Living in America is undoubtedly a difficult task for a Black woman. Amongst many of the struggles Black women face on a systemic level, they also have to grapple with societal beauty standards.

Black women do not fit into the American beauty standards molded from European beauty ideals. These societal standards of beauty often dictate how a Black women feels about herself. This is a feeling that Candice Brathwaite-Aboderin knows all too well. However, one trip to Jamaica changed her entire perspective, leaving her feeling like an entirely new woman.

Brathwaite-Aboderin’s eye-opening trip unveiled to her the truth that your environment profoundly influences your sense of beauty. In one of her social media posts, she candidly reflects on her experience in Jamaica and the shift it brought her perception of her beauty.

On her trip, she witnessed the transformative power of being in a culture where Blackness reigns supreme. For Brathwaite-Aboderin, her trip to Jamaica became a revelation that liberated her from the restrictions of Western beauty standards. The compliments flowed freely, and she basked in the admiration of both men and women. It was a stark contrast to the constant pressure to conform to narrow beauty ideal in America. She felt a sense of empowerment and beauty that she had never experienced before. It’s a feeling that she sensed within many of the women she met who lived in Jamaica.

“I don’t think we sometimes, especially as Black women [and] especially as darker skin Black women, [understand] how much Western beauty standards will do a number on you when that’s the vacuum that you live in,” she said to her over 290 Instagram followers. “Black women have confidence where they reign as the majority.”

Brathwaite-Aboderin emphasized how Black women, especially those with darker-skin, in America often have to contend with layers of marginalization. Since Eurocentric features often are the epitome of beauty, Black women see images and messages that suggest they fall short. From skin color to hair texture, every aspect of their appearance is scrutinized through a lens that fails to appreciate their diversity.

In contrast, Jamaica, and many other Black countries, have become a sanctuary where Blackness is not only celebrated, but revered. It’s a place where the majority population reflects the full spectrum of Black beauty. It allows Black women to see themselves reflected in a way that feels affirming.

“Don’t let being in the minority trick you into thinking you’re ugly,” she said. “You’re not ugly. You’re just not at home.”

Surrounded by women who exude confidence and pride in their heritage, Brathwaite-Aboderin found herself embracing her own beauty with newfound appreciation and self-assurance. She wasn’t the only woman with this same revelation either. Many of her followers flooded the comments section of the video to share their similar experiences that they had after going to predominantly Black countries.

“You have to be around Blackness to appreciate your full self,” one user commented. “Depression disappeared after 1 week in Jamaica, so I visit every year now to keep me sane.”

From the camaraderie of fellow Black women to the genuine appreciation of their beauty, the Caribbean is a sanctuary where insecurities fade and self-love flourishes.

“One thing about the Caribbean, you WILL feel your best there,” another user wrote. “It doesn’t even have to be the men — though they’re going to compliment you at every step — but the women there will big you up in a major way! Plus, like you all said, it’s the women’s confidence there that rubs off on you. I went to Grenada five years ago and you couldn’t tell me A THING.”

Through these shared experiences, a powerful truth is clear: beauty has range. Beauty is not confined simply to Western standards. Instead, it’s a diverse spectrum that is inclusive of every woman worldwide.