Posts Tagged ‘BLEACHING’

BLEACHING BEYONCE HAS MADE A FILM “BLACK IS KING” o!

July 5, 2020

Why People Are Already Pissed at Beyoncé’s Upcoming Visual Album ‘Black Is King’ Chelsea Stewart | July 1, 2020

We’re still weeks away from the unveiling of Beyoncé‘s new visual ealbum, Black Is King, but it’s already facing criticism. After seeing the trailers that were released over the weekend of June 26, viewers took to eere really email the media with complaints about the Xb. Many said they feel the Lemonade singer is appropriating, homogenizing, and capitalizing off of African culture. Beyoncé giving a speech in June 2020 What is ‘Black Is King’? Black Is King is an art piece that was written, directed, and executive produced by Beyoncé. It will feature music from The Gift, the soundtrack album for the 2019 remake of The Lion King in which Beyoncé played Nala, and stars several artists who worked on the album. Explaining the project in a statement shared with Variety, Disney and Beyoncé’s company Parkwood Entertainment said: “Black Is King is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience. The film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future.” Beyoncé offered up a few more details in a June 28 Instagram post, explaining, “It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours. It was originally filmed as a companion piece to ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ soundtrack and meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry.” The film will hit Disney+ on July 31 — just over a year after the release of The Lion King. RELATED: Looks Like ‘Hamilton’ May Have Some Competition in Terms of the Most Popular Disney+ Movie of July 2020 What people are saying about ‘Black Is King’ Many people are excited to see Black Is King. It’s one of few musical releases from the singer in recent years and her first visual album since 2016’s Lemonade, a critically-acclaimed project that provoked global conversations about race, Black womanhood and feminism, spirituality, and more. But others aren’t super thrilled about it. Many people accused Beyoncé of misrepresenting Africa and fueling a certain narrative even though it is a diverse and massive continent. “Sorry but this is a freaking stereotype,” one person wrote under Beyoncé’s aforementioned Instagram post. “Do you think Africans are only people who [dance] around a fire ? You fight against Afro-American rights and you stain Africans. It’s not because you are black that you have the right to insult other black people. I know in America black people insult each other but not in Africa. We don’t.” “The Wakandafication of the continent and Black diasporic identities is entirely uninspired,” commented another, referencing Black Panther, a 2018 Marvel film that takes place on the fictional African country Wakanda. “The repeated tropes/symbolic gestures that homogenise & essentialise thousands of African cultures in service of securing the terrain for Black capitalist possibilities & futures is tired.” Echoing that, someone else said, “Y’all KNOW I love me some Beyoncé but this whole homogenization of African culture is just weird and makes it seem like Africa was ‘perfect’ pre-colonization, it wasn’t” View this post on Instagram A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Oct 18, 2019 at 2:56pm PDT Others accused the singer of appropriation, with one person saying, “YOU MEAN TO TELL ME that her new movie piggybacks off of African Culture and it won’t even be available in Africa. We need to talk about African Americans capitalizing off our culture with no real engagement or understanding with/of our people.” (Disney+ is not available in certain African countries, but the outlet reportedly has plans to expand its coverage over time.) Others, however, defended Beyoncé In response to the backlash, many fans suggested that Beyoncé didn’t mean any harm by the visual album. One person wrote: “People always complain about representation in the mainstream. We complain about how Americans know nothing about Africa. Sooo BEYONCÈ integrates African culture in her music videos to bring awareness and y’all complain??? Come on now.” “You Twitter people are crazy talking about Beyoncé ‘using’ african culture for her benefit or whatever in Black is King,” said another. “She’s literally creating exposure to so many local african artists. There are even songs on the album she doesn’t sing in.” So far, Beyoncé has not responded to the backlash. But maybe fans will get more clarity and understanding in Black Is King. Remember, you can watch it starting on July 31.

BLEACH AND DIE OOO!- GREAT OMOWURA SANG IT OOO!-DAPADA O!-OMO YORUBA O!

May 9, 2019

https://m.facebook.com/100035223440740/posts/123899198794194/?notif_id=1556397589693280&notif_t=share_wall_create&ref=notif

“SKIN BLEACHING: IDENTITY CRISIS OR MENTAL SLAVERY?”-BY ALICIA NUNN ON FACE-TO-FACE AFRICA

February 13, 2019

BY ALICIA NUNN, at 12:00 pm, December 15, 2018, OPINION

Skin bleaching: Identity crisis or mental slavery?

