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Curly Nikki

Standard of Beauty Double Standard?

By January 27th, 202172 Comments
Standard of Beauty Double Standard?
By: Dr. Phoenyx Austin

A few weeks ago I came across a video clip from an episode of “Toddlers and Tiaras.” The clip showcased a little white girl who talked about her desire to be “brown” like Beyonce. You can watch the video below:

Now after watching this video, I scrolled down to the comments section and read a wide array of commentary on how “cute” the video was and how “happy” many women were that the standard of beauty was now “reversing.” I must admit that I also smiled during the video- and even shared it with friends.

And while I can understand a certain level at elation that many black women must feel at someone, namely a white person, now praising and even envying our beauty the way many of us have praised and envied theirs (think about how we jumped up for joy when the New York Times featured natural hair), I soon found myself wondering if describing this video as “cute” was actually being a bit hypocritical.

I use the word hypocritical because if this were a little black girl doing the same thing- raving about a white celebrity, trying to lighten her skin, and carrying on about wanting to be “white,” would we be as elated? Would we still find this to be as “cute?”

I have had countless discussions with and observed many black parents who expressed concern and even distress when their black child/children wanted to imitate white celebrities or have so-called “white features.” And I have emphasized the importance of exposing little black girls to images of beauty that are representative of them.

But ironically, in this video clip the white mother doesn’t seem to be that concerned about her daughter developing a “complex.” In fact, she is actually quite supportive of her daughter’s desire to be “brown.” She buys the little girl black Barbies, takes her to get spray tanned, and indulges her.

And many of us watched the clip and smiled.

But would this video have been so acceptable to us if it featured a black girl wanting to be “white?”

And if the answer is “no”, then why did so many black women find this video to be “cute?”

Did you find this clip to be “cute?” And if you did, do you think that indicates a certain level of hypocrisy or a standard of beauty double standard?

Discuss!
If you’d like to send a comment/question to Dr. Phoenyx Austin, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Dr. Phoenyx is a writer, media personality, and physician.

72 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    I do think that it is great that the mother is accepting of her little one's rather peculiar affinity for dark skin. Kids generally don't see the world and race relations the way adults do, so there really isn't a need to get into the deep socio-racial implications of her little affinity (if there are any) until the girl is older. This is probably a benign little quirk that she'll grow out of and really laugh at (or cringe in mortification) in about 10 or 15 years ("Remember how I wanted to be black so I could look like Beyonce, Mom"). But the little girl's wanting to look like Beyonce is a helluva lot more welcoming than her wanting to look like Snooki… ewww… Hopefully, she won't take it that far when she gets older. 🙂

    From my one insignificant perspective, though, the only thing that I might find hypocritical about black people finding this white girl's wanting to have darker skin cute while possibly decrying the reverse scenario (black little girl wanting light/fair skin) is this: I'm a nice shade of dark brown sugar, and over the last couple of years I have stumbled upon a really interesting beauty treatment called spray tanning. Every time I mention to a black person that I want to get/need a tan, I get the perplexed look with the question: "Why? Why would you want to be darker?"

    This isn't a bad thing, per se. We black folks have learned to love ourselves in whatever shade and hue we may come in, so questioning why I should want to change myself is a good thing. Unfortunately, however, some in the black community believe that only fair/light skin is worth pursuing (apparently, I have it all backwards). I get the impression sometimes that most of us do not want to be any darker than we already are, as if we could ever be too dark. We like darker skin on other people, but not on us, heaven forbid. The idea of wanting to deepen/darken one's complexion, for some black people that I have talked to, is anathema… almost like opting for naturally kinky, instead of straight, hair… That we would think it acceptable for white people to covet darker skin but never covet darker skin for ourselves is a little odd (but, again, that may be a function of our accepting what nature intended).

    This isn't to suggest that we should tan like white people or encourage our kids to be darker (though given the alternative of skin bleaching, it might not hurt). Personally, while I do hate the spray tanning process (like getting a cold shower… that little girl held up a helluva lot better that I do when I get tanned… I wanna cry), Christ on Toast, if it doesn't get my complexion poppin!!! While I am brown, my undertone does get a little pale and pasty from being an indoors cat, and a nice tan 1-2 shades darker/deeper does make me glow really beautifully (even my white, Republican boss even complimented one of my tans). Airbrush tanning: a very wonderful invention of the 20th century to make people darker. This was a bit late and broadly tangential, but I thought I'd mention it, only because, oddly, I can identify with a little girl wanting "darker" skin…

  • Yirssi says:

    I think that this is like saying "there is no blatant racism, so we all have it equal now, and therefore all races should achieve things equally." No, we don't. Racism is still alive, and institutionalized racism affects us all. So no, until things are equal (the standard of euro centric beauty is the one MOST coveted) we won't be hypocrites for finding this cute.

