Black Lives Matter Movement Inspires Black Arab Women to Confront Racist Beauty Standards

The plight of the Black Arab woman is that of Black women everywhere. They are overlooked professionally, undervalued in society, and pressured to strive for white beauty standards.

These women, from the Middle East and North Africa, have been inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, which had a global ripple effect last month after the murder of George Floyd by racist police in Minneapolis last month, to confront the racist beauty standards that exist and persist in their societies. 

Activist and co-founder of the Voices of Black Tunisian Women group, Khawla Ksiksi told Reuters, Black Arab women are pressured to adhere to white beauty standards to be accepted by society, but are now ready to bring to light the prejudices they face in the Arab world.

The marginalization of Black Arab women is incredibly deep and has led many to use whitening creams, one of which was sold by Johnson & Johnson who recently announced it would stop selling its whitening products in the Middle East and Asia. 

Women are speaking up and calling out racists in the Arab world. 

The Realist Woman’s take:

When I come across stories like this, I usually don’t know where to start. How disheartening for Black Arab women to endure such rejection and abuse from their society that they would turn to lightening creams to alleviate the hate. The psychological aspects of this issue are beyond anything I could ever explain.

It’s not hard for me to believe those in the Arab world don’t want to talk about racism because no one anywhere really wants to talk about and confront this issue. No one wants to ever confront the ugly raw truth. 

These women live with hate, fear, rejection, and a skewed projection of themselves. With that said, I’m incredibly moved by the fact that the Black Lives Matter movement, which started here in the U.S., is empowering Black women all around the world to love who they are and work towards confronting the ugliness of racism in their society. 

Companies behind whitening creams have exploited the movement against dark skin