Perceptions of Beauty in the Caribbean

 

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With the increase in popularity of social media such as Instagram and Twitter, the importance of one’s physical appearance is greatly increasing. This upswing in social media combined with the ever-flowing stream of celebrity endorsed beauty products has created a society that is obsessed with beauty. Though this trend can be seen in almost any society around the world, the obsession over physical appearance is decidedly intense in the Caribbean diaspora.Here, men and women alike agonize about attaining standards of beauty set by centuries of tradition and popularized by modern day trends which are most often the result of historical wounds that have yet to heal- vestiges of Caribbean culture.

full-set-fill-in-annie-lee        In this study, we observe the importance of beauty and its varied forms in the Caribbean diaspora. Deeper analysis reveals that, though impossible standards of beauty often lead to societal ills such as low self-esteem and illegal beautification practices such as skin bleaching, beauty is also the solution to such issues. It is clear that discussions surrounding the beautification industry that encourage the expression of individual style are most helpful in reversing the damaging effects that popular media has on the Caribbean society’s notion of beauty. I contend that the most local veins of the beauty industry can be used to influence the thinking of members of the diaspora in a positive way.

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