Untitled drawing

‘When I was younger, I was made to feel as though my lips were too big for my face. Now that I’m older, and trends have changed, white women want my big lips. It doesn’t feel like a compliment. To be a woman of color is to struggle against whiteness’ simultaneous rejection of you and adoration of your features.’



ADELANA3white beauty standard 3


‘My upbringing as a black person in a very white community continues to make it difficult for me to assess the way I look, assess my beauty, objectively. My immediate comparison is with white women, yes. ‘As a woman of color, as a black woman, you are viewed very sexually, sometimes only sexually… this is hard to navigate. Now, when I look in the mirror, I try to just see me. And to exist as me.’


I have skin as clear as sunlight and as brown as amber,

Eyes like the sky at night,

I have hair like a cloud of darkness,

Lips which look like they have tasted the nectars of the Gods

And a body which looks like it has been fed by them


‘It’s awful to remember, but I used to imagine looking in the mirror and seeing white features there, and fair hair. I honestly thought that having those things would make me better somehow. Now, I revel in loving my own skin. Doing so still feels like an act of rebellion, which I guess it is.’