After five weeks, of closely observing beauty through a feminist lens, I can confidently say that my views on beauty in American culture haven’t changed; in fact, I believe more firmly now what I believed during week 1: beauty is NOT the same as attractiveness. The difference between my views now and when we first started this blog is that I’m able to appreciate and embrace even more types of beauty, and I’ve recognized beauty in the people around me. I think Alice Walker’s womanism summarizes what beauty means to me:
“loves music. Loves dance. Loves the moon. Loves the Spirit. Loves love and food and roundness. Loves struggles. Loves the Folk. Loves herself. Regardless.”
Unfortunately, I don’t think the rest of the world views it the same way I do. There are unrealistic and competing viewpoints about what it means to be beautiful, and much of it is rooted in White-American beauty — and it’s doing more harm than good. In order to deconstruct the monolithic idea of beauty, the most important thing we can do is celebrate difference. Embrace it! Don’t hide it in shadows, or closets, or journals. The qualities that make us different, also makes us beautiful.