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The Relationship between Oshun and Modern-day Beauty Standards

Goddess Oshun, Cloth Doll, Alter Doll, dollmaking, storytelling, fabric doll, workshop, OO

By Cassandra George Sturges


In recent years, conversations surrounding beauty standards have become more prominent and nuanced. From body types to skin color, the definition of beauty has taken on a new form that promotes inclusivity and diversity. Interestingly, the Orisha Oshun, a goddess in Yoruba religion, has long been associated with beauty, among other aspects of life. The relationship between Oshun and modern-day beauty standards is an interesting one, and exploring this connection could provide new insights into a topic that has become increasingly important in modern society.


Oshun, one of the most popular Orishas in Yoruba religion, represents fertility, love, and beauty. She is often depicted as a beautiful woman adorned in gold. Her connection to beauty is both internal and external, as she is believed to have the power to make people not only physically attractive but also kind, loving, and compassionate. According to Yoruba tradition, Oshun’s worship is believed to help bring out one’s inner beauty, making them radiate and attract positive energy.


In contrast to the narrow beauty standards promoted by mainstream media and society, the worship of Oshun is not limited to a specific physical appearance. Rather, the focus is on one’s aura and energy, which can be improved through the worship of the deity. This perspective on beauty is more inclusive, as individuals of all shapes, sizes, and skin colors can be considered beautiful by Oshun's stander.


Furthermore, Oshun’s emphasis on beauty extends beyond just physical appearances, as it is also linked to one’s overall well-being. Oshun worship involves rituals that promote self-love and self-care. This includes offerings of “sweets,” such as honey and oranges, that are believed to uplift one’s spirit and promote joy and happiness. This worship encourages people to take care of their bodies, minds, and souls, promoting overall health and well-being.


The connection between Oshun and modern-day beauty standards is apparent in the way that many people have begun to embrace the Orisha and her teachings. Oshun worship has become a way for people to embrace their physical appearances and love themselves, regardless of the standards set by society. The worship of Oshun has also been linked to the natural hair movement, which encourages black people to embrace their natural hair textures and styles. This move away from Eurocentric beauty standards has created space for individuals to celebrate their unique features and embrace their cultural heritage.


In conclusion, the relationship between Oshun and modern-day beauty standards goes beyond just physical appearances. Oshun’s worship encourages individuals to cultivate inner beauty, self-love, and well-being, which is a message that modern society has also adopted. This cultural shift towards embracing diversity and inclusivity coincides with the worship of Oshun and her teachings. As the world continues to evolve, Oshun’s teachings may become even more relevant in promoting self-love, well-being, and the acceptance of all forms of beauty.

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