In 1492, Christopher Columbus stumbled upon the Americas and Caribbean Islands in search of the East Indies. With open arms, the natives welcome him as their guest, oblivious to their impending doom.

Bringing with him diseases and a hidden agenda, he was following orders from the Roman Catholic church to revitalize the failing European economy under the guise of “civilizing the natives”. With him was a crew that included three vessels of criminals let out of jail in Europe to go on the voyage.

A similar strategy was used in the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; disrupting their way of life with the intent of enslaving them, stealing their land, massacring millions.

MORE ABOUT THIS
As Africa loses fight against skin bleaching, Rwanda deploys police to enforce laws
Blac Chyna is heading to Nigeria to roll out new skin bleaching cream
This Somali anti-skin bleaching crusader in the U.S. is ending stigma against dark-skinned women
Skin bleaching isn’t passe in Africa, it’s just been re-branded
In 1619, Africans, inhumanely stacked and packed like cargo in dark, rancid ships, began the ominous Middle Passage to the Americas during the most savage, diabolical slave trade in history.

Stolen from their homes, separated from their families, raped and bred, YOU20 million Africans made it to the shores of America; twice as many are killed: the African Holocaust.

Fast forward to 2018, model and entrepreneur, Blac Chyna makes the voyage home to Africa to launch her Diamond Illuminating and Lightening Cream, in partnership with Whitenicious creator, Dencia, Cameroonian-Nigerian singer, songwriter and entrepreneur.

Blac Chyna found her way back home to Africa, bringing with her the ways of her ancestors’ captors.

How did we get here?

Blac Chyna and Dencia have everyone in an uproar over their new partnership. While it’s inspiring to see two African Diasporan women coming together to build an empire, there is a deeper issue with Whitenicious.

What’s most sad and alarming is these two beautiful, powerful black women would resort to such drastic measures to make money. Let’s take a look into the mind of a black woman who feels she needs white skin to feel beautiful.

Skin bleaching is a multibillion-dollar global industry according to Sarah L. Webb in her 2013 article, ‘The Epidemic of Skin Bleaching around the World.’ Although Indians make up the largest skin bleaching market, a staggering 52-77 per cent of African women use skin lighteners. 20-50 per cent of Asians use skin bleaches and 20-50 per cent would use more if they could afford it.

In her article Webb lists the potential health risks of skin bleaching, “neurological damage, kidney disease, ochronosis, eczema, bacterial and fungal infections, skin atrophy, and Cushing’s Syndrome.” Furthermore, the body can form a dependency on the chemicals in bleaching products that ensure the multibillion-dollar industry sustains itself.

Europe, the instigator of the fixation with white skin, has instituted laws banning distribution of mercury soap for its own people but continues to export the product with no regard for the health and well-being of other people. Webb quotes Evelyn Glenn, Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

“The media messages are conceived and created by a few individuals and are projected throughout the world. In fact, distribution of mercury soap has been illegal in the EU since 1989, but it’s manufacture has remained legal as long as the product is exported”.

Keeping dark-skinned women in a perpetual state of insecurity is big business for Europeans. Webb calls this “race- or ethnicity-based capitalism.”

The internet and specifically social media gives the capitalistic influence of the West, instituted by Columbus in 1492, open access to the rest of the world. Tragically, to Africa. As if the African Holocaust was not enough, the degrading assault on the African woman, matriarch, mother of humanity, continues.

Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube pump images of white blondes and Kim Kardashian to unsuspecting women and men all day, every day, like drugs into the veins of an addict. No matter what you search on social media, whatever the people in power decide they want to inject into your brain will infiltrate your feed, sending subliminal messages; programing your mind.

The masses follow blindly like sheep to slaughter, rushing to buy the latest products to look like a false image of beauty. And eventually, EVERYONE, falls prey to the brainwashing. Even the strongest minds begin to question themselves.

Don’t blame Blac Chyna or Dencia. They are simply pawns in a diabolical game of chess. Their profit is pennies compared to the billions of dollars the cosmetic industry makes, laughing all the way tothe bank despite the emotional and mental cost to the unsuspecting masses.

