Black is not beautiful: Persistent messages and the globalization of “white” beauty in African women’s magazines

by Ngozi Akinro & Lindani Mbunyuza-Memani


This study examines the representation of African women in an era of globalization. Using Dyer’s concept of whiteness and a visual content analysis approach, this study focuses on how four influential African magazines portrayed African women from 2010 to 2015. Findings suggest that African magazines’ portrayal of beauty is not representative of diverse body sizes, skin tones, and hair types common among African women. Rather, magazines represent an image of beauty rooted in white/western/Eurocentric beauty standards.

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