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?