A Beauty Director’s Ode to Black Beauty

I bear in mind the primary time I understood Black magnificence. It was a scorching sizzling afternoon in June and my mom simply completed braiding my hair. When I glanced on the rest room mirror, I felt—for the primary time—like a stupendous brown lady. I used to be solely 5 years previous, however the reminiscence of my mother saying, “have a look at my stunning brown child” is without end etched into my mind. It was then I noticed Black magnificence is an emblem of energy. I ought to’ve welcomed Black magnificence into my life, however I did not. In my pre-teen years I believed the rumors society positioned on magnificence. I used to be satisfied it was solely a pal to light-skinned ladies with lengthy, straight hair. I mistakenly thought true magnificence solely existed within the lives of my white mates with blue eyes and pale pores and skin. Boy, was I unsuitable. When I grew to become a younger skilled, I made a decision to change into a magnificence editor to make an impression on future generations. I needed to assist younger ladies see the sweetness inside themselves. I needed to inform the world the significance of Black magnificence.Now as a magnificence director, overseeing magnificence content material for Marie Claire and earlier than that at Allure and Essence magazines, I’ve had a fowl’s eye view of Black magnificence’s impression and energy. I’ve seen its resilience and power within the trade—even when heritage magnificence manufacturers attempt to diminish it, solely supporting it when there’s the potential for monetary acquire.For generations, Black magnificence hasn’t obtained correct accolades. For years, Black faces have been absent on the covers of excessive vogue magazines. Makeup manufacturers didn’t assist us, solely providing a small vary of basis shades. And it’s not misplaced on me that Black fashions are sometimes forgotten backstage at vogue reveals. It pains Black ladies when movie star hairstylists can’t serve us as a result of they weren’t taught how to take care of us, how to embrace our curls, or how to honor our existence.I hate that Hollywood diminishes the worth of Black magnificence, solely celebrating Black options when not connected to a Black physique. And it bothers me that Black shoppers are seemingly to spend 9 occasions extra on magnificence merchandise than another race, however Black-owned manufacturers make up solely 2.5 % of income within the magnificence trade. Please perceive that you simply, Black magnificence, matter.Many argue that magnificence is colorless. And that Black magnificence would not exist as a result of all magnificence issues. But Black magnificence is the cornerstone of American tradition.  Black magnificence is… stylized child hairs that ship an additional stage of creativity to any coiffure.Black magnificence is… Diana Ross’ large, good hair from the ’70s.Black magnificence is… shea butter-based skincare on a chilly winter day.Black magnificence is… Grace Jones’ androgynous, but attractive model. Black magnificence is… curvy and voluptuous.Black magnificence is… slender, svelte, and complicated.Black magnificence is… the jheri curl of the ’80s.Black magnificence is… a reasonably thoughts, coronary heart, and soul.Black magnificence is… the lengthy nails of Florence Griffith Joyner (Flo-Jo).Black magnificence is… Janet Jackson’s intricate Poetic Justice braids.Black magnificence is… the rationale why the lip-enhancing trade is wildly fashionable. Black magnificence is… a wonderfully spherical derrière. Black magnificence is… darkish hair, darkish eyes, an enormous nostril, and massive lips.Black magnificence is… magical. I’ll spend the remainder of my days honoring and supporting Black magnificence, whereas encouraging others to do the identical. And when others shrink its pleasure, I promise to preserve the late Jamaican activist, Marcus Garvey’s phrases on the forefront of my thoughts, “Black pores and skin isn’t a badge of disgrace however relatively a wonderful image of nationwide greatness.”  


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