Community Dialogues: Women, Beauty, & the Media – You are invited!


Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

 In 1937, Walt Disney brought to the silver screen the age old story of Snow White.  Ironically, just as the evil queen sought confirmation of her beauty from a magic mirror, millions of girls across the country and around the world, seek the confirmation of their perceptions of beauty, their bodies, and their self-worth from the magic of the movies, television, magazines, and other forms of media.

Kate Engelbrecht sought to understand the connection with young women and their perceptions of themselves through The Girl Project.  Engelbrecht explored the lives of American teenage girls by allowing them to document themselves and their personal journeys.  She provide disposable cameras to girls ages 13-18 to photograph their lives.  It’s amazing how common it was for photographs to center around body-image issues.  It sort of crosses race, ethnicity, and economic background. It’s such a big part of being a young woman–which then, of course, translates into being a woman.~ Engelbrecht

How prevalent is this issue in today’s society?  That’s one of the questions we will discuss at the Community Dialogue on Women, Beauty, and the Media hosted by Bluefield State College on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 @ 11 AM (EST).  There are a myriad of opinions and perspectives on this topic and we’ve enlisted the thoughts and thought provoking questions from some high profile and high impact individuals in our nation.

Perhaps one of the first questions to be asked is what is beauty?  American contemporary gospel singer, Erica Campbell, inquires the truth of the beauty dilemma.


Vanessa K. Bush, Editor-in Chief of Essence Magazine challenges the story behind the story with her questioning of the confluence of beauty and personal value…or better yet, what is the rate of this cultural exchange?


It will be important to discuss beyond looks to the impact our societal weight puts on men versus women.  Terms like eye-candy, arm candy, and trophy wife speaks to the comments posed by Danielle Belton (aka @Blacksnob), Editor-at-Large of Clutch Magazine.



Dr. Kathleen McCartney, President of Smith College, encourages us to consider the genuineness of beauty and not be ensnared by the media creations which bombard us every day.


Where do you stand on the issue of Women, Beauty, and the Media?  There are numerous valleys and plateaus from which to stand and raise your voice.  Consider the words of Dr. Imani Perry (@ImaniPerry), professor in the Center of African American Studies at Princeton University from her article, Is (Black) Beauty Still A Feminist Issue?~My personal resolution on the beauty issue is this: When images of physical beauty serve to diminish the depth of a woman’s personhood, we should reject them. And when they seem to restore an appreciation of that which has been devalued, or to be attached to an open sense of expressiveness, play, and fun, then we should feel free to enjoy them. But in either case, our eyes must always be focused on actual lives, not just screens and pages in a magazine.

 Bring your voice and opinions to the Community Dialogues on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 @ 11 AM in room 303 in the Shott Phys. Ed. Building at Bluefield State College.  You are encouraged to come and share your thoughts and perspectives on this topic.  If you can join us in person, that’s great!  If you can only…through the magic of the internet…follow and tweet at #BSCTalks or @GoodDocSims.

This program is sponsored by the Office of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion of Bluefield State College

Dr. Guy A. Sims (@GoodDocSims)

Assistant to the President for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

2 thoughts on “Community Dialogues: Women, Beauty, & the Media – You are invited!

  1. As a dad I want my daughters to grow up knowing they are beautiful inside and out just the way they are. Not like a magazine cover that tells them they need to be something else. When will magazine covers with women show them being active, playing sports, etc., and how that leads to a healthy life? The sad part, is the media does the same thing to men, we must be ripped and cut to be attractive. Just tear down the entire system.

  2. SiennaComm says:

    As a social media manager I can say that the definition of physical beauty is being challenged by individuals online with the #selfie. Every time someone takes a selfie that didn’t take them 15 minutes to prepare for, we are changing the definition of beauty. The fact that there are more photos of real people than models says alot about where our culture is headed. Also, the selfie offers an opportunity for friends, family, ad even strangers to boost one’s self image. On the flip side the less “likes”, the lower your self esteem. So it’s a double edged sword. We are redefining beauty with each careless snapshot but we are also putting ourselves out there to be critiqued by others.

    I also think platforms like Pinterest offer an opportunity to see the inner beauty of a person. For example I have a quote board where I pin what I can identify with the most. I have a variety of boards that show you exactly what type of person I am if you look close enough. There you will see that I’m just as beautiful inside as I am outside.

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