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October 10, 2018 at 9:47 am

Houston Quoted on Appropriation of African Aesthetics in Bee-Stung Lips Story

Dr, Akil Houston, portrait in his office

Dr, Akil Houston

Dr. Akil Houston, Associate Professor of African American Studies at Ohio University, was quoted in an article on The Cut headlined “The Complicated Psychology Behind Bee-Stung Lips.”

There is a fundamental discord, then, between what is attractive and what is found in nature when it comes to lips. The golden ratio might exist among certain preternaturally blessed women, but the full pout of the Kardashians certainly is not natural for women of their ethnic background. Scholars have suggested that the Kardashian-Jenners in particular are appropriating black beauty traits that they see as edgy or sexy, and in turn popularizing them for the culture at large. “It’s part of a long tradition of appropriation of African aesthetics, whether it’s art, painting, sculptures,” said Akil Houston, a professor of African-American studies at Ohio University. “As long as Africana culture is seen as dangerous, on the edge, there’s this sort of attraction to being risqué.”

Read more at The Cut.


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