The video by Ligali is a timely reminder of the battles faced by black people wanting to underline their beauty in a world that is supposed to be equal but yet rarely seeks to show us this in mainstream media, except for the booty shaking in many a shameless music promo.
Apparently, beauty is only skin deep, only the thickness of skin but is it really when so many things in life are seemingly defined by it, even its mere presence giving so many things meaning and importance. Just as Helen of Troy in the ancient greek myths was said to have had a face that launched a thousand ships, you realize how even now we still haven’t progressed far from that ideal and how the foundations of our modern life is still based on the predilection of the beautiful. We seem enthralled, seduced and bullied by it.
In this modern age the ‘beauty’ of the celebrity hordes have the power to affect our daily lives, obscuring their own complete lack of real substance. It can even stretch beyond death, as the emotional wretch of heartbreak and loss for beloved figures like Princess Diana or Whitney Houston are as much due to the death of their beauty, as to their worthy deeds.
But is there a single common denominator of beauty, a universal measure that objectively takes into account all the differences and cultures of all the races of the world? If an alien were to come down to earth and compile a composite of the beautiful, would many object if the composite man looked like George Clooney rather than Jay Z? Or that the woman looked more like Gwyneth Paltrow rather than Ophra Winfrey? Could that alien really be to blame for expressing a prejudiced version of beauty if that is what it sees being represented wherever it looked, a white standard of beauty, despite the fact that white people make up an increasing minority in the world. This fascistic version of beauty with its multi-million pound markets in support are all encompassing, even effecting those who you would assume would be free of its grip. It actually seems no one is truly free.
So where is the blackness in the beauty equation? Where is the kinky hair, the sphinx nose and the big burger lips without the collagen injections? In other words, Where are we? With videos such as Beauty Is it can be seen that we are definitely here and that there is an alternative, EQUALLY valid equation of beauty and value that we can look to and is right for us. Perhaps that is the real equation of beauty…to know that we are.