Editor's note: This is the final part of a six-week series on the perceptions of beauty. Last week, we looked at self-acceptance and self-confidence. This week, we explore how beauty standards across cultures affect perceptions of beauty in the United States.
Check out what CNN iReporters say beauty means to them.
By Sarah Springer, CNN
(CNN) - As 18-year-old Giovana Frediani and her friends stood in front of the mirror to prep for a night out, one girl turned around and complained that her backside was getting big.
It was that moment when Giovana – popular, fashionable Giovana – felt the knock of self-doubt.
As usual, she dressed to accentuate her curves, a typical style among her Latina family and friends. But these friends were from a predominantly white area in Oakland. In her eyes, there was nothing oversized about them.
“If she was saying that about her own body, then she must have been thinking the same way about mine,” said Giovana, an American high school senior who grew up in Oakland.
“I almost feel out of place because they define beauty in different ways than I do.”
The U.S. population is growing, changing, mixing in new ways - more people are in interracial relationships and more identify as multiracial than ever. Those realities change the way women, especially, look at others, ourselves and the idea of the “all-American beauty,” if there is such a thing.
By Stephanie Siek, CNN
Cleveland (CNN) – It's the Cleveland Indians home opener and the grounds outside Progressive Field are a sea of red and blue jerseys. As the crowds of celebratory fans walk toward the ballpark’s entrance, they pass a small group of protesters holding signs that say that the team’s name and mascot, Chief Wahoo, are racist and offensive.
About 10 people stand in a small park next to the stadium, quietly holding signs that say "People Not Mascots" and "Stop Teaching Your Children Racism." Every once in a while, someone in the stream of baseball fans pauses to shout mockingly, "Chief Wahoo Rules!", "You killed Custer" or just "Shut up!"
Robert Roche, executive director of Cleveland's American Indian Education Center and a Chiricahua Apache tribal member, says it's been like this each of the 30-some years he's been protesting. The shouting gets angrier and more frequent the closer it gets to game time, with many of the hecklers fresh from the nearby bars.
"If you stand here long enough," Roche says, “you'll see that racism is alive and well in Cleveland."
Not long after, a man in dressed in a feather headdress, face paint and a sweatsuit airbrushed with images of Chief Wahoo walks past and makes faces at the protesters. People in the crowd around him break out in war whoops.
Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.
Female IBM CEO to attend Masters, bringing attention to all-male Augusta golf club - The Wall Street Journal
'Dark Girls' documentary shows impact of 'hue-based hierarchy' on dark-skinned black women - National Public Radio
Gil Noble, host, creator public affair program highlighting black Americans, dies - The New York Daily News
Opinion: 'To play the violence card is to suggest that black people should worry more about the harm they do to themselves and less about how victimized they are by others' - The New York Times
By Jaqueline Hurtado and Michael Martinez, CNN
(CNN) - A California doctoral student who's an undocumented immigrant has published a free how-to guide on the Internet instructing similar immigrants on finding employment after college and maintaining good health "living in the shadows."
The inspiration for the book came from her family, she said.
"My father has always told me look for solutions instead of the problems," says Iliana Guadalupe Perez, an immigrant since the age of 8 when her parents brought her to the United States from Mexico.
"I always try to find the solution to the problem, if this door closed, what can I do so it opens to me?"
Perez's immigration status has been her biggest problem: she is part of the millions of undocumented students around the country. But she is also a college graduate, and yet her legal status still stands in the way of her job prospects. It's to the point where she wonders if doors won't open, could there be a window?
Read the full post on CNN's Schools of Thought blog
Editor's note: Tune in to "Anderson Cooper 360°" all week for the surprising results of a groundbreaking new study on children and race at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
By Chuck Hadad, CNN
(CNN) - Luke, a white seventh grader, believes his parents would not be supportive if he dated an African-American girl. "Honestly I don't think my parents would be too happy because ... if you marry a black girl, you're connected to their family now," he said, adding, "and who knows what her family is really like?"
Jimmy, a black seventh grader, recounted that after he had several white girlfriends, his parents seemed to interpret it as an affront to his own race. "They said, 'Why not your own kind?' because all my girls have been white," he said, adding, "it's not like they were like, 'You need to choose a black girl,' it's just they were asking me why I like white girls and I was just like, 'there's no ... specific reason.' "
Their stories highlight a divide not between the races, but between the generations. Both teens participated in an Anderson Cooper 360° study on children and race. Many students reported discouragement of interracial dating from their parents, or those of their friends, with reactions ranging from wariness to outright forbiddance.
Read the full story
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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