Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Change, Inclusivity and The Spectrum

In one of the assignments for my Core Legacies’ class, I have been thinking about change and what it would needs in order to be inclusive of all. Then, I had to ask myself what is change? Can it truly ever be inclusive? And how can this change for inclusivity be implemented? Is it through laws, institutions, or a mental process?

After endless thoughts, I have come to a block. I realized changes that are being implemented surrounding certain topics such gender, race or beauty inclusivity, when passed through laws and institutional systems oftentimes fail. For instance, the idea of the beautiful black woman in the media is the one’s who has a skin color closer to white. What does this say about beauty? And now that Lupita Nyong’o, a Black actress, film and music director challenges our understanding of what is beautiful, because she is not this absurd idea of what the media considered beautiful previously. I do consider this to be a change even though, this idea of beauty is still limiting by not take into account her intelligence or her other achievements outside of her role in Twelve Years of slave. By acknowledging her as beautiful challenges the idea of what has been understood as the ideal beautiful black woman. This acknowledgement is only made possible by rethinking our idea of beauty. Therefore, I believe in order for change to truly be made in regards to a topic such as beauty, people’s mentality has to be challenged. In addition, when thinking about the changes that are essential to creating inclusivity for all “things”, such as beauty, need to be thought of as on a spectrum. This spectrum can be understood by allowing for different narratives that speak to various and realistic definition of what is beautiful. By having multiple of these narratives will challenge the one popular narrative that everyone seems to be comfortable with. These narratives will create space for many people who are made to be invisible and are often time stripped of their voices because they are not the “it”. These narratives will force people to always question themselves, to think outside of the “box” and to start acknowledging that the “it” is limiting because a person is much more than their beauty, their race, their sexuality and everything they are intersect. Therefore, a change for inclusivity becomes personal and collective.

- Noufo Nabine '16

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