Stories of Resilience:

How Is Beauty Measured?

Her Story:

Name: Sydney Hinestroza
Born: Bogota, Colombia
Lives: ChocΓ³, Colombia
Handle: @lotusflower.17 
β €
How is beauty measured?

I was born in a Latin American country, in a territory where most of the population is black (like me); As in most of the territories populated mainly by black people, colorism has always been and still is, a phenomenon that has great influence in many aspects, such as aesthetics and the concept of beauty.

I remember never feeling pretty while I was growing up; I recall boys and some girls, constantly comenting on the way I looked, apparently because the texture of my hair was not loose enough, the tone of my skin was not light enough, and my lips and nose were “too big” even for a black woman.

As a result I decided to isolate myself from things such as parties and group activities, because my self-esteem was not strong enough to face some situations.

As I got older, I went from not being pretty, to having an “exotic beauty” that in other words was a way for people to tell me that despite not being pretty enough 
(according to social standards of beauty), the way I looked, could still be exploited.

It was at that moment when I realized that as a black woman, I would never be pretty enough in a society in which the standards of beauty are mostly oriented to the whiteness and in which there are still many stereotypes.

There comes a time where if you are sufficiently aware of the harmful dynamics to which society daily exposes women, you realize that the best thing you can do for yourself is to stop listening to what others have to say about the way you look like, not following conventional beauty standards and learning to feel comfortable in your skin, because at the end of the day, our bodies are the only place we have to live and at the end of the day, what is beauty? 

How is beauty measured?

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