via Jamila of CollegeCurlies;
Hey y’all. A fellow blogger brought this up on a forum, and I wanted to ask y’all what you thought.
“Had a great conversation with a friend yesterday about women, beauty, and self love. I’m not knocking this, but there are so many style, beauty, hair, and gossip blogs. There are not many that have to do with what matters on the inside. Are we hurting ourselves by focusing on the superficial facade instead of helping the woman beneath the surface?”
What do you think?
Great point but I feel that many hair and beauty blogs, including or especially this one take into account the whole person.
I think there is a balance, there was a point in my life where I became so wrapped up in work that I had pretty much stopped taking care of myself ( barring to look just acceptable). Eventually I got into beauty blogs, natural hair care & skin care blogs while recovering and spending time doing the regimens, researching etc. helped get me back into a routine of self-care ( inside & out).
This is a great point. Personally, I think my natural hair journey is actually helping me on the inside. Many woman, including myself, have focused on the external for so long. I think our community and history are correlated with that. Nonetheless, I think there should be more blogs about issues affecting us. Let's get it started.
The things that matter on the inside tend to be a bit more personal and therefore more difficult to discuss in a one-size-fits-all manner. A dozen different people know a dozen different ways to fix my frizz, but only I know what's at the root of my personal issues. I'm of the opinion that attempting group-therapy by blog often comes out trite and missing the point. Without truly knowing someone, all you have are platitudes. This is why we seek out personal advice from friends and co-workers, rather than that lady you passed on the street.
I also believe that what can appear to be superficial concerns can lead into more serious issues. Beauty blogs aren't always solely about beauty; often they discuss beauty standards in our culture. Talking about natural hair can lead to a discussion of beauty standards for women of color can lead into a discussion of how to cope with living in a world that doesn't see you as beautiful. Discussion of where to find cute plus-sized clothing can lead to the same. Discussion of new exercise regimes can lead to a discussion of why you're exercising and do you really need to lose the weight or is that just what the people around you are telling you to do? Even discussions of make-up can lead to discussions of how much make-up you wear and why you wear it and do you wear it because you feel you need to or because you want to, etc.
You can go to a lot of deep places with discussions of beauty, and personally I'm more interested in those discussions than I am in an online edition of "Chicken Soup for the Negress Soul" or whatnot.
The internet is a BIG place, so I say it's up to us to go where we are most fulfilled and suits our purposes. I think it's okay to focus on physical appearance, because it should eventually lead you to improve other areas of your life, including the inside.
I believe many women of color especially, are notorious for placing greater emphasis on physical appearance, than inner wellness. How often do we hear statements such as, "I take good care of myself." followed up with only talk of hair and nail appointments? Self-love (which starts on the inside and radiates outward) insists on a condom, seeks [legal] wife status, as opposed to settling for years of casual dating, or being a baby mama, and most importantly has vision and purpose. Sorry ladies, but many of us simply aren't there yet. And we're doing ourselves a disservice if we are ONLY looking to achieve a fly twist-out, while remaining depressed, insecure, and negative.
I feel like people wouldn't go to those blogs. That's a funny assumption since people love self-help books, but I feel if you're going to be a motivational speaker or teach someone to have self esteem people are going to want you to have credentials.
I have a new blog called www.whatisthedresscode.blogspot.com
Basicly, it about how what you wear to work can effect how you fill on the inside, self esteem etc. I particular felt the need to start this based on the correlation between self-esteem and attire. Expecially in the workplace many people are unhappy and you can tell by the wardrobe. I believe that if you look good you feel good. Sometimes people are going threw hell in their personal lives and something as simple as a new hair cut or dress could make a huge difference. Anyways,the blog is fairly new, but I would love for you all to join, post, and help spread the word.
Thanks in advance
"Personally, I believe that there are a multitude of blogs that focus mainly on beauty and don't take the time to put any emphasis on the beauty within. I am more interested in a blog that values and appreciates the individual who, like myself, have come to love and appreciate their natural God-given beauty and who have also come to accept their person within. Since I became natural, my life has taken new shape. I not only accept the outside, but I'm also taking the time to develop and make better the inside as well. So, in conclusion, I do agree. I end with a personal quote of mine, "Beauty on the outside is just something that will pass away, but as long as you have something within to offer, you'll place an imprint on someone's heart or mind that may last forever.""
I have started my own website in Spanish about natural hair and the truth is that although the topic at hand is hair, it is much more than that. In my case particularly, I see the process of going natural and staying natural as an act of self love and acceptance. Like Shelli mentioned, these feelings more often than not will increase our self-esteem and when we love ourselves we will make better decisions, from using a condom to deciding to go back to school. I see these sites as a place as facilitators of the process, a place to become inspired, motivated etc. Sometimes we do get a little caught up in the products and the hairstyles, but this is because being natural is not normal yet, I feel like when it becomes socially ok for women to wear their natural hair these kinds of site will perhaps become less popular. I am currently living in the Dominican Republic where you can't even get employed with natural hair, so these sites aka supports group of women who are doing their thing and are natural is totally needed. I also think these spaces are great for networking, meeting people that are experiencing similar things. I loved this question and love the dialogue!
I'm a firm believer in the principle that when you feel good on the outside, you feel better on the inside. I love "What Not to Wear" and "The Biggest Loser" because you see people change on the inside and regain their esteem, confidence, motivation, etc. when they realize that they are beautiful. I think Nikki's site is about how taking care of one's hair can lead to taking care of oneself. So many naturals find themselves embracing all kinds of changes to their lifestyles and it starts with going natural. Also, I'm participating in the NC.com, CN presents Kim Cole's GOC and so many of the women who set hair goals also set faith, fitness and health goals and used the GOC to share so many things about their inner selves and their journeys to growth in life, not just growth in hair. So, I disagree with the presumption that hair sites are only focusing on outward appearance. I believe they are multi-dimensional and one only has to read to see how much sites with an outward appearance of "superficial" concerns are really far beyond skin deep.
I do agree that we live in a superficial society. As women we are thought as early as we can walk that we are defined by our beauty and our intelligence should be silenced. Majority rules and what the majority desires are beauty, fashion, and gossip!
I think there's a place for everything. If we feel there is a need for more sites that focus on the inside, we should be the change we want to see and create blogs and that incorporate these concepts in them.
I would agree, if that's ALL you focus on you're doing yourself a disservice. The internet is huge, and I know for a fact that there are a great many blogs etc., that focus on working on the inside. Off the top of my head I can think of a frequent contributor to CurlyNikki – GG from Peace, Love & Pretty Things – a blog that does a good job at doing a little bit of both!
That said, I think there is something also valuable about helping individuals see, appreciate/value/take pride in, the beauty of what is on the outside – that, IMO, works wonders on the inside.