Thank you Dove for sponsoring this post. How do you define #RealBeauty?
It’s amazing how the idea of beauty has been shaped by the media over the years. Many women’s ideas of beauty have been established from a patriarchal standpoint, but it’s been awesome seeing women break the mold. I remember starting my journey of self discovery early on, I knew I didn’t want to be judged by what “women should be” I just wanted to be myself.
I grew up playing and loving sports, being a mix of a “tomboy” and “prissy girl”, both stereotypes I hated but apparently just being me wasn’t an option before. We live in a society that always feels the need to classify people. It’s no wonder 69% of women agree that they don’t see themselves reflected in advertisements, movies, television. When I decided to take my own beauty into my hands, I felt a sense of relief and freedom. I decide whether I want to wear makeup, dress up, and just how I want to live my life.
But I will say nothing was more liberating than when I decided to embrace being a naturally beautiful Black Woman. For Black Women, we face an additional layer of being boxed in by societal beauty standards that are not made for women of color. From being told that the natural hair growing out of your hair isn’t professional, to being told that your darker skin isn’t marketable we’ve had to deal with it all. 4 years ago I decided to embrace my natural hair and started my journey by transitioning in. I wasn’t brave enough for the big chop, but I can tell you that transitioning to my natural hair was eye opening. I remember being treated differently by people I would work with when I had my hair in an afro or headscarf vs. when I would keep it straightened.
There’s still work to be done within our society but as I’ve been able to witness the “Black Girl Magic” movement and see my friends and sisters embrace our natural selves, it’s been encouraging. It’s also encouraging to see brands like Dove taking steps to be so inclusive with their marketing.The definition of beauty is evolving faster than the industry can keep up with. In fact, Dove has teamed up with of of my faves creative director Shonda Rhimes and an all-female crew. Together Shonda and Dove are shifting the power of storytelling from Hollywood into the hands of real women. You can check out the second film from Dove Real Beauty Productions, “Meet Kylee“. Kylee Howell’s story reveals a powerful message of non-conformity, self-assurance and shedding the societal definitions of beauty imposed on her and other women in her community.
Ladies, we have so many other things we take care of in this world. The world rests on the shoulders of us. It’s time YOU discover yourself and recognize that YOUR BEAUTY is beautiful. Once you discover that, your life after 25 gets even better.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.