When you think of an American woman, what may instantly come to your mind is someone with fair skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. This is because that is the beauty standard that has been most visible for decades. Sarah Huny Young is seeking to change that standard of beauty to beautiful brown-skinned, fuller figured black women with her American Woman Project.


This project will elevate the standard to feature black women of all shapes and sizes. For too long, the beauty standard only featured white or very light-skinned women of color with modelesque figures. However, that is a very unrealistic and even dangerous status of beauty to try to conform to. Young girls in this country struggle with eating disorders desperately trying to attain a standard of beauty that is unrealistic.


(The Root)

Young wants it known that American means all of us, not just the those who are a shapely size 6, or typically seen walking the red carpet, or acting in the movies we watch. The project is a reminder that all women are beautiful, not just the typical standard we are used to seeing on the cover of magazines.  


Young is an award-winning creative director, photographer, and artist. She formerly held senior-level positions at BET/Viacom and at Vibe Magazine. She is an American woman seeking to shine the light on others whose beauty and talents are typically ignored by society because they do not fit the mold. She believes that All of us, every size and shape of us, are American and beautiful.


She notes that all of the women in her project will be black women. Yet, she purposely calls it “American Woman Project” and is very intentional about it. The American Woman Project states as follows, “Black women are using our voices, talents, and style to define ourselves. We’re beautiful, nonconforming works. We are a museum of modern art. We are the AMERICAN WOMAN.”


What standard of beauty comes to your mind when you think of beautiful American women? Let’s discuss here or on Twitter @lcarterwriter