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Really?: Big Lips, Big Hips, Spray on Tans and Other Stuff (repost)

Really?:  Big Lips, Big Hips, Spray on Tans and Other Stuff (repost)



 I wrote this post to generate comments, so, please comment freely: When I started this blog, I decided to be a kinder, gentler blogger than I was in a previous life. I blogged for another company about beauty and all the related stuff that went along with it.  I really enjoyed chopping celebrities up and bashing women for their lack of style and grace. And I kinda miss it.    But I have had a new attitude.  I need to rant today.

Jennifer Hudson

I’m a BROWN GIRL.  As such I have big hips, big lips and a natural tan. Those qualities are  intrinsically mine and ubiquitous to a whole lot of other women of color I know.  What gets my goat is that when it comes to moving up the ladder in the “Beauty” industry of Corporate America, I have been categorically denied passage to the next  rung because of my physicality.  Yet, those traits that identify me as a brown girl, is the stuff that is generating gazillions of dollars for those same companies.  And that whole scenario just kind of makes me mad.

Let me break it down for you.

1.  Big Lips

Du Wop Lip Venom -- The "original" plumper

I remember shopping for a red lipstick many years ago, and the perky girl behind the counter told me my lips were too big for red. That had me seeing red.  I picked out the boldest, brightest red she had and bought a few.  So what, now big lips are en vogue because of Angelina Jolie?  Every magazine editor is waxing poetic over “bee stung lips.’  What?  Bee stung lips are not cute.  What about Angie Stone, Jennifer Hudson, and other women with naturally plump lips?  Since when did a fair skin woman win in the category of best lips?  Gimme a break.

One of the best selling cosmetic products is lip plumper. Yup.  The stuff stings like the dickens and it only work temporarily.  But every cosmetic line has a lip plumper of some sort — lip gloss, lipstick, serum.  And what about the plastic surgery?  You can always tell fake lips — the upper lip curls out from inside.  It looks so weird and unnatural.  Check out Lisa Rinna.  EWWWWWWW. (more EWWWWWWW here.  I mean really ewwwwww)

2.  Big Hips

I have had big hips all my life.  For years I had to buy jeans too big in the waist to accommodate my hips.  Except for Gloria Vanderbilt jeans back in the day….I did everything to get rid of these hips.  But then I had children and I was thanking God for those child bearing hips.  I had minimal labor; as a matter of fact I barely made it to the hospital before I spit my last one out.  J Lo made a splash with her gluteous maximus, so did Beyonce’, but this latest chick, Kim Kardashian shows up with her big hips and whooaaaaa, let’s get on the big hip trip.  What happened to the liposuction frenzy? Gimme a break.  So what makes Kim’s hips better?  The air brushing?  Keep reading and check her out.  You tell me.

Kim Kardashian Hips -- Before and After Retouching Complex Magazine

3.  Fake Tans

I follow all sorts of folks on Twitter, one being Lindsay Lohan.  So she has this new spray on tan product Sevin Nyne .  And she is not the only one.  Every self-respecting cosmetic line has a plethora of self tannners and bronzers for a sexier, more golden, BROWNER you!  Ummm hmmmm.  That same brown I wake up with everyday.  The one that I don’t have to pay for.  I read in Allure that Dancing With the Stars goes through 37 gallons of spray tanner.  What? Does brown look better on the dance floor? snicker snicker.

Did you know that the top designers send interns into culturally black neighborhoods and clubs to get inspiration for their designs? Why is that after Nelly made Apple Bottoms and Beyonce’ introduced Dereon jeans that mainstream jeans makers decided to make “curvy jeans”?  HUH?  I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

Apple Bottoms

Okay, I feel better.  I think I made my point.  And if I didn’t, I still feel better.  What do you think?  Do you think that the traits that have been criticized and stigmatized black women over the years are now acceptable?  Are they acceptable for all, or just for a select few?  Come on, speak your piece!  Let ‘er rip!




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  • calmond

    Well…I’m not a black woman…BUT…I think that the common attributes of black women are just as beautiful as those associated with “beautiful” in white women. Beauty comes in many different ways! I don’t have plump lips but I have bigger than average hips. I’ve never liked them a lot but in recent years…I’m glad to see that it has become more acceptable!

  • amanda

    You go gurl! Express those opinions like they’re going out of style.

  • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately it’s racism pure and simple. People need to stop tying to be someone they’re not and love who and what they are.

    I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and unfortunately the beholders that run media are monsters.

  • Joanna

    Haha..funny but true! Your lips a to big for red lipstick is such an insult. Like really?

  • Shirl

    Hahahaaha, you ed-u-cate the ignorant…Tracey!

  • Lacey

    Tracey, sorry to break it to you, but your brown skin isn’t tanned. A tan is the skins reaction when damaged by the sun as it produces melanin to prevent further damage. White people have been tanning for years, and use fake tan to look darker (not black) without having to get skin cancer. We’re faking something that we’ve always been able to do naturally to avoid negative consequences.

    On Angelina Jolie’s lips. Yuck. I think they look bumpy and not attractive at all. Lip plumpers make lips a tiny bit bigger. Not massive! I would never want massive lips as they would not suit my face at all. I don’t use plumpers as I have pouty lips to begin with but friends that do aren’t trying to have African features.

    Re: Kim’s hips. Are you actually offended people like the hips of a woman who isn’t black? Beyonce’s curves were just as praised!

