When talking to my friend Cathy about race and racial identity, she pointed me to an interesting film. “A Girl Like Me” is a short student documentary concerning the issues of identity, standards of beauty. The documentary shows the difficulty Black-American women often have in seeing themselves as beautiful as well as comments on the characteristics – usually more typical in whites – that society sees a beautiful.
Another interesting aspect is that the director, Kiri Davis, performs a contemporary version of the Clark doll tests done in the 1930’s & 40’s. In the original test Kenneth and his wife, Mamie, found that Black children often preferred White dolls over black dolls and that Black children viewed white as good, pretty and positive, but black as bad, ugly and negative. They viewed this as evidence of internalized racism caused by stigmatization. Interestingly enough, Kiri Davis had similar results.
Watch the video and let me know what your opinions are about internalized racism and standards of beauty.