Are Willow Smith And Sesame Street Making A Difference In How Black Girls’ Beauty Is Perceived?

- By Bossip Staff Categories: A "Lil Positivity", Babies, Bangers

Willow Smith

NPR declared it “The Best Week Ever For Black Girls,” with “Sesame Street’s” ‘I Love My Hair’ skit grabbing headlines everywhere, and Willow Smith simultaneously holding court over pop culture with the debut of her “Whip My Hair” video. Both were worthy of celebration, signalling young girls to embrace being confident in who they are and how they look, but with so many other images out there sending mixed messages, we wondered if these are true signs of change, or just temporary fixes.

Essence Magazine also recently released their “Hot Hair Issue” with Monica on the cover, which paid homage to black hairstyles, short, long, natural and “enhanced,” making us wonder how willing black women — adult black women in particular — are to stop making improvements.

It also hasn’t escaped us that there are still other examples — for instance, Nene Leakes, going public with her plastic surgery details — that highlight how much black women continue to aspire to a certain standard of beauty. No matter how expensive it may be for our wallets and our psyches. In Nene’s case, she blamed her fast fixes on vanity, “I admit it; I’m vain.” But what was wrong with the nose God gave her? Was she inspired by magazine covers and the images on T.V. and in films?

We thought we’d open the floor for discussion, to see how the Bossip readers feel about black beauty. Should we all be striving for a Naomi Campbell or Halle Berry standard? Does a woman have to be more confident in who she is to rock a natural style over a weave? Or at the end of the day is it all about what works for us as individuals? Do you think Willow Smith and “Sesame Street” are making the world easier for our children to grow up with broad noses and kinky hair? Is black beauty as a whole more appreciated now than ever?

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Comments

  • Hannibal

    BLACK GIRLS SHOULD ALL BE STRIVING FOR A HALLE BERRY STANDARD, BECAUSE THE BLACK GIRL STANDARD NOW IS STILL HORRIBLE, GET IT TOGETHER SISTAS!

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    • mytwocents...

      i don’t have a white mother like Halle…

      she is biracial.

      this article is about black women.

    • Dean

      You got that right. It’s foolish for black girls to want to look like Halle Berry. She’s not black. She has a white mother and a black father. By definition that makes here biracial. We don’t want or need more of this self-hatred and love of LSLH (Light skin, long hair)–like a white woman or someone not black like Halle Berry–ligh, bright and nearly white. Wake up people!

    • Hannibal

      HALLE BERRY IS BLACK, JUST 50%!
      I BET NONE OF YOU COULD NAME ANY BLACK WOMAN OTHER THAN HALLE BERRY OR NIA LONG, WHO LOOKS GOOD WITHOUT WEAVE IN HER HAIR!

    • Gaii Gurl Shaii

      Erykah Badu.. India Arie.. Jill Scott.. Shall I continue listing more women who look good with out weave in their hair..

      I shall I live those 4 to make you look ignorant as you already do..

      hmmm..

      Ima leave it..

    • Gaii Gurl Shaii

      Typin to fast thought I wrote down Lauryn Hill..

  • Hannibal

    HALLE BERRY IS HALF BLACK SO TECHNICALLY SHE IS BLACK. DON’T GET MAD BECAUSE HALLE IS ONE OF THE FEW BLACK WOMEN WHO COULD LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT WEARING WEAVE IN HER HAIR!

    • http://whothehellisedenhansom.com Eden

      leelah james, janelle monae, sanaa lathan, thandie newton, kimberly elise, anika noni rose, keke palmer, alfre woodard, kerry washington, shall i go on?
      hannibal…ur negative view on woman of color is distasteful and saddening. i too consider halle berry a black woman but no need to insult the other women who read this website on a constant basis.

  • AHHHHHHHHSHADDAAAAP!!!!

    I think this kid and Mel B’s (Eddie Murphy’s) little muskrat were separated at birth.

    • wtf

      bwahahaha!

  • Ash

    We all, regardless of race, need to challenge standards of beauty in North America. Be it about race, body types, hair, lack of hair.. Anytime a kid gets to see something in art, media, song.. and feel good about who they are and see something that reflects them.. the world is a better place.

    • Tan

      @ Ash….I agree totally…

  • Mya

    I like that Willow has a song about whipping your hair regardless if other’s approve or follow you. If you can’t love yourself you’ll never feel complete and you’ll always look for someone or something to make you fill whole.

  • siyt

    where’s the knowledge i just dropped? i guess comments are finally getting approved. good.

  • News from the Home Planet

    Voting NO …Willow Smith and Sesame Street stand for two completely different things…Sesame Street is the more positive idea and example of self acceptance whereas Willow Smith is whipping processed hair and extensions before middle school which is…smdh…not my idea of a worthy example on so many levels…

    • postingunderdiffname

      SO TRUE. It’s ridiculous that a 9 year old is wearing weaves and wigs already. I know its all in the name of ‘entertainment’, but send her butt to school until she can at least drive herself to these auditions. She will be a better adjusted adult for it.

  • Brotherman

    The Fresh Princess!

  • Ck1

    CONFIDENCE is what matters the most, regardless if we are rocking our own hair or not.

    Also might I add that acting weird, or dressing out of the ordinary doesn’t show that you’re confident. It’s not what you are wearing or how you look, its how you feel about yourself in the inside. It will show.

  • Destiny34

    women of all races have self esteem issues… We all want what somebody else has… There only a small percentage of women on this earth who are truly content with the way they look… And its nice to meet a man who loves you for the real you and not for the body parts you buy… This is the land of superficiality and fake is the new real…

  • divalious

    its alright to wear weave, i personal use to wear it. But every now and then let your hair breath. Like tlc said in their song, u can buy your hair if it wont grow, u can fix your nose if they say so lol.

