Articles on Identity and Intercultural Communication.
Regina E. Spellers: "Happy to be Nappy! Embracing an Afrocentric Aesthetic for Beauty."
Noting that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the author goes in to state her aim as to ask "how one takes an Afrocentric world view and moves from valuing mainstream standards of beauty to embracing a concept of beauty that evolves from one's personal ideology." (Page 52). The author goes on to elaborate on this theme to point out how social constructs and our creation of them under the influence of our cultural surroundings influence our thoughts and actions.
The example she chooses to indicate this is her own reaction to the way Afro Americans are expected to treat the way they wear their hair so as to conform as much as possible to white European standards, standards that reject and suppress what she calls the 'nappiness' of black hair, its tendency to be curly rather than straight, etc.
After discussing the often bothersome and even sometimes painful processes of ironing and other means to make black hair conform to the
white paradigm, she describes how these processes contribute to the atmosphere of oppression by forming a part of that very social and psychological conditioning that help to perpetuate it.
The effect of this conditioning is described by her as tending to encourage the development of a negative self image on the part of Afro Americans. Because of this, she points out this tendency to view something as seemingly unimportant and commonplace as the way one wears one's own hair as relating to negative social conditioning, she argues that the seemingly mere aesthetic considerations such as that which determines the value one places on the way one conditions one's hair have a cumulative effect on...