Sheryl Underwood: Black and Ugly as Ever?

sheryl underwood blog

Musician Seal, from his song entitled Colour, states:

I close my eyes
Colour fades away
Tell me who are you for anyway
Midnight is your friend
Will we see a beginning in the end
God only knows what we’ve put in that paint
God only knows
Colour fades away

Image is everything, at least according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons that is. Their statistical reports for the year 2012 saw 14.6 million people undergo a cosmetic procedure, which was a 5% increase from the prior year. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then what happens to those individuals whose are visually impaired? Much like flowers are to bees when they are seeking to pollinate, the laws of attraction pertaining to that of a humanistic level, starts off first as a visual stimuli. This ocular perception, albeit shallow at times, is unfortunately the litmus test when it comes to our cohabitation or mating call to that of whom we seek a connection with. To put this into its proper and more direct context, we simply like what we like. I find nothing wrong with individual preference by any means, however, what I do take offense to is when the “idea” or “opinion of” what beauty is, is given a set precedent or standard by those with impressionable power, whether in the media or the entertainment industry. I recall a conversation that I had with doctor friend of mine, who during the earlier portions of his daughter’s life, decided not to expose her to television or magazines, as he feared that they would gravely influence her self-esteem and idea of what true beauty is. To have high self-esteem is the equivalence to your body receiving its proper nutrients, except high self-esteem invigorates the psyche. Not that issues of low self-esteem and cosmetic reanimation don’t affect nationalities or ethnicities abound, however the African-American culture has had its own longstanding internal battle with issues of what is considered beautiful versus what is ugly. The “black and ugly as ever” statement I referenced in the title, was a self demoralizing statement used by Christopher Wallace (aka Notorious BIG) to describe how he viewed himself in the mirror. There’s a reason why 65% of the consumers in a billion dollar hair care and weave industry are African-American Women. There has also been a statistical rise in the amount of African-Americans who are undergoing cosmetic procedures as well. Our issues of beauty have long plagued our community and has been the roaring, hungry elephant in the room searching for peanuts. So when reading these recent comments by comedian Sheryl Underwood on CBS’ “The Talk” regarding Heidi Klum’s insistence on preserving her and Musician Seal’s, biracial children’s kinky textured hair after it was cut, I find them to be deplorable and not laughable. To make references, comedic or not, about who would want hair of that sort, especially being that Sheryl is African-American, darker in skin tone and more than likely has hair that resembles in texture to that of Heidi’s children when not permed, makes her belligerent and incompetent. To perform this bad material in front of a predominantly Caucasian audience puts her into the Coon Buffoon Balloon, as the “anything for a laugh” clause is reserved for the less talented comedians who have run out of tangible material. Comedians like Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, Richard Pryor, Katt Williams, all touch on issues of race, however their comedic genius allows for inclusive laughter and not tasteless, divisive, exploitative and degrading humor. Sheryl tried to blanket her statement after receiving numerous tweets of displeasure by saying that she found collecting hair of any child crazy. Too bad she did not utilize that as the beginning of her joke, instead of delivering a punch line that leaves a black eye on a race that can ill afford to have another beauty mark of detriment on its résumé. #its considered comedy when all are laughing

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