    And it WAS cute. And I love how her mother doesn't seem to be one of those crazy moms who push the tiaras on their daughters. As a matter of fact she seems like she wants to let her daughter be whoever she wants to be (even brown!).

  • Anonymous says:

    I actually saw this episode, and as someone stated before the little girl does love all shade of "brown." She even went up to a dark-skinned (and very beautiful) contestant and told her how pretty she was. All her dolls don't look like Beyonce, they are BLACK. With that said I do think the little girl just truly admires AA features, the problem is she should be able admire traits from different ethnicity and still be able reassured that she is beautiful as well. When I was younger I really loved redheads, I thought the hue of their hair and the freckles to match was to die for. My mom always told me yes baby they are pretty,but you are even more beautiful. That stuck with me to this day.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't think this video is cute, in fact I was a little disturbed by the fact that her mother would allow her to get spray tanned at 4 years old. I also think as a mother she should try and teach her daughter just as we should teach ours to love themselves as God made them and not desire to be like someone else even if we like their music or whatever they do for a living. I also don't think that she should be such a big fan of Beyonce at 4 and I know people who will dissagree with me but I don't see Beyonce as a good role model for any young girl to want to imulate.

  • SB372 says:

    I think everyone is forgetting the fact that this girl is four years old, and the fact that Beyonce is black has nothing to do with anything. The girl wants to be brown because Beyonce is brown. Beyonce is her idol and she wants to look like her. I dont think this girl is actively thinking in her mind, "Oh i want to look like a black girl." She's idolizing a celebrity and I honestly think it has nothing to do with race. If a little 4 year old black girl wants to have blonde hair like Britney Spears, is it because she hates herself and wants to look white? No. She's FOUR. She wants to relate to her favorite artist and that's the only way she knows how. It's adults projecting these ideas onto our children.

  • Anonymous says:

    It is not so much that the little girl wanted to be brown, but the fact that the mother feed into this issue. Not once did i hear, you look beautiful in the skin that your in. That was my whole issue. I would have a problem if my child said she wanted to be lighter because she wanted to look like Hannah Montana. What is the difference?

  • Anonymous says:

    And I thought that JonBenet (sp) was way out, but this is obscene. Where is Dr. Phil? Momma needs a wake-up call.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm actually surprised someone would consider Beyonce "brown".

  • Anonymous says:

    honestly, i don't know why any black person would see this as cute. For us, it is still a struggle accepting ourselves. We still deal with the light skin/dark skin and "good" hair stuff that stems from a Eurocentric standard of beauty for many, many, many years. When whites are getting tans, perming their hair, getting butt implants, lip injections, etc. it isn't flattering for me to see that. Whites like to take what doesn't belong to them and make it
    own as if they always had it. I wasn't around for this but I read and heard about Bo Dereck in the movie "10" and the cornrow braids she wore. Sistahs were not flattered b/c Bo got credit like she invented them.
    I feel sorry for this little white girl. She needs to like herself in a balanced way. I also feel sorry for us for the same reason, but also because we call this cute.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow! I didn't find this "cute." I thought it was ironic and kind of sad.

    Ironic because it's a little white girl wishing she had brown skin and looked like a black women. So often we hear tales of little black girls wishing they were lighter.

    Sad, because, this was an opportunity for the mother to teach her daughter to love herself just the way she is and she missed it. It's funny how people like to blame the media/society for women (adults/teens/children) having low self-esteem, however I've always felt that self-love and self-acceptance is something learned at home. This was the perfect opportunity for this mother to teach her daughter to like herself and not spend her life coveting something she'd never have. She could have taught her that it's ok to admire someone else's beauty but that she should still see the beauty in herself. Instead she took her to get a tan.

  • Anonymous says:

    @anon 6:18, it's not too late to apply to medical school. At best do a one year refresher to prepare yourself for the MCATs. Or you could consider a D.O. program, if you feel that your skills are not up to par for an M.D. one.

    BTW: I don't care where my doctors have attended school, because to practice they would need to be board certified. If they can't pass the test, they won't be qualified to practice, and that goes for Harvard and any medical school from coast to coast.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anon 6:18 I hope you got the attention you were so desperately seeking. I implore you to seek help and then maybe you can get real life friends and not feel the need to come to a blog and try to tear down another human being who as far as we know has done absolutely nothing to deserve your venom. Here's an idea for you: Why don't you start your own blog and you can give your ideas on when it's proper to assert titles and such.

  • Anonymous says:

    @6:18- You're clearly jealous, bitter and just an all around jackass.
    And FYI, Meharry (get the spelling right you fool) is a fantastic institution that has produced incredible physicians and alumni.

