Mostly when people discriminate against others because of their skin color, it’s racist. But what do you do when your own race is weirded out by you? Africans born with albinism face more than just discrimination based on their lack of melanin – in many African countries they are believed to have mystical healing powers. With poachers looking to chop their arms off to sell to witch doctors (yes, really), living “in the skin of a white person”, as Refilwe Modiselle puts it can be really difficult. Refilwe is the first South African albino to join the local modelling scene, and is putting the taboo subject of being a “colorless” African up for discussion. But she’s not alone: Thando Hopa, pictured here, was working a legal prosecutor when one of South Africa’s top designers asked her to model, and it changed the way she looks at herself. She tells Grazia: “I now realise that I have a platform to inspire young girls, and as someone who never had a role model who looked like me when I was growing up, I now hope to be able to show that albinism can be beautiful and is just another kind of normal.” Grazia. Huffington Post.
- More locally, Courtney at Those Graces challenged her own bias against wearing red lipstick, and after conversations with friends about who can and “can’t” wear red lipstick, and about makeup and relationships, found that wearing such a noticeable lip color for almost thirty days straight has made her feel more brave. Of course, getting used to the extra attention of strangers staring at you for – well, whatever it is those strangers think about a young woman wearing bright lipstick – will make for a braver self, even if it’s just a matter of adornments. Those Graces.
- If you’d just like to try out new looks without braving public scrutiny, maybe you can head over to a site that does virtual makeovers? Autumn at The Beheld went down the rabbit hole of computerized makeovers and found that, even with (and perhaps because of) the “gamification” of the makeover, going through all those permutations of beauty selves felt more like work than a fun trip to Sephora. The Beheld.
- Lucie Amundsen is a writer in Duluth, Minnesota who looks like Downton Abbey’s Lady Edith. Really – she hears about it from most everyone she meets. And while she’d love to have tea with the awkward (and likely spinster) sister and convince her that looks don’t matter, she knows that they often do. But not always in the ways we’re told – as a grownup in her 40′s, Admundsen writes about the advantages of having less-than-obvious good looks. MPR News.
- Could men be stuffing their “little black books”? Anyone who reads Wild Beauty regularly knows I’ll go off on those who think women are the only gender who’d do entirely superficial things to boost their appearance. And here’s a bit of why: I came across this article on a fake Facebook girlfriend service in Brazil. But don’t get too cocky, USA: there’s a whole page of them on Fiverr. ABC News. Fiverr.
Ancient news from the male insecurity front: Aspasia was Milesian woman who – not having the right to Greek citizenship in the BC 400′s – became a courtesan. She was also smart – so smart that Athenian philosophers and statesmen were enthralled by her wit and wisdom – as well as her beauty. Her home was a place of learning, where men even brought their wives along. But times being what they were, she became the most hated woman in Greece, with nicknames such as the “Dog Eyed Whore.” Slutshaming got her enemies what they wanted – she was put on trial for immorality, and some blamed the Peloponnesian War on her relationship with Pericles – but history has been kinder to her than her detractors. Shelved Dolls.