At a young age, black girls are being hypersexualized earlier than their peers. The black and white picture of the young girls are a clear example of this. In many cases black little girls are not seen as little girls, they are seen as women. In the black community, black girls’ bodies are heavily policed mainly by other black people. For example, having certain hairstyles for black girls can be seen as “too grown”, so only certain hairstyles are deemed appropriate for young girls. Another example is from my mom when she said that her parents would only allow her to wear dresses that were below the knee until she was a junior in high school. She also said that she couldn’t wear makeup because her parents told her that she’d look too “loose”. She said that none of her friends who were white had the same rules as her regarding her strict clothing guidelines. I also know a girl whose mom never let her wear red because people could think she’s promiscuous.
Although, to many people it could seem ridiculous to hear, those are the ideals that have been engrained in society for the black community. People in the black community did not see these rules as ways to oppress black girls and women, rather than protect them. Of course, these same rules are never put onto the men because young black boys are not seen to be protected, they are there to be the protectors of black women. This idea robs many black boys of their youth. They are no longer seen as black boys making a simple mistake, they are seen as criminals in the eyes of the justice system. Overall, young black children are seen are not seen as children. Their bodies are both heavily policed. Black girls’ bodies are heavily policed due to hypersexulaization and black boys’ bodies are heavily policed by the police.
More recently, the celebration of black women has become popular on social media. Black women of different shades are finally starting to be more represented in makeup and in different forms of media. With this new wave of appreciation towards black women, there seems to be less of an appreciation for the positive work and changes that black women have made, and more attention to the bodies that black women possess. All bodies are judged by society, but, black women’s bodies are known to “supposed” to look a specific way. For years, media has upheld the beauty standard for black women as big hips, big thighs, a big butt, big boobs, and small waist. Many black women were scrutinized for not having the butt that supposedly comes natural to all black women. To this day, it seems in the media that black women celebrities are not deemed as sexy if they do not meet these standards. As a society, we have made progress in regard to women speaking up for themselves on how they want to present their own bodies, but it is obvious that monumental changes still need to be made for black women and their bodies.