Cultural Competence & Mental Health Southern Region Summit XVIII PRESENTER BARBARA ANN WHITE, MA DIVERSITY & MULTICULTURAL COORDINATOR CITY OF BERKELEY MENTAL HELATH December 6 th - 7 th, 2012
Goal This workshop will explore historical issues related to standards of beauty and the current cultural and ethnic implications it has on the mental health and well-being of women of color, with a focus on African American women. Objectives Participants will learn: 1. The Difference Between Societal Standards of Beauty Verses Individual Standards of Beauty 2.To use a strength-based approach 3. Signs of Internalized Oppression and Methods to Overcome Internalized Oppression 4. To use client-centered techniques.
Select a song that speaks to your beauty. Tell your partner why you selected that song.
Are Societal Standards Of Beauty the Same As Individual Standards Of Beauty? How do we recognize beauty in other people? On a very superficial level, we compare the people we see to the media images that we have been exposed to The people in movies and on magazine covers. If you see a woman who looks very similar to a famous actress or model, you will probably think that woman is beautiful.
The Nature of Dominant and Recessive There are 23 pairs of chromosomes in a single cell of a fertilized egg. On each pair of chromosomes, two genes -- one that is dominant and one that is recessive. The combination determines the trait of a person. The presence of a dominant gene means a dominate trait will emerge. Two recessive genes are required for a trait to emerge. Eye Color Brown eyes are a dominant trait over gray, green, hazel and blue eyes. Hair Color Dark hair is always dominant to blond and red hair. Curly hair dominates straight.
Facial Features Facial features are often a blend of dominant and recessive genes from our parents. A Roman nose and broad lips are indications of dominant genes while a straight nose and thin lips represent recessive genes.lips Melanin is triggered by an enzyme called tyrosinase, which creates the color of skin, eyes, and hair shades.enzymetyrosinase
Question Why did we go from having nobody on Earth with blue eyes 10,000 years ago to having 20 or 40 percent of Europeans having blue eyes now?" Humans are currently calculated to be at least four million years old! Article – One Common Ancestor Behind Blue Eyes.
In the United States, discrimination based on skin tone dates back to the chattel system of enslavement, where skin color was often used as the basis for the division of labor (Hunter, 2002). These divisions promoted the notion that darker-skinned Blacks were inferior, evidenced by the fact that lighter Blacks were considered more attractive, intelligent, and trustworthy by their White masters. These biases are particularly salient for African American women, as the American ideal of beauty is primarily Eurocentric.
An inferiority complex is an extremely deep feeling that one is inferior to others; a feeling of intense insecurity, inferiority or of Not Measuring Up.
FAULT FINDER DESTRUCTIVE CRITICISM TENDS TO BE TIMID IN A CROWD FLATTER ME! DON'T FLATTER ME! UNHEALTHY COMPETITION
Internalized oppression works in the form of white-defined beauty internalization and its damaging effect on African-Americans… Internalized Oppression Leads to feelings of incompleteness, emptiness, self-doubt, and self hatred.
African-Americans responses and reactions to the enforced standards of beauty in Western culture: rejection alienation self-hatred and self- destruction (We destroy our hair, skin, facial features, and even our minds.)
When people are targeted, discriminated against, or oppressed over a period of time, they often internalize (believe and make part of their self- image – their internal view of themselves) the myths and misinformation that society communicates to them about their group. When people from targeted groups internalize myths and misinformation, it can cause them to feel (often unconsciously) that in some way they are inherently not as worthy, capable, intelligent, beautiful, good, etc. as people outside their group. They turn the experience of oppression or discrimination inward.
Internalized oppression operates on an individual basis. A person believes that the stereotypes and misinformation that she hears are true about herself. She holds herself back from living life to her full potential or she acts in ways that reinforce the stereotypes and are ultimately self- defeating.
Women, low-income people, and people of color don't speak up as much in meetings because they don't think their contribution will be important or "correct". Often participants from these groups may have insight into how to solve a problem, but they hold back from sharing it. In response to low expectations and lack of encouragement, some teenagers from oppressed groups believe that they won't succeed; consequently they give up on learning and pursuing their dreams. People from oppressed groups often shy away from taking on leadership roles. They don't view themselves as having leadership capabilities, and their style doesn't match that of "traditional" leadership models. A person who is not able get a job with decent wages may try to dull his disappointment with alcohol. A person who speaks with an accent feels that she should not build relationships with people outside her own culture because she is afraid that others will not want to be friends with her.
People in the same group believe (often unconsciously) the misinformation and stereotypes that society communicates about other members of their group. People turn the oppression on one another, instead of addressing larger problems in society. The results are that people treat one another in ways that are less than fully respectful. Often people from the same cultural group hurt, undermine, criticize, mistrust, fight with, or isolate themselves from one another.