African American girls and women have always scored the highest of all races and ethnicities on self-esteem surveys. White, Hispanic, and Asian girls and women score the lowest respectively. Yet black women are brainwashed to feel inferior to these groups of women.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental illness associated with skin bleaching and unnecessary plastic surgery. The DSM-5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, defines BDD as:

1. The individual obsesses over one or more apparent flaws in his or her physical appearance that are not visible or a big deal to others.

2. At some point, the individual has performed recurrent behaviors like frequently looking in the mirror, excessively grooming, or comparing his or her appearance to another’s.

3. This obsession causes clinically significant distress or impairment in his or her social or work life.

4. The individual’s preoccupation with his or her appearance cannot be explained by concerns with body fat or weight, which may be symptomatic of an eating disorder.

With the typical age of onset is between ages 12 and 13, BDD is associated with childhood abuse, depression, and suicide.

Although white women get cosmetic procedures done far more than any other race or ethnicity, the American Society of Plastic Surgeon reports the number of African American women getting procedures increased by 17 per cent between 2016 and 2017. The daughter of Hip Hop legend, T.I., was reportedly advised by doctors that she may go blind after receiving an eye implant to change her eye color from brown to“ice gray”.

According to DoSomething.org, 75 per cent of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities like cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking, or disordered eating compared to 25 per cent of girls with high self-esteem. And teen girls that have a negative view of themselves are four times more likely to take part in activities with boys that they’ve ended up regretting later.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in 2016, the highest U.S. suicide rates were among Whites and lowest was among African Americans. Although suicide rates increased across age, gender, and ethnicity between 1999 and 2016. Suicides in the United States in 2016 doubled the number of homicides making it the second leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 34.

An alarming statistic is that African American children aged five to 12 are committing suicide about twice as much as white children the same age, according to a new study that shows a widening gap between the two groups. Social media replacing neighborhood play and isolation are cited as reasons.

The brainwashing by internet and social media have led to global assimilation to Eurocentric ideals, values and way of life. Money, individualism, competition, chaos. Traditional African value of family, community, love, harmony may explain the higher self-esteem and lower suicide rates among black people.

In his book, Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: Slavery and the Rise of European Capitalism, John Henrik Clarke quotes Columbus, “all the inhabitants could be taken away to Castile (Spain), or made slaves on the island. With fifty men, we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” The mission in Dr.Clarke’s words is, “to dominate the world and all its resources by any means necessary.”.

Columbus was speaking of Haiti, but imagine similar words spoken in boardrooms of the cosmetic companies and other industries that profit from low self-esteem and insecurity. “With a few advertising dollars, we can bamboozle the masses into believing they need whatever we are selling.”

Dr. Clarke warned, “All African and other non-European people should be on the alert, because a new form of slavery could be more brutal and more sophisticated than the slavery of the Christopher Columbus Era.” Mental slavery. The inability to make decisions or think foryourself. If someone else is dictating how you see yourself by the incessant mental images they project to you, how are you free?

You are not.

Dr. Clarke further states, “He was demeaned. This is the thing that is uniquely tragic about the African slave system. Of all the slave systems in the world, no other dehumanized the slave more than that started by the Europeans in the fifteenth century. Using the church as a rationale, they began to set up myths that nearly always read the African out of human history, beginning with the classification of the African as a lesser being.”

And over time black people began to believe they are lesser and seem to bow down to the people who colonized and enslaved them, when research proves Africans are the only people who are 100 per cent human. All other races share DNA with a vicious, disease-carrying subhuman species called Neanderthals.

Yet Africans have been convinced that they are the savages. And to hate the skin and hair which is 100 per cent human skin and hair. Unlike the skin and hair, they have been brainwashed to envy.

Loss of identity and culture can lead to genocide. When you can be convinced to change your skin, face, body, and hair to look like someone else, you can be convinced to do anything.

How do we stop the colonization and slavery of our minds? Block the mental images put in the media. Fight for your identity. Protect it. Take off the wigs, weave. Wear your natural hair. Touch your natural hair. Care for it. Love it. It is beautiful because it is yours. Nourish your skin with natural oils. Rub it. Love it. You are beautiful. Repeat until you believe it because it is the truth.

We didn’t start racism but we can stop believing it. And stop passing it on to our children. We must teach our daughters to love themselves. Their worth is not measuredby how they look or what they wear. Their worth comes from who they are.

Africa is at a crossroads. Her children are dispersed across the world, in search of something better.

The motherland is rising from the ashes of colonization and slavery. Surrounding countries see opportunity and are lurking to find a way back into the very continent they helped deconstruct and deplete. Have we learned from our mistakes? Or will we repeat them?

