It wasn't until I was in my 20's before I felt entirely comfortable in my skin. As a child, I hated my untamed curly hair, freckled face and I am ashamed to admit it, but I also disliked my brown skin. As a kid growing up in New Jersey, I spent countless hours playing outside and swimming in our pool. So much so that my Grandmother told me that I wasn't allowed to go back into the pool because I was black enough. That was the first time, but unfortunately not the last time I would experience the "brown paper bag" syndrome (more on that in a later blog-post). My Grandmother, like many people in her generation, believed that anyone darker than a brown paper bag would not be accepted. So during the summer, when I would turn 50 shades of black, my Grandmother unknowing placed shame on that blackness.
This was much bigger than my Grandmother, the assault on black beauty began from the time we were slaves. During my journey of self-awareness, I read tons of books and articles trying to pinpoint why this is so prevalent in our community. One of the studies done by psychologists Kenneth B. Clark and Mamie K. Phipps Clark in the 1930s, The Doll Test in which they asked children to describe various dolls. Black children across America consistently, though not entirely, identified Black and brown dolls as ugly, while describing white ones as “pretty,” “clean,” and “nice.” I asked myself, how can a community that influences global culture, disliked themselves so much.
The more I became aware of how amazing, powerful, beautiful black people are; I started to love everything about me, I also realized the best part of me wasn't about how I looked at all, instead what I had to offer to the world. This was the genesis of my life's purpose. I began to make it my mission to stand up against self-hate in our culture and the ridiculous notion that hair texture/length, skin color, dress size are currencies more valuable than cash.
I first started with my family and friends, helping them to stop using phrases like "Good Hair and Fair Skin." Think about it, if having light skin makes you "fair" than what is brown/dark skin "unfair"? Then before going to Graduate School, I would conduct workshops on self-worth for high-school girls to show them the greatness of black people and how to place value on their unique beauty both inside and out.
So It is no accident, that On October 23rd, 2018 on my birthday I might add, I will be launching my beauty company! I was tired of black women being portrayed as not as beautiful, smart and undervalued in comparison to those of other women and I was fed up with the beauty industry for ignoring our value. Did you know that Black women, spend an estimated $7.5 billion annually on beauty products, shelling out 80% more on cosmetics and twice as much on skin care as their non-Black counterparts? Yet, we are grossly underserved by the cosmetics industry. Well, we are going to change that!
The Good Beaute mission: We are the first beauty company in business to serve you, our community and the world. The driving force behind our mission is to make Black Women our priority, to donate $1.00 for every product sold to a non-profit that supports young black women and to create the "It is beautiful to be good" movement inspiring black women to cultivate a healthy, happy, good life.