If only America loved black people as much as they loved black culture. The issue of cultural appropriation and erasure has been a hot topic over the last few years. There’s now a bubbling discussion of America’s obsession with (typically) black female features on white women. Wide hips, round bottoms, thick thighs, full lips, cornrows, and long weave — all features/attributes historically shamed or criticized on black women — are suddenly seen as beautiful or trendy on white celebrities. There are folks who praise Kylie Jenner’s inflatable lips yet ridicule black women with naturally full lips (for example: MAC Cosmetics’ recent drama). Cornrow braids, typically deemed ghetto or unrefined on black women, are now fashionable “boxer braids” on white starlets. There are way more examples of this kind of double standard, but I don’t care to exhaust myself.
Addressing the topic in a creative and refreshing way is photographer Daniel Stewart. In his visual series, “Erosion,” Stewart illustrates white America’s obsession with and erasure of black female features.
“Black women are so often shamed and penalized for the same physical attributes that are then praised, and made trendy for white women. This project is meant to capture the black woman’s experience as a hypersexualized being, whose body is constantly appropriated in white society.” – Daniel Stewart
See the stunning NSFW images below.