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You don't have to be thin or light to be beautiful

A while ago I noticed that the fashion, beauty, entertainment and pop music industries are sending a subliminal message to young black girls that they are not beautiful! Well this is a crock of nonsense! Black girls are beautiful. Very beautiful, and just as worthy as women of any other ethnicity to be on magazine covers, being featured in advertisements, commercials, music videos, etc. But it goes beyond colour. Big women are beautiful and are also being left out! It is unrealistic and sick even to suggest that to be a model or considered pretty, you have to be a size 1! More on all of this after the Top 20.

Improving to #1 is

Grenade by Bruno Mars, who is one of the men of the moment to watch in the business. Up to #2 is

Hold It Against Me by Brittney Spears. Go Brittney! Tumbling into the #3 spot is

Firework by Katy Perry.

Falling to #4 this week is

What's My Name? by Rihanna featuring Drake.

Improving to #5 is

Aston Martin Music by Rick Ross featuring Drake and Chrisette Michelle.

Stepping it up a notch to dance music: Advancing to #6, is

Memories by David Guetta featuring Kid Cudi, one of the hottest dance tracks out at the moment. Do check out the remix; it is way cool.

Slipping to #7 is

Like A G6 by Far*East Movement featuring Cataracs & Dev. Down to #8 is

Raise Your Glass by Pink.

Up to #9 is

Who's that Chick? by David Guetta featuring Rihanna. Up to #10 is

Moment For Life by Nicki Minaj, a former essential new tune by the hottest female rapper in the game. Improving to #11 is

Higher, by Taio Cruz featuring Kylie Minogue and Travie McCoy.

Tumbling to #12 is

Bottoms Up by Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj. Tumbling to #13 is Rihanna's dance anthem

Only Girl In The World.

Improving to #14 is

Fall For Your Type by Jamie Fox featuring Drake. This is a ballad that doesn't really impress me, but obviously impresses others. Advancing to #15 is Rihanna's current hit,

S&M. Improving to #16 is

Better Than Today by Kylie Minogue.

Climbing to #17 is last week's essential new tune,

Born This Way, by Lady Gaga. On the way up at #18 is

F**k You (Forget You) by Cee Lo Green, this week's essential new hit. Ke$ha's

We R Who We R falls into the #19 spot. Tumbling to #20 is

Can't Be Friends by Trey Songz.

Now back to this week's word what is beautiful. I challenge anyone to go down to Brown & Co or any magazine store, look through all the magazines, and count the number of dark-skinned or fuller figure women who appear on the magazine covers. Similarly, count the number of dark-skinned or fuller-figure women you see in television commercials, music videos, newspaper/magazine advertisements.

What you do find is that the fashion, beauty, entertainment and music industries consider light or white to be right! What you will see is that white women or very light-skinned black women only, on magazine covers, music videos, in ads, etc. You don't see many dark women, fuller-figured women, Asian women, etc in any of these media at least not in any meaningful numbers. The Latinos are getting more props these days with the emergence of so many Latino singers, dancers, actors, personalities, etc, but the Sisters are still being left out of the conversation. What message is that sending to any woman who is not 'light, bright, or darn near white?'

Well, it's very simple. The message is that in order to be considered beautiful, you must not only be a size 0 or 1, but you must be light, bright, or darn near white! Nothing could be further from the truth! Beauty comes in many different shapes, sizes and colours. A woman who is a size 22 can be very beautiful and many of them are! Queen Latifah is such a lady. She's beautiful. And full-figured! Similarly, a woman who is a size 0 or 1 might not exactly be the 'cat's meow'.

You don't have to be thin or light to be beautiful. People do not realise the damaging effect this phenomenon is having and has had on so many young women, many of whom have become anorexic, bulimic, or just have low self-esteem, because they don't think they're good enough for what the 'world' considers pretty, beautiful, etc.

This has also affected some men. I don't really wanna mess with the late Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, but let's be real. This dude had issues with his blackness. He was always making his hair look curly or wavy, he messed with his nose so much that at the end he didn't really even have a nose.

I submit that Essence, Ebony, Black Enterprise and Jet have been some of the biggest offenders because they are perfectly positioned to correct this misconception by putting more darker and bigger women and men on their covers and in their ads. But I guess they want to generate revenue also and have somewhat given in to the hype as well. I must say that they have tried to advance the cause of people of colour but I'm thinking that there are no other entities or media so well-positioned to change the mindset of the world and its perceptions about what is beautiful. They could have done and can still do more.

There is still time, all is not lost. It only takes a spark to get a fire burning. But we should really start from the perspective of telling our children that they are all beautiful, in our eyes, in God's eyes and that they should consider themselves beautiful in their own eyes. We should further teach them that beauty is not what industry promotes, but what they feel, appreciate and enjoy, what gives them happiness and peace.

Tell them that beauty comes in many different forms, shapes, sizes and colours, and that we are all beautiful just as we are, as God made us. They don't need breast augmentation, Botox, tummy tucks, nose jobs, facelifts, etc to make them feel more beautiful.

Beauty is God's love, divine favour, blessings. The Bible says that beauty begins inside a person and that our work can take on beauty. The modern world is focused on the wrong aspect of beauty physical beauty. True beauty is in one's attitude, how we treat others, how we treat ourselves, loving our neighbours, being kind to strangers, loving and caring for our families, honouring our parents and older ancestors, just being a cool, unselfish and non-self-absorbed person. What you look like and what you wear is far less important. It really is what's inside that counts!

So here's to all of us understanding that we are ALL beautifully made by the King of Kings.

As adults we forget the lessons of our youth. In closing I will leave you with the words of the song we were all taught as children, especially those of us who went to Sunday School.

“Jesus loves the little children. ALL the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” We are ALL beautiful ... DJLT.

Recording artist Cee Lo Green

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Published March 25, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 25, 2011 at 9:48 am)

You don't have to be thin or light to be beautiful

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