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Effects of Movement on Appearance of African American Models

Lizzie_jeankilbourne_diversebeauty

"Clairol helps keep American beautiful." Essence, Oct 1978.

Jean Kilbourne Collection, Box 77, Minorities 1976-1985.

Between 1957-59 and 1977-79, the incidence of models with straightened hair dropped by two-thirds and the incidence of natural hair models increased four-fold.

- Michael Leslie, associate professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville

Associate professor at University of Florida, Gainseville's College of Journalism and Communications, Michael Leslie conducted a study comparing randomly selected advertisements from 1950s, 1970s, and 1980s advertisements found in Ebony in order to analyze the effects of the “Black is Beautiful” and other Afrocentric movements of the 1960s [1]. He sought to assess changes in the appearance of African American models based on their hair style, clothing style, and facial type. He discovered that between 1957-59 and 1977-79, the incidence of models with straightened hair dropped by two-thirds and the incidence of natural hair models increased four-fold. The use of phenotypically Caucasian models declined by three-fourths. This demonstrates the impact that the “Black is Beautiful” movement had on popular media and the inauguration of more diverse beauty standards.

  1. Leslie, Michael. “Slow Fade to?: Advertising in Ebony Magazine, 1957–1989.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 72.2 (1995): 426–435. Web. 14 June 2017.

Effects of Movement on Appearance of African American Models