If you’ve ever flipped through a magazine or looked through snapshots of a runway show, chances are you’ve noticed the impossible standard of beauty set forth by the fashion industry. The perfect American woman, it seems, is a size 0 eighteen-year-old with legs tall enough to rival a giraffe’s. And 99 percent of the time, she also happens to be white. For those of us who deviate from the impossible norm (and that’s pretty much all of us), it’s easy to feel like we’ll never measure up. Yet a new study suggests that black women seem to be more immune than others to the images of Photoshopped perfection that surround us.
Allure recently conducted a survey of 2,000 readers across the country, and one of their findings caught our eye: black women are three times more likely than their white counterparts to rate themselves as “hot.” We were heartened by this news. Despite the way the media perpetuates the myth that white=beautiful, African-American women seem to be showing us that it’s possible to stay confident without conforming to someone else’s notion of what’s attractive. Of course, the survey was small and in no way conclusive, but it certainly got us thinking: how can each and every one of us stop judging ourselves so harshly and learn to embrace our own non-airbrushed beauty?