    I know your mouth must be feeling a bit salty after being all up under Dr. Phoenyx's nuts. So here's a list of some of those incredible docs for you to reference while you take a few more sips of your haterade.

    Dr. Audrey Manley- Deputy Surgeon General of the United States, 1995–1997.

    Dr. Edward S. Cooper- President of the American Heart Association

    Dr. Sandra Gadson- Former President of the National Medical Association

    Dr. Emily F. Pollard, M.D., FACS- noted plastic surgeon, "TOP Doctor" in Philadelphia Magazine, appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show

    Dr. Charles V. Roman- President of the National Medical Association. Author of A History of Meharry Medical College
    Dr. E. Anthony Rankin- Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at Providence Hospital & Founder of Rankin Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Second Vice President of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
    Dr. Willie Adams, Jr.- Mayor of Albany, Georgia

    Dr. Billy Ray Ballard, MD, DDS- First African American Board Certified Oral Pathologist, Previous Chair for the AAMC Group on Student Affairs; Former Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Dean of Students and Admissions, UTMB Galveston Medical School

    Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda- President of the Republic of Malawi

    Dr. Reginald Coopwood- CEO of the Metropolitan Nashville Hospital Authority

    Dr. Cleveland W. Eneas, Sr.- Senator, Government of The Bahamas. Author of The History of The Class of 1941 of Meharry Medical College

    Dr. Robert Walter Johnson- Tennis Instructor for Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, Physician and Educator

    Dr. John E. Maupin- President of Morehouse School of Medicine

    Dr. Louis Christopher Pendleton- dentist and civil rights leader in Shreveport, Louisiana

    Dr. Walter R. Tucker, Jr.
    Former Mayor of Compton, California

    Dr. Reuben Warren- Associate Director for Minority Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Dr. Charles H. Wright- Founder of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

    Lorenzo Raymond Sylvanus Nelson, M.D.- Regimental Surgeon, Major, Medical Corps, 366th Infantry Regiment, 5th Army, World War II, grandson of Lorenzo Dow Key, M.D., 1878 and great-grandson of Hillery Wattsworth Key, D.D., Trustee, Walden University.

    Jeanne Spurlock, M.D.- noted Psychiatrist, Chairman of Department, Meharry Medical College (1968) and Department of Neuropsychiatry, Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois; Fellow, American Association of Psychiatry

    Dr. Carl C. Bell, M.D.- Community Psychiatrist, International Researcher, Academician, Author, President/CEO

  • Anonymous says:

    @6:18 status:

    Harvard isnt the best medical school. U would know that if u actually done your research. There are copious doctors who went to Meharry/Howard (other HBCUs) and are higly successful. Students at Meharry also have to pass all the USLMEs (Have you ever of that term before?)just like other students at other medical schools. In additional, where you go for residency is extremely important than where u attended Med school.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow…… somebody didn't get into medical school o_O #Bitter

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't understand why there are grown, intelligent Black women who are happy a little White girl wants to look like a Black woman who looks White. And want to think it's a new trend, to boot. Is our self esteem this messed up?

  • Anonymous says:

    Ya I've had plenty of white friends come up to me and say "oh my goal this summer is to get as dark as you." Now I don't know if that's a compliment or an insult, but like someone stated previously its absolutely fine for a white girl to get tan. That doesn't mean that they get treated as if they are a black person. Its like they want the skin but would rather leave the racism and prejudice aside. Now when some black people wish they had lighter skin its most often that they admire it because they want to be treated as white.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, you're an idiot. I really can't say I expect much from most of the commenters from this site, however I will humor you. Implying that I have an inferiority complex for pointing out that it is grossly incorrect and contrived to be using her title in an arena not pertaining to her profession is somehow a manifestation of my passive aggression and envy of doctors is laughable. Not only laughable, it's irrelevant.

    This is a right or wrong situation, she's talking about hair, not her profession so introducing her title into this arena is incorrect. Has that somehow managed to elude the lot of you? It seems so, but stay with me now, you might thank me later.

    I laugh. For god's sake she went to Meharray for her MD, not Harvard. Seriously, that school will take anyone. Graduate undergrad and get a minimum of a 24 MCAT (which is low) and they'll snap you up in a heartbeat especially since it's an HBCU. Barely deserving of being called a Medical College.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anon #3:00 and 5:50
    So you write:
    "This is a bloody hair blog, not a cardiology clinic."
    Interesting point…
    And last time I looked, Dr. Phoenyx IS talking about hair and topics related to it. But YOU want to obsess about doctors, and lawyers, and bears, oh my!!
    LOL!
    If there's anyone who is off base or suffering from a "supreme inferiority complex," it's clearly YOU and not the doc.

