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Self Representation Among Dark Skin People Concerning Discourse of Beauty

Hasty Larasati


Abstract


This article aims to see how’s dark skin people perceive the color of their skin either it’s beautiful or ugly. Up until now, being beautiful categorized as those with fair skin, including Indonesian. This is important to be seen because how you represent yourself related to your identity− who you are or how do you want to be seen. Either they are confident with their skin or not, it is their way of self representation which they got from identity negotiation. But, among dark skin people there always be people who confidently represents their identity against the beauty discourse or counter-discourse. Previous literature reviews show there are two reason can cause counter-discourse: recognition and negotiation. Recognition is an act actor does to fight the mainstream discourse, meanwhile negotiation is about negotiating about what they have. My argument here is women can counter the discourse because of negotiation, they have free choice and body autonomy. Also, they have power to counter the discourse by bargaining power. This article uses qualitative research with in-depth interview towards nine female informants with spesific range of age: 16 – 24 because those ages are ages with huge internet usage. Skin tone classification for informant selection is based on Fitzpatrick skin type scale. Research findings show seven from nine informants have done counter the beauty discourse. Informants also explained how their personality or skills could be their bargaining power which made them easier to counter the beauty discourse. Beside that, informant also have done negotiate their identity from accepted the beauty discourse about desirable skin tones, into counter it. The process did not come out of the blue, but also it need both internal and external factors role. Internal factor is self-consciousness about beauty itself while external factors from family, peer or media socialization.


Keywords


identity; identity negotiation; dark skin people; counter-discourse; beauty discourse; womanhood

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