Man, this world is harsh isn’t it? Textured hair is unruly and hides secrets (which must be why TSA always searches through it“> and not wearing makeup makes you seem untrustworthy. Those two statements alone, which have been proven completely true as Hilary Clinton’s fresh face continues to be ridiculed and Rebekah Brooks’ big, red curls alone cause many to buy in to her guilt, say this one thing: a woman’s natural beauty isn’t beauty at all.

It’s a hurtful statement to take from the media coverage of both events, but it’s all I can seem to gather. Why would a woman without makeup get so much negative media attention, and why does wearing your hair how you always wear it somehow mean that you are guilty? It is no secret that women have long conformed to societal ideas of beauty, but why all the negativity if a woman chooses to ditch what we perceive as cultural norms and embrace her natural self?

Heck, I know you care about this issue because so many of you have been there yourselves. Coming out to friends and family as wanting to go natural is tough. Mothers and grandmothers shake their heads in disapproval, friends wonder why you have given up on yourself, men even tell you that they are only attracted to straight hair (or so Patti Stanger would have us all believe“>. Beauty, something we have long been told is in the eye of the beholder, seems to actually be in the eye of whoever is the popular celebrity of the time.

You’ve seen it first hand too, if you haven’t experienced it yourself. As each season comes to pass, women flock to stores and salons to be the first to get the new season’s trendy look — each one of them often stepping out, having dished hundreds of dollars, all looking nearly identical. Is beauty really just what the majority looks like?

Beauty, at least in my opinion, isn’t what you put on your face or how you manage your hair. It’s the ability to embrace and love yourself first, because if you can’t do that for you, then you can’t do it for others. This media coverage of women that doesn’t focus on the issues (I don’t think anyone has even said what Hilary was talking about when she appeared without makeup!”>, it focuses on what matters second — because we all know personal hygiene and health is definitely important along with dressing the part for particular moments in life.

So as I sit and ponder the future of media, how women are portrayed, how beauty is spelled out for me and how I can work to spell it out differently for the younger generation of girls so that we all learn to love ourselves as we naturally are, if only so that we can love others as they naturally are, I ask you, curlies: What is beauty to you?

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