Friday, June 11, 2010

Author Carolyn Vines Believes Corporate America's Standard Of Beauty Cannot Be Imposed Upon Black Women

Corporate America is becoming more interested in the beauty standards set for black women. In her soon to be released book, Black and (A)broad, author Carolyn Vines encourages single black women to reject any blindly accepted societal limitations, including the attempt to set beauty standards set for them

Carolyn Vines, author of Black and (A)broad, encourages black women to reject any and all limitations and identities imposed upon them by society. She offers inspiration to all black women regardless of age.

Black beauty bloggers are gaining more acceptance in American society. Recently Patrice Yursik, founder of Afrobella was chosen to be featured in Fast Company magazine and on The Root. While Ms. Vines sees this as a move forward, she also perceives a danger that obsolete standards may be imposed upon women - black women in particular.

"The recent debates surrounding the sexuality of black women," stated Ms. Vines, "have prompted discussion all over the blogosphere. Moreover, the debates have brought other issues into question, namely America's obsolete standard of beauty. Black women like the late Lena Horne moved beyond this would-be limitation on her identity and inspired countless others to do the same."

Beauty is beauty, regardless where it may be found and black has always been beautiful. Economics appear to be the driving factor in corporate America's interest in the black beauty market, as a recent study showed that black women spend more than three times as much on beauty products as their white counterparts. Today however, unlike the 1960's, television driven, 'hand them what we want them to buy' mentality, buying trends and beauty standards are being determined by buyers themselves through social media and blogs.

Moreover, with America's new-found global awareness, companies that hope to profit must begin to realize that standards of beauty are culturally driven and cannot be imposed by any outside entity, regardless of economics. Ms. Vines, an award winning blogger herself, believes this global awareness will cause companies with obsolete standards of beauty to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new social environment, where failure to accept what black women demand will cause old-school companies to become obsolete themselves.

"Through my travels," continued Ms. Vines "in Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean and Holland, to name a few, I've found that beauty is culturally determined." Furthermore, Vines urges considering the dollars and "sense" of the issue.

"It's a fact that black women spend millions of dollars every year," she said, "to live up to a standard of beauty we had no say-so in creating. Our hard-earned salaries, still well below those of our white and Asian counterparts, continue to support industries that give nothing back to our communities."

Black And Abroad describes how after moving from New Orleans Carolyn finds herself in the land of windmills, wooden shoes and endless gray skies. As she moves away from the remnants of her tragic childhood and America’s obsession with race, she is plunged into the depths of homesickness and depression. She travels through motherhood and a career change, and her determination is put to the test.

On the way to self-discovery, she ends up finding love, soul sisters and is inspired to travel beyond the limits imposed upon her by race. In this mid-life memoir, Carolyn writes candidly about how being mistaken for a prostitute in Austria, losing her passport in Cuba and dealing with Dutch people on their bikes (among other quirky adventures) have changed her ideas about being a black woman in the world. Black and (A)broad is to be released in August 2010.

Ms. Vines is available for interview and can be reached using the information below or by email at More information on her forthcoming book is available at her website at


Carolyn Vines hails from Indianapolis, USA. Her passion for language has led her to teach Spanish, English and literature at universities in America and The Netherlands. It has also led her into a career as an author, editor and translator. Her work has been published in local Dutch English language papers and The Telegraph. She speaks Spanish and Dutch and last year translated a novel by a critically-acclaimed Curaçaoan author. As the result of her life experiences, she believes it is possible to travel beyond identity and offers inspiration to travel beyond limitations.

Ms. Vines’s website was the 2009 Black Weblog Award Winner for Best International Blog. She is currently writing her first book about her twenty years’ experience living and traveling abroad. Look for Black And (A)broad early in August of 2010.


Carolyn Vines