About-Face BlogBody ImageOn The PulseWomen of Color

Fair or Not? The Snow White Complex

By September 21, 2011 2 Comments

I love this documentary from filmmaker M. Hansa M. about how Eurocentric standards of beauty have become prominent across the globe, and how those beauty standards promote and exacerbate sexism and racism. In just eleven minutes, “Fair or Not?” addresses the many connections between racism, sexism, colonialism and exoticism, painting a clear and troubling picture of the issues facing all women, but especially women of color, in westernized cultures.

The film features young women who have found themselves at the center of racist, sexist expectations of beauty, and discusses how the media reinforces internalized racism and sexism, leading to low self-esteem. In one featured discussion, a young woman sums up her struggles as such: “‘Exotic’ means from a faraway place, somewhere unfamiliar. If we’re exotic to ourselves, then whose voices are we speaking from?”

This film is short, poignant, and incredibly important. Please do yourself a favor by watching and sharing.

–Melissa