  • Anonymous says:

    @ anon #3:30 and 5:05 take that argument to Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz. According to your mean spirited argument the televsion is not an academic or medical setting.

    From a future Ed.D.

  • Toybox Playground says:

    I most definitely agree that there is a double standard. Unfortunately it's not a simple thing to fix. I have 4 kids and I don't mind what they want, I just don't want them disowning any part of them in lieu of another. My girls want "flat" hair and I made it a strong point to stress that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with their hair the way it is. After I cut my hair and went natural things were easier in that regard. I do think the video was cute but not necessarily because she wanted to be brown, but her enthusiasm and innocence. My girls play with dolls of any race but I always try to make sure they're not picking a toy simply because it is one color or isn't. With my husband being White and myself Black, I think it's extremely important to be diverse.

    That being said, I try not to bristle when my girls say they want to be one way or another. After all it seems it's just a grass is greener thing. I do think it speaks volumes that now it is acceptable or even encouraged for a White child to say she wants to be brown. We have a niece who said she wanted to be brown like my girls. Kids are curious and are more sensitive to the differences. Maybe in her mind, being beautiful is tied up with being brown and having Beyonce's qualities because that's who she likes. We all want to imitate those that we admire.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that the difference between this little white girl and a little black girl that wanted to lightened her skin to be white, is that it didn't seem to come from a place of self-hate, or loathing. This girl just seemed to idolized Beyonce, and therefore wanted to look like her.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am aware she has an MD. Thus in my first posting I have made the distinction that it is utterly incorrect to refer to yourself as Dr So and So in settings that aren't relevant to your profession. This is a bloody hair blog, not a cardiology clinic. If she doesn't know this, then it would be to her own chagrin.

    I mean, it's baffling. Do people spend 8 years in school to become a physician in order to wear it on their forehead so everyone will know their profession, or do people spend 8 years in school to apply medical science? I have a feeling for a lot of black people, it's the former and it's a little disconcerting people spend all that time training in order to become a physician for superficial reasons.

    The argument that goes "they did x amount of years of school, why not just call them a doctor?" I absolutely refuse to call anyone a doctor if I am not addressing relevant parties in a Medical or Academic setting. That's as gracious as I get with the superficial title.

    Lawyers go to school for 7 years, are they to be referred to as doctors as well for consolation of the amount of years required in their training? Of course not. And I hope you are aware that they hold a Juris Doctor, but it's absolutely unheard of to refer to one as Dr So and So.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wait, wait, wait a moment Anon 3:30/4:13, why did you feel the need to tear someone down on a post about self acceptance! Dr. Phoenyx Austin is listed as a writer, media personality, and a physican so, one, I would assume she has a MD and not a Ph.D. Two how is that any different from Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew, or another person giving out advice in media. And last time I checked both of them were white calling themselves Dr. Where is the complex you stated? Please take your negativity elsewhere.

  • Anonymous says:

    @ Anon 3:52

    Yes, they have. In academic or medical settings among colleagues, peers, and students. It's actually considered VERY incorrect, etiquette-wise, to refer to people who have PHDs as Doctors in any situation that is not academic.

  • Anonymous says:

    i have posted this before:
    People is always quick to call somebody racist but sometimes you forgot what you say yourself may be racistic too. not anything here but if the girl had been black this would have made many mad and concerned but now poieple think it's sweet, she is a sweet girl but i think it's sad to see a beautifull girl like her go and get spray tan she's not even teenager yet and that she dont accept her look as it is. Her mother should get her to love the way she look without spray tanning and stuff. but i have to add that i love how open minded the little girls is.

  • Anonymous says:

    @ Anon 3:20- Getting a PhD takes a hell of a lot of schooling. As far as I'm concerned they've earned the right to be called Dr.

  • BIg Hair Do Care says:

    I completely agree with the last comment. The little girl is trying to look like Beyonce who is basically (not to hate on Beyonce) a white barbie dipped in caramel. She has so few black features that it is easy to understand why I white girl feels like she can emulate her. I will cheer when a little white girl idealizes Lauren Hill circa 96 or Jill Scott circa 2001.

  • Nia says:

    This is a gooooood topic! I definitely smiled when I watched it but because it was something I've never seen before. I've never seen a child (white or black) pray to be brown or choose black barbies over white barbies. I also loved that the mother seemed so accepting. But I do realize that if this were a black child praying to be white or buying white barbies it would be sad because of the history behind all of that. I don't feel hypocritical for being tickled by this video because it gives me hope that we're moving in a better direction. That white won't be the ideal for everyone but that everyone will have their own preference. Some black girls may like white dolls, some may like black dolls and some may prefer the ones in between and it won't have anything to do with self-hatred or white supremacy…it'll just be a choice.

