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The Blackness of the Epitome of Whiteness

Once considered "the closest to God's original model"

By M. GarciaPublished 4 years ago 3 min read
Behold the Epitome of Whiteness! (18th Century)

The word Caucasian describes people who are......White. Usually fair skin and straight hair and from Europe or at least ancestry mostly connected to Europe. The epitome of Whiteness can sometimes be argued, especially in today's time, as blonde with blue eyes and fair skin and straight hair. The Taylor Swifts of the world. In the 18th century, anthropologists "discovered" (they love that word) an ethnic group called the Circassians. This ethnic group's features were fair skin with rosy cheeks, green eyes (some) and AFRO like hair texture. Yup. It was considered the most beautiful and pure form of Whiteness! The people were considered the purest of all the White people, the perfect White bread, and the top of the racial ladder! The ideal feminine beauty in the 18th century were the Circassian women, also later known as "moss hair girls". "Pure European features", was the description for these women. Seriously. Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, the founder or whatever of zoology and anthropology, created the term "caucasian race" after them. Something like that. He was mad crushin on the ladies. Blumenbach theorised that the Circassians were...stay with me...the closest to God's original model of humanity, and thus "the purest and most beautiful whites were the Circassians"! (!!!) I know right.

WeIrD how features in one race can be idolized but in another mocked. These people were so "pure" in the eyes of other caucasians they really believed this was the closest image we had to God Themself (check Genesis for the pronoun). White skin and an Afro. Great combo. But...who decided to change the beauty standards after them? Why were Africans never appreciated the same way? (we all know why) Did women who had straight hair want afros after this became the standard of feminine beauty? Were African women with afros ever considered to be the closest image to God, why or why not? Are there still any living descendants (without being the result of inter ethnic marriage)?

The 18th century epitome of Whiteness resembles a lot of African features (are we surprised!?), but is that valid if this ethnic group was completely separated from them, even other White ethnic groups? Afterall they were considered a pure race, not mixing even with other White people from surrounding towns. Redish and Blonde hair with green eyes and afros sound like the most random combination of a Sims character. And yet, they were considered more pure compared to blonde, straight hair and blue eye caucasians. Take that Gigi Hadid.

So one guy who was so intrigued by race and categories and sections decided that he was so in loved with this ethnic group that him and his pals decided to create a racial hierarchy and the Circassians were on top. The Beyonces, or the umm Britney Spears, of the races. The women were sold as sex slaves throughout history (worshipped but still not respected, of course) and were married off and as of the 19th century many don't exist. How did European women that had similarities to African features get the title of 18th century beauty epitome but Black women have not (yet?). Would White women be able to pull this look off in today's time? Would it be cultural appropriation of European aesthetic (or African or both)? Why did Europeans think an Afro and white skin resembled God? Is their a trait that even the most remote European groups still share with Africans? Do these pictures prove we all came from Africa? How did we get so far from this standard in White beauty? (hint: we can't blame the Kardashians) Oh, and would Kim K even be considered pretty during these times? So many unanswered questions.


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M. Garcia

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    M. GarciaWritten by M. Garcia

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