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Diversifying Beauty – Black History Month

The month of February always reminds me of how far the black community has come for people like you and I to have the opportunities we have today. I am easily reminded of political, social, economic movements that had to take place despite racial discrimination. Many other groups in the media, fashion, beauty, academia have gained momentum giving us more hope for change within our community.

In celebration of Black History Month, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the growth we have made in the beauty industry. For many centuries, the standard of beauty was defined as a fair, long-blonde flowy hair, size 2 lady who we generically saw on the covers of magazines and TV commercials. Such standards made the representation of black beauty on media distant dreams within our community.

black

Fast forward decades later, black women have broken out of their silence and sent earthquakes through the beauty industry forcing the beauty industry to conform to this change in beauty standards. Now, more than ever, we are wearing out natural hair and guess what, IT’S OKAY! Our gravity defying hair twisted in bantu knots is being featured on the front of magazines, commercials (not just BET) and I can wear my natural hair to work.

With millions of black women marching for #TeamNatural, companies who made relaxers quickly realized losses in sales and created brand new products that catered to this new movement. The dark skin women who were once only portrayed as sexual objects or ugly birthed actors like Issa Rae and Lupita, once again defying what was once, a standard of beauty.

Want to use this opportunity to recognize women of color who have contributing to making it OK to be dark skin with tight coily hair and for restoring confidence within the black community and giving us the opportunity to be the best version of ourselves. These women have broken barriers in the beauty industry and the world has realized that beauty exists in all textures, shades, shapes and sizes.

– Ivery Arie 

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