@gmail.com
You can find us at: WomenBridgingtheGap.com
You can find Lenya at: Instagram – @Lenya_ goddess_ that_bitch