  • Anonymous says:

    The Esthetician posted a very real comment!! it is very true that this girl will is unlikely to contiune this love for tanned skin and desire to look like Beyonce because this society does not encourage it. Black girls are encourage to adhere to european beauty and unfortunatly not all of us grow out of it. I think that is the major difference between the two.

    Also to look like Beyonce is really not that difficult for the child to aquire. Of what I see of Beyonce today it would be a longer process for me (a black woman) to look like Beyonce – my hair texture, colour would have to change, my figure, my skin tone would all have to drastically change too. So thats not really a biggy, Beyonce is more white in that reguard – I think that is proably why the mum isnt really bothered about it all.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't understand why someone would insist on being addressed as Doctor outside of an academic or medical setting. Perhaps because they have a supreme inferiority complex which compels them to wear their degree around their neck at all times in order to convince themselves and others of their self worth?
    Call it shade, call it whatever you want, but I notice it's mostly only black people who do this. Can someone maybe explain this to me?

  • Anonymous says:

    This is a fantastic post and one that has really got me thinking – I appreciate that. Ill come back when I think I have collected all my thoughts on it 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Let's be honest, black women are the least desirable compared to women of all other races *on average* so any female of another race somehow desiring to have black features will serve as validation for black women's beauty which is constantly being represented as last compared to other women

    Furthermore, Beyonce is hardly what I would call black. She is a woman of mixed race and does not look like the average black woman, I doubt this little girl is aspiring to be equally look like a Kelly Rowland or some West African woman.

    To answer your question, it is hypocritical promote black envy and detract from white envy. I personally don't give a fuck if a white or black girl want to be something they're not, it's really not my business.

    -Xiomara

  • LM says:

    another note i'd like to add is that i think these pageants are ridiculous,anyway. little girls should not be flouncing around on stage in makeup and skimpy clothing. give them a book to read or a jigsaw puzzle or something..sheesh!

  • LM says:

    i wasn't able to view the video, because it wouldn't load for me so it don't quite know the extremity of it. I'm just going by what i've read so far on the post. in my opinion, this little girl wanting to be black is just a phase, sort of like little girls wanting to be princesses and little boys wanting to be cowboys and robots. since the dominate culture is white and, as she gets older, she will most likely be surrounded by girls of her own race, i believe this phase will end. i would also like to add that, although i like that the mother is indulging in what her daughter likes, tanning the child is a little extreme. there are other healthier and more educational ways to indulge in her child's interests.

  • Ashley Jane says:

    This is kind of like comparing apples and oranges. Having brown skin has generally been excepted in society as being not attractive. The darker, the less attractive. If the standard of beauty is whiteness then at the very bottom or opposite end is blackness. The video of the little girl was cute because she was able to see the beauty in brown skin which is hard for even some black people to do. She went against a societal norm and viewed something that is normally represented as negative, and viewed it positively. She had such a postive view of brown skin that SHE wanted it. Black children wanting white features is sad because white is the societal standard of beauty that a black child cannot obtain. Black children learn that white is the most beautiful and black is not as beautiful and begin to internalize those negative thoughts. Now if the societal standard of beauty was that brown skin (African features) was most beautiful and white skin was not as attractive and this little girl wanted brown skin THEN that would be sad and not cute at all.

  • Anonymous says:

    White children this young should not be getting tans any more than black children this young should be getting relaxers.

  • Dionne M. says:

    I am a sixteen year old black girl of mixed ethnicity and I have to say that I am also guilty of smiling whilst watching this video because it is not everyday that you see a little white girl looking up to black culture and embracing our beauty. I agree with you when you said that usually we see little black girls acknowledging more of the white societies view of pale and colored eyed beauty but how often do we see it the other way around? My opinion is that the reason us black woman smile at this is because this is a chance to see that maybe societies views of beauty are beginning to change. Maybe people are beginning to look at beauty in different shades rather than in one simple race. We are a minority and we are barely included in fashion and in what people call "The world's ideal of a beautiful woman." White people are the ones who are mainly idolized when we look in magazines, watch television, go to fashion shows, or different countries. I have watched documentries in which little girls of different cultures such as Africa, Asia, and South America look more at white beauty because they feel it is more beautiful to have lighter skin and colored eyes and long flowing red, blonde, or brunette hair. I saw little girls in this documentary applying some kind of glue to their eyes in Asia that you use on your eye lids in order to make it wider to look more westernized. This appalled me. I know I'm getting a bit off track, but what I'm trying to say is that maybe at least once we should embrace the fact that we are being noted and admired for our skin and our beauty rather than turn the tables. There are hundreds of situations in which black girls wish they had lighter skin and different colored eyes or long flowing hair. But when do you ever see a white girl wanting darker skin, kinky hair, and bigger lips. (There's a lot of the wanting of bigger lips)…but..still…let's embrace it while we can because who knows when this will last.

