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The Brown and Beatific Face of Ishrat Zahan

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    [sound of water running]
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    [song: "Interlude: I Got So Much Magic,
    You Can Have It" by Solange Knowles & Q-Tip
    vocals Solange Knowles and featuring Nia Andrews and Kelly Rowland:]
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    ♫ You did it from the get go, get go ♫
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    ♫ Let's go, let's go, let's go ♫
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    ♫ look for magic, yeah ♫
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    ♫ They not gon' get it from the get go,
    get go, get go, get go ♫
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    ♫ Don't let, don't let, don't let anybody
    steal your magic, yeah ♫
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    ♫ But I got so much y'all ♫
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    ♫ You can have it, yeah ♫
    [music fading out]
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    Well, let's get it straight, everyone's ugly, okay? I want everyone--like, I really feel like everyone is ugly. Like, you see some [?].. more people on TV. Like, that's the only difference. That's literally what beauty is. I do have to admit that beauty is a commodity, right? Whiteness is a commodity. Uh, femininity is a commodity. And.. looking whiter,—having that proximity to femininity,—that will, obviously, grant you a privilege. Yeah. There's that privilege, but it doesn't say anyone's more pretty[?]. When I was in seventh grade [laughs], this kid.. he clowned me for my eyebrows [laughs]. 'Cause he has beautiful eyebrows, um.. and I think I made a joke and he clowned me, and I was like, "Okay, now I have to fix it." [laughs] Then, um, I did it, and then I went in the next day [laughs],
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    [with joking tone of despair]: and then he clowned me ever more!
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    That's what started it, so.. [laughs], it was-- it was a boy who was mean to me. [laughs] [inaudible?]
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    I was such a perfectionist when I first started: I would literally spend two hours on just an eyeliner.., just one wing. And like.., baby. [laughs] I wish I could go back and tell myself to go study or something, like.. [laughs] I just graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School. I couldn't raise my hand in class, right? Everyone around me knew so much more than me-- Or, you know what? No. We knew the same amount, but I couldn't raise my hand because everyone knew how to say it beautifully, and I didn't. The higher I go in academia, the more I realize that you need to change a lot about yourself to be taken seriously. Nobody will take you seriously if you aren't speaking properly. Nobody will take you seriously if you aren't dressing properly. And makeup is a large part of that. It's not like one person is racist to you, and you, like, learn how to be [laughs]--learn how to use your government voice. It's four years of training. It's four years of teachers dismissing you. It's four years of teachers undermining you and your classmates, not paying attention. If I have too much makeup on, I'm not professional. It's--nobody will take me seriously. My paper isn't as good. I won't be treated the same way, right? Uh, but if I don't have enough makeup on, it's unprofessional. And I hate that. For me, beauty privilege isn't just about, like, the classroom setting, but it's also about, like, safety. [laughs] It's literally safety. Um, it's..it's like [laughs] Um, it's.. it's my airport story. [laughs] I just expect to like kind of exist. Like a normal person, I just expect to go through TSA and just get onto my plane and just go. And, you know.. you get stopped 50 times, and it like-- it's, like, subconscious, I guess, but it wears you down. So, every time I go to an airport, I always dress up a little, [laughs] and a couple months ago I was in the airport with a couple friends, and I dressed up. I had, like, my turtleneck on, my business casual little blazer, [laughs] I had, like, makeup on for this, like, 21-hour flight, [laughs] and they were like--they were, like, clowning me. [laughs] They were like..--they were like, "Why are you wearing this much makeup, sis?". Airport looks, it's definitely more about your clothes than it is your makeup.
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Pavadinimas:
The Brown and Beatific Face of Ishrat Zahan
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Video Language:
English
Duration:
08:12

English subtitles

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