A recent Vanity Fair article praising the curves of internet-sensation Jen Selter overlooks women of color.
The takeaway message is that showing off curves in a public way is not only a new phenomenon, but looking darker, “or bronzed,” is the new way to be beautiful. It’s a breath of fresh air to see curves and darker skin tones applauded by a world-renowned publication, but disappointing that Vanity Fair used a White Jewish woman to convey a newly-accepted norm.
We cannot and should not conclude that women of color have a monopoly on curves. Yet, Vanity Fair overlooked a number of women with naturally bronze skin and voluptuous bodies who were out there way before Selter. The article’s incorporation of hashtags — including “belfies” (butt selfies) — perpetuates the idea that curves are new, trendy, covetable accessories, thereby dismissing women of color whose curves existed long before it was fashionable to have them, and whose bodies have been critiqued throughout history.