  • Anonymous says:

    This ain't cute. It's cute she likes brown babies, but her mom really needs to buy her some white ones because she WILL have a complex.

  • Tracey Joy says:

    Not cute at all just like it wasn't cute for the grandma to sew in weave into to granddaughters head on this same show. The mother may like Beyonce music maybe style etc, Bey is popular and well received by people the world over, that's it no big deal. I had all shades of brown and white doll babies growing up, I saw people of all shades but I also knew that I wasn't them I was me. My mom told me that I wasn't them and to be happy to be me. I guess for the pageants, the stage lights and all that brown shows up better. I've seen other segments where white parents have the babies sprayed brown. I don't think that's right. As this baby grows up and see how brown skinned people the world over are treated and understand the world better will she still want to be brown? Perhaps…What happens when she wants to bring home a brown boy or have brown toned babies will mom be ok with that? Perhaps…Everyone no matter who you are or what shade your skin tone is be proud of who you are. Stop trying to be someone you are not. It's not healthy in anyway and should not be promoted.

  • Charley says:

    I watched the show as it aired and was more spellbound than elated. I felt the mother shouldn't indulge her child with tanning, whether it be for the pageant or day to day life. This little girl, like all little girls of all ethnicity, will envy a feature of someone else. It's the parents job to teach them that it wonderful to admire someone else's beauty but to also embrace the beautiful parts of themselves as well.

  • The Esthetician says:

    As a person who has worked with many white children (Used to teach), I used to see this all the time. The difference is that they (white children) grow out of it. Society makes sure of that. This little girl will have no lingering effects of self-hate (at least not on the same level has many black girls). She will begin to see the difference between the treatment of people with brown skin and she will realize that peach skin, even when tanned brown, is more valued in our society. Cute–yes–for a white child. Not cute for a black child because she might mean it (wanting to be light)for the rest of her life.

  • Anonymous says:

    interesting discussion!

  • Anonymous says:

    I never thought it was cute because this little girl does not have brown or tanned skin. I feel like the mom should encourage her to accept herself just as she is. Trying to be like something your not can be very distructive in various forms. Example, black women putting chemicals in the hair= alopecia, extremely thin hair and balding.

  • Kellistarr says:

    Hey, You Called It. It is hypocritical. Gives one something to think about. I think it's all about confidence and security. If you're raising your child to love themselves and their heritage and they express "love" for another race, so what! I think the Mom is right to handle it the way she does.

    As a child, I had nothing but white dolls, the black doll was rare. My mom just bought dolls, wasn't worried about the color and I didn't grow up wanting to change my color. Though, I've admired and admire many white women, I never wanted to be them.

  • MsDorsette says:

    @ Anon 9:40 Thanks for adding more perspective about the episode. I think the fact that she admired all shades of brown should probably tip her mom off to start teaching her about self-love. I think it's fine to admire someone else's beauty- I compliment women every day- but it's also very important to instill confidence and self love while she's so young.

  • Anonymous says:

    Definitely disturbed by this video, and mad at this mom for not encouraging self-acceptance… Maybe all pageant mom's are this creepy? But I will say there is absolutely nothing wrong with her having black doll babies. My niece has all different looking dollies and her favorite doll, since she was a wee thing, is a brown baby (my niece is Caucasian-American, unlike me.)

  • Anonymous says:

    oh that's really sad. I want all little girls to be happy with themselves and not to be burdened with acting like little women when they are 4-years old…. Heartbreaking.

  • Amber says:

    I don't know, it did strike me as interesting at first, not cute. Then it made me think of how what common features we have as black people are not desirable until a white people have it/want it. Full lips were not "in" until Angelina Jolie. Big butts weren't desirable until white women wanted them. Dark skin isn't wanted until white people want them. Kinky, curly hair isn't wanted until white women start wanting it.

    Why should I wait until they want what I have naturally? (Though for the record, I don't have a big butt naturally and I'm not trying to force what nature didn't give me)

    I don't think this woman should have indulged her daughter this way. Instead of focusing on the fact that Beyonce is brown, why not say, "Well, you can learn to dance and sing like Beyonce, that's why she's famous!" To me, emulating black music and dancing, when done right, is an homage I can accept. You don't change what you are on the outside, and different forms of expression are not (or should not be) limited to race.

