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Afua Boateng, 22

As a young black girl, being surrounded by beauty adverts showing tall, thin, blonde, white women who didn’t look like me gave me a narrow view of what beauty was. It wasn’t just skin colour; it was hair type and body type, too. It took me a good couple of years to realise I wouldn’t look like that, and that that was ok. I would tell my younger self to widen her lens of what is beautiful.

Beauty Portrait of Afua Boateng
I’m a punk musician and I think that by experiencing this world, I’ve seen so many different portrayals of beauty and have come to realise that I don’t want or need to conform to just one. It's taught me that it’s really lame to look like everyone else, unlike what I saw in beauty ads and magazines growing up...which just isn’t realistic. - Afua, 22

I play bass in a punk band, and a part of that is that you don’t want to conform. The punk world has taught me you don’t have to look like everyone else. All the musicians I like kind of have a point of not conforming to those beauty standards. I thought it was cool.

I feel beautiful now. I really like my big nose. Loads of the women in my family have this nose, so it’s an important feature of my face. It’s not just any big nose. It feels special.

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