beautiful girls

Princeton Professor Imani Perry discusses black beauty and the Ms Universe pageant:

“As a Black woman, for centuries now, flesh like my flesh has carried the burden of presumed inferiority. Black women have been cast as hypersexual or desexualized, always available yet undesired, ridiculous and often ugly, the mules of the world. Notwithstanding a few beauty icons, public figures, and celebrities, these stereotypic representations are still common. And perhaps this is why the fantasy of a beauty culture that includes Black women has so much allure. Fantastic images of Black women who are desired yet untouchable, pristine, flawless, and admired, lie so contrary to how we have been cast throughout history. And that feels kind of good.”

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About jennifer williams

Jennifer D. Williams is a writer and professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies. She has published in academic journals and online at, PopMatters, among other sites. Jennifer is currently working on a book that looks at black women's urban literature between the Depression and the civil rights era.

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