    I just hope for the day when we all just love what we are naturally and appreciate what others are naturally without putting different people down and unduly elevating another set of people.

  • Anonymous says:

    I didn't think the video was cute at all. It was sad that the little girl is not satisfied and encouraged to love herself, as she is… And even less cute that her mom's wacky self is encouraging it. – Poeticlyspkng

  • G says:

    I don't think it's cute, I just think it's different from what we're used to seeing. This little girl also told another contestant in the pageant with her that she was pretty. The little girl was black.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with 10:16 I found it a bit disturbing. The mother being excIted about talking about it freaked me out, but then again she's probably proud of the fact her child isn't a racist. But as stated, The mother should be building her daughters self acceptance, while letting her know it's great to appreciate other beauties in other races.

  • Anonymous says:

    I find it ironic that she wants to be "brown like Beyonce" and it seems like Beyonce wants to be more white. Everytime I see her, the hair is bleached a little more blonde and she appears lighter and lighter in each video and advertisement. Unfortunately, there are many little black girls wishing they looked like Beyonce as well. Beyonce is not real, she has become what society deems beautiful. It keeps us in the mindset that if you're fair complected you can be sucessful and that you are more beautiful. I wish there was a top pop star out now that really was BROWN! While the innocence of the child is sweet and the mother is not phased by her desire to be brown, the reality is that she will never be a woman of color and will likely never face the discrimination, distate or snubs that the average Brown woman has faced on a daily basis.

  • G says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Anonymous says:

    It's a superficial show and maybe Beyonce is the ultimate definition of beauty in their house and that's all she sees on tv. That's why it's important for parents to monitor what your kids watch on tv because then they start to obsess or worship these celebrities. I didn't think it was cute at all the way mother tried to bait her child to tan by saying you want to be like Beyonce don't you? I can't ever imagine my mom forcing me or indulging me in some fantasy of being someone else. Parents are suppose to teach you to love yourself and be happy with yourself. All the kids on the show are running around in makeup and costumes to be someone else.

  • Anonymous says:

    Why are people still watching this train wreck of a show? Why are black people watching it? We are so behind as a people. We don't have time to care about whether or not we should be concerned about this video. Teach your own children to love who they are and work to be a great person. All of this other stuff is pointless. We have to work twice as hard to be accepted in this world. Why do we care about this?

  • Anonymous says:

    I think BGLH addressed this video as well. I completely agree with you. Just like every other little girl on the planet, she needs to learn to love herself as she is because she's beautiful as she is.

    Besides, they think this is cute NOW…but let's see what they think if she hits 16 and decides she only wants to date black boys, lol. She can't be brown herself, but she can sure make some brown babies (or try to)…and maybe they will follow in her kiddie pageant footsteps. Think of the money they'll save on tanning! lol

  • Anonymous says:

    Not to Diss Beyonce, because she is Beautiful and I'm a fan of hers, but if Beyonce took away the weave and donned her natural hair (Because she is natural.. she has beautiful kinks and curls)like her sister Solange and rocked it while performing… Would she then be the New standard of Beauty? She has watered down her look to fit an image of what America portrays as Beautiful. So then… I wonder, would the little girl want to be a Brown Girl then? .. Just a thought….

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't find it cute at all. I find it to be very disturbing. Just as I am disturbed by young black girls wanting to be white and wanting straight hair.
    There is nothing cute about any of this. Mother's need to teach their children to love what they see in the mirror. Black, brown, yellow, white and peach.

  • Nikia says:

    Its not cute at all. She should be taught to accept who she is and embrace other images of beauty as equal. Equality is the element missing here. There is no standard that supersedes another.
    If my daughter came to me and said she wanted to be blonde with blue eyes I'd be devastated. Not because being white is wrong, but because she's beautiful just the way she is.

  • kiki says:

    i think its a bit different because often from what i've seen the little black girl wants to be white because she feels that being black is ugly or wrong and not favored or desirable to others…whereas this "peach" girl from what i can tell in this short clip does not want to be brown because she thinks her color is ugly or undesirable…she just loves her some Beyonce and wants to look like her

  • Anonymous says:

    While I don't typically watch that show, I did watch that episode last month. Outside of wanting to be brown, I found the little girl to be cute because her personality reminded me of one of my younger cousins. At one point her mother stated that she literally prays that Jesus will turn her brown. I told myself that it's nice that she admires brown skin and features, but I hope her mother will help her to love her own features just as much because she is who she is, which is very cute. However, hoping and praying for her features to change is a bit disturbing.

    Just one other point to make. Beyonce's shade of brown isn't the only brown she admired. Later in the episode at the pageant, she walked over to a dark-skinned girl and told her how cute she looked.

