A Black Woman’s Beauty: Form & Substance!

In LIFESTYLE on July 18, 2008 at UTC.46.31.

“J. Morris Anderson first created and produced the Miss Black America pageant on Aug. 17, 1968 as a local Philadelphia area pageant to protest the lack of Black women in the Miss America pageant. Just four short years later, in Florida, Joyce Warner won Miss Black America in 1972.”

Indeed, women of color have a long history of competing and in some cases winning these contests. For example, last week the 58th Miss Florida USA beauty paegeant was held and the winner was a Black woman by the name of Anastagia Pierre. Pierre, a biology student at Nova Southeastern University beat out 47 other contestants among which 12 were black.

Historically, Black people have blazed trails, worked tirelessly to tear down the walls of discrimination in other genres, J. Morris Anderson did so with beauty paegeants. More importantly, these contests were long held bastions of one dimensional symbols of beauty and talent usually only afforded to white women to the exclusion of all others.

On the other hand, Miss USA is the latest paegeant to crown a black woman in their most recent contest. Pointedly, the others being Miss America and Miss Universe respectively. Vanessa Williams was the first African American woman to win the crown of the Miss America pageant in 1984. In 1990, Carole Gist won the Miss USA pageant becoming the first African American woman to win that beauty contest.

“Pierre joins the legacy of Black woman who competed in the USA major pageant system, starting in 1960 when Corrine Huff of Ohio was the first Black woman to compete in Miss USA. In 1964, Dorothy Johnson of Idaho went a step further, becoming the first Black woman to make the semifinals at Miss USA.”

These women are pioneers, in so much that, they are first hand burden bearers of “Jim Crow” racism, yet they still had the fortitude to break from the accepted standards of beauty and compete. Can you imagine what that must have been like being one out of many competing in a competition most didn’t think you had any busines being in to begin with? Still, these women stood up and their inner-beauty shone through the bigotry, and prejudices to not only (in some cases) win the contest, but win the self-respect coming from the equality that was captured with their historic presence. Which in turn created a path for other young black girls to follow and one day eradicate the prejudices that beset the American public.

According to Kristen White, the current Miss Black USA; “There are so many images out there that depict us in a negative light, especially on TV. For example, the media is trying to ‘remake’ Michelle Obama’s image as if there is something wrong with who and what she is. I met her when I first won the title and that was a historic moment for me,” White exclaimed.

In addition, she states; “The media tries to make us not appreciate the skin we’re in. It attempts to make us want to conform and try to fit a mold. In organizations like Miss Black USA, we can be who we are and still be considered beautiful, intelligent and equal.”

The rest of America is just starting to bear witness to what Husbands, Fathers, Brothers, Cousins and Uncles have always known: African American women like all Black women are the most phenomenal, finest, most sensual and alluring women in the world. Now, the stage is set for all to witness her glamour, appeal, and beauty in form and substance!

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  2. I noticed that this is not the first time you mention this topic. Why have you decided to write about it again?

  3. B/c there can’t ever be enough accolades for the mystic that is the Nubian woman! In addition, b/c media (print, video, viral etc) shuns her standard of beauty & iconic nature. I feel it poetic justice to Right that wrong by writing my songs/tones about her…

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