January 2015Faces of Black Fashion: January 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Defying Pageant Hair Politics: Caribbean Beauties Carolyn Desert and Kaci Fennell

Faces of Black Fashion is all about celebrating the beauty of diversity, to show the many ways that beauty is not limited to a societal box.   

Beautiful and vibrant, Miss Jamaica, Kaci Fennell looks like she belongs on the cover of a magazine. As a Jamaican, I rooted for her during the Miss Universe pageant this past Sunday. I am and was proud when she made it to the top ten and subsequently placed in the top five. With striking features  that are highlighted by a sharp pixie cut, I beamed that Kaci confidently resisted the box called long flowing "pageant hair" and chose instead to rock her pixie; the only Miss Universe contestant I've seen with short hair so far. Who knows maybe she'll start a trend.  

Carolyn Desert, Miss Haiti 2014, is another Caribbean beauty who broke out of the cookie cutter "beauty queen" box.  Amidst criticism about her hair, she embraced her natural hair and beauty and walked away with the crown, inspiring women around the world.  In a interview with Shape Magazine, Carolyn said that she hopes to inspire women "to love themselves the way they come."

Kaci and Carolyn, thank you for embodying the beauty in diversity. 


Monday, January 19, 2015

Living Dr. King's Dream Today

Yesterday I watched a powerful recap of Oprah's Legends of Selma on Own. I cannot emphasize the power behind the legacy of Dr. King and the many others who risked their lives for and lived a purpose dedicated to civil rights, equal treatment and justice for all mankind. We would be truly remiss if we failed to recognize from whence we came. Their sacrifices give credence to the fact that we have the ability to do great things with our lives and through our callings.

Today I came across this video by Street Etiquette and it's simply brilliant. I applaud the way Joshua and Travis use fashion and history to confront stereotypes, celebrate difference, showcase diversity and turn ideas about black masculinity on their heads. Cheers to continuing the legacy!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Winter Style Inspiration: Black Models Edition

Now that I'm back on the East Coast, I feel like I'm relearning my winter style. Living in L.A. for the past two winters spoiled me, I didn't even own a true winter coat. I get a lot of style inspiration from my favorite models off-duty style. I love editorials and runway fashion, but you don't really get to see a model's true expression of style until you see their street style photos. I hope the following photos inspire you this winter. Enjoy!!!!

Jourdan Dunn Street Style 2014 At New York Fashion Week Photography By Tim Regas

Ajak Deng 

Joan Smalls rocks leather pants

Anais Mali wears knee length coat and fedora
via Tumblr

Liya Kebede


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What Being Mary Jane Teaches Us ABout Black Women and Vulnerability

One of my favorite scenes from Being Mary Jane takes place when Mary Jane confesses to her mother that she is having an affair with a married man. It’s a sweet and vulnerable moment filled with brutal honesty tempered by a mother’s love. Confused and hurt, the successful over-achiever of the family tearfully seeks the wisdom of her mother who offers her compassion filled with stern advice, "Cry tonight, but in the morning you will fix it."

Though a short scene, it showed an important reflection that we do not often see on our television screens. Stripped of all pretenses, in a beautiful moment between mother and daughter, a black woman cries. In mainstream media, when black women hurt, they react in anger. We are used to seeing black women "go off" in fits of rage, ready to destroy and cut down anything in their paths. If we see tears, they often spill from angry eyes shortly before the woman exacts revenge.

The images representing black women are usually one-dimensional, failing to show us as complex human beings who experience a range of emotions. Despite the infamous strong black superwomen myth, black women experience moments where we feel vulnerable, naked and exposed. Outward appearances and academic and professional accolades aside, we too hurt and feel deeply. Yet, a lot of us are afraid to show that side,  because we live in a world that is swift and harsh in judging us or we’ve been foolishly taught that vulnerability equals weakness.

In truth, we all need a safe place to cry and/or to express the most vulnerable and softer sides of ourselves. Whether it’s our mothers’ arms, a therapist’s couch, a significant other’s shoulders or our friend’s living room, life's valleys demand that we have a soft place to land. It’s deeply human to want to be seen and loved for who we are – flaws and all.  What I appreciate about shows like Being Mary Jane is that they show the full range of black women’s humanity.  Yes we are strong and accomplished, but we are also vulnerable and we make mistakes. Often we are pillars of strength for others, yet at times we too need pillars to help us to hold it together.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Everyday Makeup For Brown Skin (Work & School)

Youtube is my number one destination for makeup tips and inspiration. Recently, I started looking for ideas on how to improve upon my everyday makeup and came across these videos my some of my favorite beauty vloggers. I prefer a muted and neutral look for daily wear. If that's more your style, check these videos out and be inspired.