    The fact you are ranting about any of this is quite sad of you. I

    • Tracey Brown

      Thanks for reading my blog Lacey. Unfortunately, you missed the entire import of my “rant.” And that’s perfectly fine, I don’t expect those who are not like me to understand. But it did serve a purpose as you took time to leave a comment. And yes, I do have a tan. Everyone is born a certain color, and unfortunately over time, we acquire a darker color due to sun exposure. I am several shades darker than my unexposed skin, so yes, I have a tan. However, the “tan” I was referring to in my blog post is my natural brown skin.

      And I’m not sad at all. I have a voice and I’m expressing it. I have been in the cosmetics industry for over 25 years and know a bit of which I speak and have had a stellar career. Unfortunately you are unaware of the motivations of said industry and those that follow them. My blog is a place for me to write about whatever I choose. For me to do a complete study on the issues I raised would be a thesis for a master’s degree, so that’s not happening. However the paradigm in acceptability that comes with trends is fascinating. The fact that I can sit at home and write about what my obsessions is a clear indicator that I’m doing something right.

  • Hey, nice post. Also I was wondering what type of theme your using for the website? I think it would work for a website I’m going to create soon.

    • Tracey Brown

      Thanks. it’s a wordpress theme called pink. I think you can see it at the bottom of the page.

  • Hey, I searched for this blog on Bing and just wanted to say thanks for the excellent read. I would have to agree with it, thank you again!

  • Courtney

    You know, I’ve noticed stuff like this for a long time, but growing up white in a predominantly white neighborhood until I moved away from the snobby rich folks of my once modest suburb to experience REAL life and culture and diversity, you could never really be heard even if you did say those kinds of things. Comments like becky’s that are so dismissive or defensive are all too typical, and nobody wants to hear anything otherwise– especially that you think they have racist/discriminatory ideas or tendencies, or that they’re ignorant to the real plight of the modern black man or woman (or any minority, for that matter). Of course there are problems and things that can hold back people of every race/nationality/gender/sexual orientation/etc., but that shouldn’t stop us from recognizing any of them individually or pointing them out in an attempt to progress. This country on the whole is still more unequal than any of us would like to admit, but it’s just like they say, isn’t it?: “The first step is admitting the problem.”

    I guess I’ve strayed from the point here… I blame becky’s comment! lol– All I’m saying is that black, white, brown, mixed– we’re all beautiful in our own ways, and the stereotypes projected on us are both harmful and hurtful. But in accepting, loving and even (dare I say it?) FLAUNTING what we’ve got, we can all learn to love each OTHERS beauty as well as our own. Because frankly, I would LOVE to have some nice full lips– but as I am I’ve basically got a standard white girl 1.5 lip total (that I love anyway). And though my body is thicker and curvier than many girls I was raised around and was often considered unattractive for it, I now embrace the HELL out of the curves I’ve got as a grown woman! Wow… I’m straying again–

    It is SUCH a shame that the prejudices holding back women of color exist the way they do, but that their features are “newly coveted” ideals for white women to modify their bodies to. And those who disagree, say what you will, but I cannot personally be more convinced that these things are true and happening. The hypocrites of the world astound me!

    Sorry for the novel– I just love reading people’s rants, especially when I agree with them! 🙂

    (By the way, wonderful blog hun– found it while looking for smokey eye tips and yours have been the most helpful. Thanks!!)

  • Too funny and too true! I didn’t even have to click on Lisa Rinna’s pick to know EXACTLY what you were talking about!

  • becky

    i think yea a while ago main stream media wasnt so open and accepting of black/curvy big lipped women.. Main stream still is and never will be acceptant of fat women,and what about asians,expetionally men? how many of those do u see in mainstream now?..NONE!..stop complaining, god gave you what he gave you,everyones beautiful and mabye it took hollywood a little longer to realize it, but it happened didnt it..ugh if u keep holding onto the idea of racsim, it`ll never end.. Imagine if Obama had walked around saying “noone likes black people blah blah” everyone would have thoguht he was an idiot and not voted for him..Just get over it, and another thing curvy girls especially young ones have always had hard times finding jeans,and clothes. Now stores like forever 21,macys juniors,and torrid all have plus sizes because AMERICAS OBEISE..ugh

    • Tracey

      Hi Becky,
      Thanks for visiting my blog. I think you missed the point of my rant. Am I complaining about being black or fat? No, not at all. I love everything about me that makes me special and beautiful. Curvy does not equal fat. What I was ranting about is that when those of a fairer persuasion jump on the band wagon of typically inherent traits associated with women of color — the media is allover it. Everyone needs to be enlightened about the practices of the media, not matter how subtle or overt they are. That’s why I blog. I can have my say. And it can produce dialogue, such as your comments.

      Who is talking about obesity or politics? That’s two other cans of beans.

  • honeybrown1976

    The European standard of beauty is nonexistent. Basically, what exists is the natural beauty of women of color placed on white women. What’s natural on us isn’t acceptable unless it’s on white women. Crazy? Yes

    I love what I have naturally. I don’t wear curvy jeans. I like wearing jeans that accentuate my hips and booty (e.g. skinny, boot-leg). Hahaha the reactions are hilarious (just don’t tell my hubby!)

    • makeupchica

      you go girl. i just look at my daughter (22) with her skinny jeans, and OMG, it’s scary the looks she gets! she just works it.

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