Women on the board of a charitable organization compete for the attention of the male chair and refrain from taking leadership roles. They organize dinners and create decorations for events, even though they all have college degrees. The membership of a low-income grassroots organization cannot support anyone from their own community who tries to take a leadership role in the organization. Women who work on construction join men in putting down other women who have child care problems or can't do particular work because they are not as strong as some of the men. When Latino immigrants from different countries try to organize to create a political power base, the mistrust and prejudices among them makes it difficult for them to work together. An African-American teenager is not accepted by his group of peers because he works hard and does well in school; he is told he is not Black enough.
Friendship and caring are two of the strongest weapons we have in combating internalized oppression. All the oppressions have one message in common – that certain people are not valuable. Friendship provides a strong and effective contradiction to that message. What we communicate in our relationships and commitment to one another is more powerful than the message of oppression. Being a member of a cultural group can be a source of strength. Our cultures often give us our values, our sense of ourselves in history, our humor, our identities, and our world views. We depend on our cultures to provide us with a community, a reference point, a home, and a place to get our bearings and remember what is important to us.
Re-valuation Counseling has developed a model in which people of similar backgrounds meet in groups to heal from internalized oppression. In these groups people encourage each other to remember that they are good, worthy, capable, intelligent, beautiful, etc. and that others in their culture are good as well. In these groups, people take turns talking about how their cultural oppression has personally affected them while others listen. When people take a stand against injustice and oppression it can be a strong antidote to internalized oppression. Taking charge of an unjust situation and setting it right goes miles in healing people from the oppression and injustice they have endured over time. (Civil Rights Movement) In some organizations people tend to criticize each other, get into fights, lack discipline, and undermine or attack leadership. These problems have a range of causes. Oftentimes, the cause is, to some extent, due to internalized oppression. This is especially true if all or most of members of the group or organization are from a similar cultural background. Unfortunately, the more harshly a group has been treated, the more these dynamics operate. Again, this is not the fault of the group that has been targeted. Nevertheless, in order to make a group successful, this dynamic should be recognized and turned around.
Direct impact on the client: the agency asks what clients want and acts on it; services and information are individualized; clients receive information and services specific to their needs–staff dont assume that all clients need the same amount of time or the same information.
A strength-based approach operates on the assumption that people have strengths and resources for their own empowerment. Traditional teaching and professional development models concentrate on deficit based approaches, ignoring the strengths and experiences of the participants.
Community - defined is a set of practices that communities have used and determined to yield positive results as determined by the community.
The hot comb!!! Lye's (Perms) and Dyes Braids and Tails Weaves and Wigs Straight to Curly; Long to short and everything in between Sisthas have a New Attitude every two weeks…And, whatever you do… Dont Touch Our Hair!
COLOR, STYLE, AND MORE COLOR MOST BLACK WOMEN HAVE A UNIQUE SENSE OF STYLE CLOTHES, JEWELRY, and DRESSING!!! I Know about your Mocha Skin and Round Hips and Full Lips Book - Chicken Soup for the African American Womans Soul
Kitchen Table Talk Telling Your Story Beauty Shop/Friend Shop Church
First determine, if this client is suffering from Internalized Oppression If the client is experiencing Internalized Oppression use some of the methods listed Use client-centered and strength-based approaches and provide some Community Defined Practices that will help the client to address their Internalized Oppression.
Remember that society's standards of beauty change with the shifting of the winds. You never know what kind of trait will be attractive next season, and in the meantime, you can enjoy and appreciate your particular features!
1960s – 1970s BLACK IS BEAUTY…POWER TO THE PEOPLE... SAY IT LOUD, I AM BLACK AND I AM PROUD AFROS/NATURE HAIR DARK SKIN AFRICAN CLOTHING HIGH LEVEL OF SELF ESTEEM PRIDE IN BEING BLACK/AFRICAN
Valuing diversity means accepting and respecting differences. People come from very different backgrounds, and their customs, thoughts, ways of communicating, values, traditions, and institutions vary accordingly. The choices that individuals make are powerfully affected by culture.
Goal We discussed standards of beauty and the cultural and ethnic implications it has on the mental health and well-being of women of color; with a focus on African American women. Objectives - Participants learned: About the Difference Between Societal Standards of Beauty Verses Individual Standards of Beauty To use a strength-based approach Signs of Internalized Oppression and Methods to Overcome Internalized Oppression To use client-centered techniques..
"Many people think you need only good looks to be successful, but its not true only spiritual work can bear tangible results. WEAR YOU TODAY AND EVERYDAY!