“When you have to call your former master back to do basic things for you, you are not free you have re-enslaved or recolonized yourself. There are Africans educated in Africa with African money who are scattered all over the world; they want to be everything but Africans,” Dr. Clarke warned.

“No matter what island you’re from, no matter what state you’re from, no matter what religion you belong to… we must develop a concept of our Pan Africanism that cuts across all religious, political, social, fraternity, sorority lines and allows us to proudly face the world as one people.”

Blac Chyna made her way back to Africa. Her intentions may have been misguided, but she made a giant first step towards getting back to her roots. Blac Chyna made it back home. All Africans are her family. Embrace her. Love her. Guide her. Heal her. Protect her.

No matter where you live, every person of African descent must return home. To our roots. Or face extinction.

“I think we should begin by finding a mirror and liking what we see. If we can’t like what we see, then we can’t make each other whole again. It can’t be just ceremony; we can’t just decorate the outside of the head forever without putting something inside of the head” Wise words from Dr. Clark.

ALICIA NUNN

Alicia Nunn, author of Take Off The Mask, is writer, activist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Nominated for Leaders as Heroes 2015 and Athena Awards 2014, she has been featured in the Chicago Tribune and Huffington Post.

BLACK PEOPLE-STOP BLEACHING BEFORE YOU KILL YOURSELF WITH SKIN CANCER!-AMIRA ADAWE FIGHTS BLEACHING 000!

December 26, 2018

FARIDA DAWKINS, at 09:04 am, July 17, 2018, CULTURE

This Somali anti-skin bleaching crusader in the U.S. is ending stigma against dark-skinned women
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Amira Adawe on her radio show, ‘Beauty Wellness Talk’…NHPR
Despite the dangers associated with skin-bleaching, the desire for some to change their skin tone has anything but lessened.  Many skin-bleaching creams include mercury, cortisone and hydroquinone; chemicals linked to skin cancer, high blood pressure, thinning of the skin, other forms of cancer, and kidney and liver failure.

Yet many women and men are willing to undergo drastic measures to be regarded as desirable and beautiful, including applying skin-lightening creams and lotions to their skin while pregnant.

The risks associated with skin bleaching inspired Minnesota public health advocate, Amira Adawe, who has made it her personal mission to seek out shops selling skin-bleaching creams and report their activities.

MORE ABOUT THIS
Skin bleaching isn’t passe in Africa, it’s just been re-branded
Ghana to Ban Sale of Skin Bleaching Products in August
African Singer Dencia Encourages Skin Bleaching With ‘Whitenicious’?
The Universality of Skin Bleaching: Looking Beyond Africa
 

Amira Adawe…Minn Post

Adawe can often be seen in Karmel Square, a meeting point for Somali immigrants in Minneapolis to socialize and purchase goods from their native land. It is also a prime location for the sale of skin-bleaching products.  Adawe uses her visits as an opportunity to scout and report merchants who still sell the controversial products.

As a county public health educator and a graduate student at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Adawe purchased 27 samples of creams in 2011 and had them tested by pollution control agency specialists. Their finding revealed that there were 33,000 parts of mercury per million in the samples given. The Food and Drug Administration only allows one part per million.

Adawe’s actions caused the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to raid and investigate establishments selling lightening creams. The Minnesota Department of Health then issued warnings about the dangers of skin-bleaching creams.

Mercury is a neurotoxin that eats away at the skin, damages membranes and causes death by poisoning. “Just touching a washcloth or a mother’s cheek that has been rubbed with the products could be harmful to a baby, the FDA notes, interfering with brain and nervous system development.”

Adawe is now a manager for the Children’s Cabinet of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and host of a weekly radio show dubbed “Beauty-Wellness Talk.” It launched in November 2017.  More than being on a crusade to stop the illegal sale of skin-bleaching creams, Adawe feels it’s important to discuss the issues that prompt women to alter their skin in the first place.

Though it is difficult, Adawe is now allowing women to speak out about the underlying issues such as colorism, self-esteem, social media and how the ideas of self-hate are a seed often implanted by one’s surroundings.

