Be Beau. Be Black. Be Unapologetic You.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Dark skin gyal, chocolate darlin', lightskin, melanin goddess are all terms that are becoming increasingly used to describe WOC (Women Of Colour) to almost not celebrate the richness of our colour but to create a 'trend'. I don't know about any other black women but I am sick of seeing our beauty and heritage being used as a promotion to get more buyers - to create a mist that as a collective we exist in 'huge numbers' within industry, that being across the board. From the oiled up women across our feeds to those being one of a few black women in a business, we are not a trend or a staple for statistics but instead the same if not more than the next Caucasian woman.

For me growing up, I was blessed to be largely surrounded by other black girls in primary school apart from my early years - my earliest memory being a girl asking if I was chocolate. Today, I mean I would respond with 'hell yes am I chocolate' but then it was an innocent comment of confusion. If we continue to almost allow black queens to be made into this image of just being an 'image' then essentially aren't we just literally acting like 'chocolate'.Let me elaborate. Jackie Aina, 'Auntie Jackie' or 'Le Bronze James', spoke about this idea of the representation of women with Galore magazine saying that she wants to make darker skin mainstream. She stated with Galore that "people really never understand how we really are left out a lot"  which although to many is not true, it really is! Think about it this way, before Fenty Beauty came out with a line that covered all skin tones (and I put emphasis on tones) in their ad's without using just one lighter girl and a darker girl, were any other brands doing such? Brands are only developing now, from when we only used to be able to buy our makeup from a sleek stand at a PAK's Cosmetics supply store. Is it enough? If yes, then why is there a deficit in darker skin models - shout out to Duckie Thot who is helping to fill the gap. We have all shades from ivory to porcelain then 'caramel' to 'ebony' for some brands - which clearly illustrates that progress is being made, just not enough. We can see that on the contrary being black is being treated as how it was seen in the past, a skin tone to not want and one that is below all others. This being demonstrated in the Dove ad from earlier this month to the highly controversial ad in China for the washing machine brand. Are we moving backwards or forwards in terms of equality?

Black isn't a come and go trend that people are making it seem to be, instead it is a race of people who too are trend setters but not trends in themselves. Dear little black girl, you are not a 'fro or item to be capitalised off but instead a facet in a larger diamond - that is the melanin community. Embrace it, love it, hold on to it - by never letting anyone or thing tell you that darker skin is 'last season'. 

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