    • REALER TALK (Disposed of that Fake Nickel)

      YOU MISSIN THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!:

      “BUT IF…YOU CAN’T LOOK INSIDE YOU, FIND OUT WHO AM I TO…BE IN A POSITION TO MAKE ME FEEL SO…DAMN UNPRETTY”

      SMH, TRUER WORDS WERE NEVER SPOKEN.

  • REALER TALK (Disposed of that Fake Nickel)

    TELL ME BLACK WOMEN, DO YOU FEEL UNPRETTY TOO?

    IS THAT WHY YOU BURN YOUR SCALPS OFF AND SPEND HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS JUST TO GET SOMEBODY ELSE’S DISCARDED HAIR?

    DO YOU FEEL UNPRETTY TOO?

    • daisy jay

      what point are you trying to make? that blacks are the only ones damaging themselves to be pretty. yeah i’m gonna say it, other races do the same thing. what do you have to say to all the other races that tan? get plastic surgery? wear fake hair? please believe other races get relaxers too. you’d be surprised. yes, some blacks need to stop hating themselves and accept who they are, but so do all other races. we all share the same problems

  • Rock

    I personally think black women should embrace their black beauty and start sporting their natural hair. I used to wear braids, then weaves for the longest. I finally started wearing my own hair since December and it feels great. I’m not saying i’m against wearing fake hair. I just wish some people wouldnt go so crazy wearing 2 pounds of weave. And for the record, Halle has worn weaves before. She just happens to look better wearing her natural hair.

  • Bahiabeauty

    WHO CARES PEOPLE? iTS JUST HAIR. WE MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF THE SMALLEST THINGS. WOMEN ALL OVER THE WORLD CHANGE THEMSELVES TO FEEL MORE BEAUTIFUL. AND BTW, PERMS IN AFRICA ARE MORE POPULAR THAN IN THE US. SO IF YA WANNA PREACH ABOUT SELF ACCEPTANCE, START IN AFRICA! ASIAN WOMEN HAVE SURGERY TO CHANGE THEIR EYES, WHITE WOMEN CHANGE THEIR NOSES, GET BREAST IMPLANTS, BLACK WOMEN CHANGE THEIR HAIR OR NOSES…COME ON YA’LL…DONT TEAR EACH OTHER UP BECAUSE OF PHYSICAL THINGS…NOT COOL…PEACE TO ALL:)

  • wearin my natural

    I’ve worn weaves, rocked it bald and fried, dyed and laided to the side. Now I wear my natural hair. Its the healthest its been since I was 6. There’s nothing wrong with having your hair however you please. Since wearing it natural I get compliments from everyone. But there are exceptions. Its mostly other black women (with perms and weaves) who don’t like it. That being said; I did have to find extra confidence in myself not to get angry and start a hair debate. If you like your hair I love it! So slide to the side and embrace individuality!
    @ Hannibul- you are the weakest link. Goodbye!!!

  • Rachel

    Seasame Street has been a positive influence for our chilren for decades now. They have extended culture by featuring artists such as the great Patty Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Vanessa Williams. Other black entertainers such as Bill Cosby and Wayne Brady have also been featured guests (to name just a few). Willow Smith should rock Seaseme Street with a huge smile on her soul cause she is a positive influence for sure! My daughter and Willow Smith share Halloween as their Birthdays; Jada is about to be 7 and Willow is about to be 10 =) Jada loves whipping her hair back n forth~ Thank you Willow!

  • http://bossip Lauren

    Realer Talk need to shut his real dumb a55 up. While he listening to white girls talk about perms and what not, he’s missing the brown roots followed by blond, not to mention the ” extentions ” just because they put some fancy name on it means nothing. So start checking your white friends about embracing themslves, and to stop acting black rocking weaves. What? I know you didn’t think a white girl made that shish up ? This fool got the nerve to compare black to white extentions/weave, born with brown hair/dyed blond, God given nose/purchased nose, black women/full lips, white women/botox slash a55 shots…who’s jocking who? Get your a55 out of her retard !Go pick up a book !

  • tiger

    What’s with the skunk look?

  • Hussein lied ya think?

    And the blk (disg)race isn’t babied??? GTFOH!!! oh yea blk churches are bastions of hate!!! They always say ish about “the white man” BUT MY CHURCH NEVER SAID ISH ABOUT BLKS, I’M LIKE THIS BECAUSE OF MY OWN EXPERIENCES!!

  • filipina princess*

    it shouldn’t even be about race. i don’t care what u r beauty comes in all colors. i despise such ignorance & i really feel sorry for those who are closeminded. there is more than what meets the eye so u should never judge someone because of their appearance. and however anyone decides to do their hair shouldn’t even matter to u! obviously u got issues if its a problem! get over it & live your own life thank u!

  • A Mess wants to know where is her comment?

    @ Hannibal and Realer Talk, both of belong in the zoo. Isn’t it hard typing with hoofs.

    Sadly, alot of black men agree with these two clowns above. I even have alot of black men who tell me that their friends do not like black women with natural hair. It has to be long and straight.

    If these two freaks could be more articulate and have a little more tact to what they say, them perhaps people would not be up in arms with what they have to say.

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  • http://lukescorner.net/ LukesCorner

    Well the Sesame Street commercial promoted a natural look and being happy wit it so yeah thats a positive.

    Willow made a song in which anyone in the community wit a weave or fresh perm could partake in…not exactly promoting anything natural right?

  • Miss tahbee

    I think the best part of being black is our hair. We can do absolutely anything with it! You can make it look even better than white peoples hair and the next day rock an afro. Our hair is strong with a beautiful texture. Weave, perm or natural. The choice is yours.

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