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people used to tell me that I didn’t meet the beauty standard

What is the definition of beauty? That’s a difficult question to answer. Each culture has its own concept of beauty, and these definitions can be dismissive at times. They omit a particular group of people from the photograph. Everyone is lovely, and I’m sure you’ve heard that statement before, but the unpleasant reality is that everyone is beautiful because God made everyone. He created us wonderfully, and because everyone is created in his image, you, too, are lovely, regardless of your color or what society thinks about you. You are a masterpiece far more exquisite than any well-rounded painter could ever create, and you are the work of his heavenly hands. We relate beauty in our culture, as well as most African cultures, to European beauty standards. Someone with light complexion (keye) is congratulated and told that they resemble Ferenje. The majority of keye women may be seen in Ethiopian music videos and films. There is no diversity, and this image does not reflect the diversity of Ethiopians. You’ll never see a dark-skinned (tikur) woman in an Ethiopian or African film or music video since she doesn’t meet the definition of beauty. They are offered menial occupations or positions if they are given a chance. It’s incredible that we don’t help our own people.

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