Rekia Boyd. Miriam Carey. Islan Nettles. Sandra Bland. Aiyana Stanley-Jones.Tanisha Anderson. Renisha McBride. Sakia Gunn. Shelly Frey.
Earlier this year, Pierre Jean-Louis, an artist based on the East Coast, posted a photo of a Black woman’s hair that he reimagined as a piece of art that looked like a perfectly coiled galaxy. Since then, Jean-Louise has continued to post artistic renditions of Black women’s hair on Instagram, and every photo is as beautiful as the last.
Last week, a research team from Johns Hopkins Medicine published a review of 19 studies titled “All Hairstyles Are Not Created Equal”, in which they analyzed the relationship between “scalp-pulling” hairstyles and hair loss among Black women. The takeaway, according to Dr. Crystal Aguh, is to offer both Black women patients and dermatologists tips for how to better prevent traction alopecia by avoiding high and moderate risk styles, like weaves, locs, tight ponytails, chemical treatments and braids.
In 2012, when I found out that the Mindy Kaling landed a show, I was ecstatic. At the time, I was still in the Scandal and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow bliss. When I first started watching Kaling’s show, The Mindy Project, I was willing to ignore some of the jokes that didn’t land or the undeveloped characters because it’s still a struggle for people of color to be represented on television. Now almost four years later, my enthusiasm and dedication for The Mindy Project has disintegrated. I am left wishing that the show was canceled because it doesn’t even try to confront race.
In their first commercial, Shea Moisture is breaking down the barrier between the “Beauty Aisles” and the “Ethnic Sections” in stores. While the products that are aimed at white women fill every single beauty aisle with pictures of blonde women smiling, the “ethnic sections” are only allowed to have a few dusty shelves.
The separation of products between “beauty” and “ethnic” is a reflection of the standards of beauty that many people and corporations still believe. Many people don’t believe that women of color can be beautiful. In the new commercial, Shea Moisture shows that women of color (especially Black women) are tired of being told that there is not a place for them in beauty.
This commercial is monumental because it openly discusses the racism that runs rampant in the beauty industry. It proves that products aimed at women of color belong in the “Beauty Aisle” because we are beautiful too.
This May, eight Black women will be walking the stage to receive their PhDs in Education from Indiana University. These women did not all start the program together, however they found each other during their academic journey and created these strong relationships that helped them achieve their goals, and this May they are making history.
It’s only March, but so far it’s been a good year for continuing the conversation of the representation of Black women in the media. For a quick recap, Mya Taylor was the first transgender woman to win a major award. Then, a misinformed and unwoke writer tried to come for #Blackgirlmagic, but no one was having it. We’re not even half way through the year and the celebration of Black women is in full swing, and in one week, the Black Girls Rock! Annual Awards Show returns with Tracee Ellis Ross as host.
I have a confession for you and I hope that the Beyhive won’t come for me: During the era of Destiny’s Child, Kelly Rowland was my favorite. This week, my adoration for her has only grown after the announcement that her and her makeup artist, Sheika Daley, are launching a makeup line aimed at customers who are blessed with a lot of melanin. It’s about time.
Even though How to Get Away with Murder (HTGAWM) is a brilliant show in terms of its character development, casting, and plot structure, it still has fewer viewers than Scandal, a show that’s been on its last leg for the past couple of seasons. HTGAWM, unlike Scandal, is unflinching in its complex representation of Blackness.
While Sam Smith was busy trying to claim that he was the first openly gay man to win an Oscar, at another award show, there was actual history being made.
At the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards, Mya Taylor, the actress best known for her breakout role in Tangerine, became the first out transgender actress to win a Film Independent Spirit Award in the category of best supporting actress.