  • Anonymous says:

    People is always quick to call somebody racist but sometimes you forgot what you say yourself may be racistic too. not anything here but if the girl had been black this would have made many mad and concerned but now poieple think it's sweet, she is a sweet girl but i think it's sad to see a beautifull girl like her go and get spray tan she's not even teenager yet and that she dont accept her look as it is. Her mother should get her to love the way she look without spray tanning and stuff.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with Anon 8:34. Let's face it, most of the time Beyonce looks like a slightly tanned white woman, especially in her advertisements. I'd have been more impressed if the girl wanted to look like India.Arie 😉

    On topic, I'm sure people find it "cute" because African Americans are not seen as a standard of beauty period especially in the eyes of white America. They acknowledge and put someone on a pedestal that has features typically attributed to African Americans, yet will not just go ahead and let an African American with those naturally given features shine. It's not hypocritical or a double standard to me. I just find it sad that we get excited about it.

  • Cocoa Curly Coils says:

    The video pulls the same emotions from me as did the video of the research with the little black girls with the dolls. Everyone has to learn self worth and how to love who they are no matter what the race. Her mother should not make it such a big deal because lets keep in mind that this is a child. In time and through a process she has to learn that its cool to admire Beyonce's looks and beauty but to also appreciate her own.

  • MsDorsette says:

    While the little girl is cute, nothing about the fact that she wanted to be brown was. I do appreciate that brown is deemed beautiful in her eyes and that women such as Beyonce are becoming a "standard." However, I found it a little disturbing because at some point I think that little girl's want to be brown may develop into some real issues- like those that develop in black women who aspire to an impossible standard. The funny thing is, many non-black women have had a "Brown complex" for years, this is just the first time that we see it developing so early and the first time we see a white mother indulging in it. What will happen when that little girl is 25 and has self esteem is issues over not being black? Or what happens when that 25 year old gets a spray tan and a black man and decides that she knows what it means to be black?

  • MsDorsette says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Anonymous says:

    The standard of beauty hasn't changed. Its always been acceptable for someone who is non african american to desire african american features, or a lighter skinned person to possess those features, but when an african american comes with those features already they are made to feel like they need to change. Just my opinion.

  • Anonymous says:

    It's Beyonce's role to generate crossover appeal, hence the flowing hair and whatever else she may adorn to appeal to other races. The parents of these little girls won't mind them wanting to be like Beyonce because of how she represents herself, essentially making them feel comfortable. Had it been some "afrocentric singer" this would not even be a discussion.

    I was wondering with the recent announcement of her pregnancy if she would adopt a more natural stance. Oh and while we're at it if the husband would cease using the "N" word and be a responsible parent. That would be an interesting double standard to observe.

    BTW the NY Times magazine recently had a great fashion spead and article with natural ladies (Esperanza / Solange etc.)

  • Anonymous says:

    The only people concerned with race are those that have to constantly confront it. Of course the white lady is not sweating the fact that her daughter wants to be brown…They tan all the time trying to get darker, but the difference is, they don't stay that way. Another fact is that no matter how much sun they get, how much they spend in spray tan salons, when they wake up in the morning, they're still white. When they sign an application for employment, they're white. They're race doesn't have to be faced with possible oppression on a daily basis. They know they're history, while ours is a stolen history. We have yet to discover our true paths! Taking on the challenge of going natural is only the beginning of our discovery of ourselves and our history!

  • sarah says:

    I don't think it's hypocritical. in order for it to be hypocritical, the standard models (how these girls would historically view their own beauty) would have to be balanced. but, since little black girls, in general, don't value their own brand of beauty and are inundated with the same eurocentric images of beauty as little white girls, seeing either one appreciate black beauty is… cute. We should encourage all to be more aware of black beauty, regardless of race. It's a rare thing to find, regardless of race.

  • Anonymous says:

    Dr. P, Dr. P, Dr. P! You nailed it. It is a double standard and I'm glad you put it 'out there'. I think this issue is indicative of how much pressure many blacks have with regard to our beauty, our culture, our society. If others are emulating it and we are 'ok' with it, then it's cool. We embraced Teena Marie because she 'sounded soulful and that made her one of us' — so if this little girl wants to look like us – then we're ok with it. Now, if there was a black artist that 'sounded white' we would be up in arms talking about it in a not-so-favorable light. "Who does she think she is?" I'm sure there were some white people who disliked the fact that Teena Marie 'sounded black' and gravitated to black culture – but I don't think their "voices" would have been as overpowering as our voices would be if the tables were turned… AND, if a little black girl getting ready for a pagent feared the sun because she wanted to look like Jennifer Aniston and her mother supported her and put on a blond hair piece as she struts her stuff on the small stage. Great post!

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