Salma Ali, 19, a Somali-American college student reveals,  “Growing up, if somebody in my family was mad at me, they’d call me koor madow, which means, ‘Hey darker-skinned,’” “And it was an insult.” Ali goes on to say, “I’ve had my aunts come up to me telling me, ‘Salma you’re not ugly, it’s just that your skin is just a little dirty. You need to clean it up. I got some products from China. I’mma hook you up.’ I’m like, ‘How is my skin dirty? I’m taking care of myself.’ But because of the fact that I have darker skin, I’m seen as ugly. And that’s just part of the way we’ve all been socialized.”

“My dream is that every woman stops using skin-lightening creams and trying to change their color,” Adawe proclaims. “And that they are happy for who they are.”

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FARIDA DAWKINS , Staff Writer

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Farida Dawkins is a blogger, video content creator and staff writer at Face2Face Africa. She enjoys writing about relatable and controversial lifestyle issues that pertain to women in Africa and the African diaspora.

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BLEACH AND DIE O!-Ivory Coast BANNED SKIN- BLEACHING PRODUCTS SINCE 2015

December 16, 2018

https://face2faceafrica.com/article/skin-bleaching-ivory-coast

BY ABENA AGYEMAN-FISHER, at 10:35 am, May 08, 2015, LIFESTYLE

Skin Bleachers Banned in Ivory Coast

Even though the health risks associated with skin-bleaching creams has long been documented in places, such as India — where the industry is described as “thriving” — many “fairness cream” patrons continue to purchase these products with the hopes of attaining lighter complexions. This week in Cote D’Ivoire, though, the health ministry officially banned the products, saying they are “now forbidden,” reports the BBC.

Speaking to the AFP news agency, Ivory Coast pharmaceutical authority member Christian Doudouko explained that the health ministry came to the decision to ban skin lighteners due to their adverse health effects, “The number of people with side effects [in Cote D’Ivoire] caused by these medicines is really high,” he said.

Consequently, the ministry released a statement, saying, “Cosmetic lightening and hygiene creams…that de-pigment the skin…are now forbidden.”

Justine Kluk, a British dermatologist, further explained to the BBC the side effects associated with skin lighteners.

“[Skin bleaching creams] cause acne, thinning of the skin, glaucoma, or cataracts if applied near the eyes.

“Or if applied liberally to the whole body, [they can] cause high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, weight gain, mood disturbance due to absorption of large amounts of steroids.”

Still, many expect the ban to do little to stop those who wish to permanently change their God-given hues.

For example, even though South Africa has the world’s “toughest laws” against skin lighteners — with an added ban against most-active skin bleaching ingredient hydroquinone — more than a third of South African women still purchase them.

While many health officials worldwide are quick to rattle off the severe health risks associated with bleaching, many officials fail to acknowledge society’s treatment of its darker skinned citizens.

Face2Face Africa Contributor Sanna Arman wrote to this very issue in her op-ed, “How We Crucify Victims of Oppression Without Crucifying the System“:

Dear Black men and women, I urge you to join the fight against skin bleaching by questioning why “light skin” is promoted in the lyrics of mainstream media, questioning why billboards are promoting the Eurocentric idea of the ultimate beauty, questioning why White privilege still exists.

Question why your local media stations would spend airtime showing you the “ultimate” idea of beauty on the runways, but those are rarely men or women who look like your sister or brother.

In Jamaica, where skin bleaching is reportedly wildly popular, the Ministry’s Director of Health Promotion and Protection Eva Lewis-Fuller further explained, “Bleaching has gotten far worse [in Jamaica] and widespread in recent years. [Bleachers] want to be accepted within their circle of society. They want to be attractive to the opposite sex. They want career opportunities. But we are saying there are side effects and risks. It can disfigure your face.”

And University of the West Indies Literary and Cultural Studies Professor Carolyn Cooper more pointedly added, “If we really want to control the spread of the skin-bleaching virus, we first have to admit that there’s an epidemic of color prejudice in our society.”

In other words, in many regions of the world, one’s complexion is linked to professional and personal opportunities.

In Africa, 77 percent of Nigerian women reportedly buy the most skin whiteners, according to the World Health Organization, followed by 59 percent of women in Togo and 27 percent of women in Senegal.

Who thinks it is time for the “Black is Beautiful” movement to be revived?

