Who is Canadian? Beauty standards and national identity among women of colour

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Alejandra Margarita Tellez Espana


The association of beauty with whiteness negatively impacts young women of colour’s self-esteem and identity. While these effects have been widely studied, my presentation aims to explore whether white beauty ideals affect young women of colour’s national identity. Although Canada’s multicultural policy promotes a unified Canada where everyone belongs regardless of race or country of origin, critical scholarship as well as the lived reality of people of colour negates this policy. Bringing these two ideas together, through six interviews with 1 ½ and second generation immigrant women of colour, my project explores the ways in which young immigrant women of colour articulate and experience beauty ideals, Canadian national identity, and belonging.

Faculty Supervisor:
Dr. Amanda Watson, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University

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Culture, Identity, and Independence