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09 February 2019 @ 08:24 am
What’s the ugliest part of your body?  
Beauty as white supremacism [Wear Your Voice]
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Elenbarathi: Abandon hopeelenbarathi on February 9th, 2019 09:47 pm (UTC)
Meh. It's true that it is inappropriate for a teacher to make personal remarks of any sort about a student's appearance. It's also true that that was a mean thing to say to a young girl, because they're almost all obsessed with being Pretty Enough, and hypersensitive to any suggestion that they're not.

Nevertheless, "You don't look like Beyonce" is pretty small potatoes as put-downs go, because nobody but Beyonce looks like Beyonce, and even Beyonce doesn't really look like Beyonce. It's not the end of the world. I mean, hello, I don't look like Michelle Pfieffer, but I've been able to bear up under that knowledge somehow.

White supremacism sucks, and the beauty industry also sucks, but it does not therefore follow that the two are closely related, or even necessarily related at all. The beauty industry has its historical roots in aristocracy/oligarchy - wealth supremacism - which functions much the same in racially-homogenous societies as it does in racially-diverse ones. Everyone in China is Chinese, but for a thousand years there, a woman was only considered beautiful if her feet were crippled, showing her upper-class status.