ABENA AGYEMAN-FISHER , Editor-in-chief, F2FA

Abena Agyeman-Fisher is the Editor-in-Chief of Face2Face Africa. Most recently, she worked for Interactive One as the Senior Editor of NewsOne, she worked for AOL as the News Programming Manager of Black Voices, which later became HuffPo Black Voices, and for the New York Times Company as an Associate Health Editor. Abena, a Spelman College graduate, has been published in Al Jazeera, the Daily Beast, New Jersey’s The Star-Ledger, the Grio, BlackVoices, West Orange Patch, About.com, the Source, Vibe, Vibe Vixen, Jane, and Upscale Magazines. She has interviewed top celebrities, icons, and politicians, such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, Civil Rights activist and diplomat Andrew Young, comedian Bill Cosby, Grammy Award-winning singer Jill Scott, actress and singer Queen Latifah, Olympic Gold winner Cullen Jones, international supermodel Alek Wek, and five-division world champion boxer Floyd Mayweather. Most recently, she served as the First Lady’s press reporter during President Barack Obama’s U.S.-Africa Summit, Young African Leaders Institute event, and the 2013 presidential trip to Senegal, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Tanzania. Abena is also a 2015 International Women’s Media Foundation Africa Great Lakes Fellow, where she reported on women candidates and Chinese sweatshops in Tanzania for CNN and Refinery29.

BLEACHING OOO!-BLACK PEOPLE OOO!-SAY NO TO SKIN BLEACHING!

November 15, 2018

http://bleachanddie.blogspot.com

BLEACH AND DIE OOO!- OMOTOLA WILL NOT DIE CAUSE SHE HAS STOPPED BLEACHING ATI RETURNED TO HER ORIGINAL BEAUTIFUL BLACKNESS OOO!- FROM 9JAHYPER.COM

November 15, 2018

Bleaching Lady Revert To Her Real Black Colour (Before And After Photos)
A lady who was formerly bleaching have come online to share her before and after photos, after she quit bleaching.
#@ shared the photos with the caption ” I love the way I am now. I don’t care about you what people say about me. Isn’t because I don’t have money, is because black is beautiful. and is my pride #Omotola black… change of colour is a sin”.

BLACK SKINNED BEAUTIES WHEN GIRLS ARE ABUSED ATI OVERLOOKED!-BUT THIS FILM SHOOT DEALS WITH THAT!

November 4, 2018

Teenvogue.com

Creators’ Circle is a fashion series that gives visionary young artists carte blanche to execute a photo shoot or art display —100 percent on their own terms.
Fashion is at its best when it’s born from a desire to challenge, to represent, to honor, and to progress. As stylists, designers and photographers have demonstrated time and time again, fashion can be so much more than what we wear: it’s a representation of how we see the world. Artists wield the power to empower and to represent the world as we’d like to see it — that’s the magic of fashion.
Earlier this year, photographer Zoe Lawrence was scrolling through Instagram stories when she saw a post by her friend, Cienna, that she empathized with on a deeply personal level. “She posted something about her little sister [Halia] feeling inadequate and it brought me back to my own experience throughout grade school,” says Zoe. “Black girls are are often overlooked, ignored and quieted, and we learn early on that we are not part of the standard for beauty. That can be damaging to an impressionable 12-year-old child.”
Zoe reached out to Cienna via DM, explaining that she wanted to put together a photo shoot featuring Halia with the goal of showing her that her voice matters and that she is beautiful, despite what mainstream beauty standards propagate. Soon, the two were exchanging their own stories about growing up and dealing with colorism .
“I’ve spoken to other dark-skinned black girls about experiencing colorism and how it affected their self-confidence,” says Zoe. “Cienna and I have both done our work to unlearn those harmful messages. What saved my self esteem was surrounding myself with black people. Black people are healing. Swapping experiences, opening up dialogues, building a community within your own community, keeping your allies close — these are all ways to combat anti-blackness.”
And, of course, through art.
Materialized as a means of empowerment for Halia and to serve as a visual love letter for black girls, this photoshoot is the latest in our Creator’s Circle series. Starring Halia and Cienna, it features designs from two clothing companies with black men and women at their helm. “This shoot was a chance for Halia to get dressed up in clothes she wouldn’t normally wear and see herself in the media, specifically fashion photography,” explains Zoe.
The standout denim and knitwear in the shoot are created by Los Angeles-based brand, No Sesso. The Italian name literally translates to “no sex/ gender.” Founded by Pierre Davis in 2015, No Sesso is a community brand focused on “empowering people of all colors, shapes, and identities via fashion presentations, parties, educational activations, and more,” according to their website. “I’ve walked in three of their runway shows — at this point they’re family to me,” says Zoe. “I always feel taken care of by them and feel a great sense of inspiration when I work with them.”
Kenneth Nicholson brought the impeccably tailored menswear to the shoot. Having served in the United States Army, the designer is inspired by military dress and mixes its precise tailoring with other techniques and aesthetics he picked up during his global travels. “I fell in love with how detail oriented Kenneth is with his pieces,” says Zoe. “I like to use brands that showcase black people in an refreshing way and I feel like both of these designers do a amazing job at showing how dynamic black people are.”
The shoot toes the line between stately-cool family portraiture and a hazy fairy-like dreamworld — two very different concepts that somehow flow seamlessly into one another. At first glance, you probably wouldn’t glean the weight of the message the project encapsulates. It’s only once you hear the personal story behind it that it’s importance and underlying themes really sink in. “Always keep in mind that the world’s disdain for your skin isn’t personal, it’s political,” concludes Zoe. “I hope young black girls can remember that sentiment the next time they catch themselves internalizing any form of anti-blackness.” Ariana Marsh
Creators’ Circle is a fashion series that gives visionary young artists carte blanche to execute a photo shoot or art display —100 percent on their own terms.
Fashion is at its best when it’s born from a desire to challenge, to represent, to honor, and to progress. As stylists, designers and photographers have demonstrated time and time again, fashion can be so much more than what we wear: it’s a representation of how we see the world. Artists wield the power to empower and to represent the world as we’d like to see it — that’s the magic of fashion.
Earlier this year, photographer Zoe Lawrence was scrolling through Instagram stories when she saw a post by her friend, Cienna, that she empathized with on a deeply personal level. “She posted something about her little sister [Halia] feeling inadequate and it brought me back to my own experience throughout grade school,” says Zoe. “Black girls are are often overlooked, ignored and quieted, and we learn early on that we are not part of the standard for beauty. That can be damaging to an impressionable 12-year-old child.”
Zoe reached out to Cienna via DM, explaining that she wanted to put together a photo shoot featuring Halia with the goal of showing her that her voice matters and that she is beautiful, despite what mainstream beauty standards propagate. Soon, the two were exchanging their own stories about growing up and dealing with colorism .
“I’ve spoken to other dark-skinned black girls about experiencing colorism and how it affected their self-confidence,” says Zoe. “Cienna and I have both done our work to unlearn those harmful messages. What saved my self esteem was surrounding myself with black people. Black people are healing. Swapping experiences, opening up dialogues, building a community within your own community, keeping your allies close — these are all ways to combat anti-blackness.”
And, of course, through art.
Materialized as a means of empowerment for Halia and to serve as a visual love letter for black girls, this photoshoot is the latest in our Creator’s Circle series. Starring Halia and Cienna, it features designs from two clothing companies with black men and women at their helm. “This shoot was a chance for Halia to get dressed up in clothes she wouldn’t normally wear and see herself in the media, specifically fashion photography,” explains Zoe.
The standout denim and knitwear in the shoot are created by Los Angeles-based brand, No Sesso. The Italian name literally translates to “no sex/ gender.” Founded by Pierre Davis in 2015, No Sesso is a community brand focused on “empowering people of all colors, shapes, and identities via fashion presentations, parties, educational activations, and more,” according to their website. “I’ve walked in three of their runway shows — at this point they’re family to me,” says Zoe. “I always feel taken care of by them and feel a great sense of inspiration when I work with them.”
Kenneth Nicholson brought the impeccably tailored menswear to the shoot. Having served in the United States Army, the designer is inspired by military dress and mixes its precise tailoring with other techniques and aesthetics he picked up during his global travels. “I fell in love with how detail oriented Kenneth is with his pieces,” says Zoe. “I like to use brands that showcase black people in an refreshing way and I feel like both of these designers do a amazing job at showing how dynamic black people are.”
The shoot toes the line between stately-cool family portraiture and a hazy fairy-like dreamworld — two very different concepts that somehow flow seamlessly into one another. At first glance, you probably wouldn’t glean the weight of the message the project encapsulates. It’s only once you hear the personal story behind it that it’s importance and underlying themes really sink in. “Always keep in mind that the world’s disdain for your skin isn’t personal, it’s political,” concludes Zoe. “I hope young black girls can remember that sentiment the next time they catch themselves internalizing any form of anti-blackness.” Ariana Marsh

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