Why black women can’t represent


Esther Titi-Lartey, entrepreneur and writer

Growing up, did you encounter any challenges over your complexion and how did you overcome it?
It’s funny because I’ve always been referred to as having ‘brown’ skin. Not too light, not too dark. Yet I identify proudly as a black woman. Whereas, being a darker tone, you’re referred to as ‘black’. I never quite understood why that was.

 Fenty Beauty recently came out with 40 foundation shades for light and dark-skinned women, which is amazing. Mention a time where you struggled to find the right foundation shade or any other beauty product to match your complexion. How did you feel? Do you think more needs to be done?

I’m proud of how far the beauty industry has come. Before, some brands had variety in shades but not in undertones. People have different undertones and it’s amazing to see the growth in beauty brands and the variety of tones they cater too. I definitely think we are headed in the right direction

Lastly, what are your thoughts about the Nivea billboard for fairer skin in Africa?
I think it’s a shame that although Africa has come a long way, our minds have still not changed. People in the western world are seeing the value of Africa and Africans, yet Some Africans do not see the beauty in themselves. They still have the mindset of wanting to be accepted. 

The thought of thinking that being fairer is better is just a shame. That is slavery mentality

 


Breeny Lee, blogger and social media influencer

If you could describe your skin complexion, in two words what would it be?
Beautiful and chocolatey

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Growing up, did you encounter any challenges over your complexion and how did you overcome it?
I was never bullied but when someone wanted to find a reason to insult you they would call me “blick” which was basically to insinuate I was as dark as night. My older sisters would also call me blackie as they were fairer than me.

I never took it to heart as I would always get compliments from my older family members on how rich and beautiful my skin was. Still I never thought about it too much and people seemed to care about my skin more than I did. My focus was on knowing that I was pretty no matter what.

Do you think the standard of beauty in the media has changed or do you think we still have a long way to go?
I think the media that people care about nowadays is social media and I think we have done a great job on Instagram specifically on bigging up and celebrating dark skin women. I follow a few dark skin women appreciation pages and I’m inspired.

Fenty Beauty recently came out with 40 foundation shades for light and dark-skinned women, which is amazing. Mention a time where you struggled to find the right foundation shade or any other beauty product to match your complexion. How did you feel? Do you think more needs to be done?
I never really struggled as I’ve always been “I can make this work type of person” but I used to model and sometimes the makeup artist didn’t know how to cater to my colour and sometimes I’d look grey and ashy. I think every brand has room for improvement and the more noise we make the more they will hear us and cater to us.

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 How would you like to see black beauty depicted in the media in the next couple of years?
I’d like to see black women have roles that depict, a family unit, success and liberation. I would like to see black beauty in the movies and on TV in high positions instead of looking raggedy and ghetto.

Lastly, what are your thoughts about the Nivea billboard for fairer skin in Africa?
I just looked at it and I think it’s diabolical and damn right disgusting that they would continue to push this stupid narrative that fairer is better when the majority of the population is DARK and there’s nothing wrong with it. Nivea need to stop trying to control our people to sell products, it’s degrading and actually mental slavery.

This article orginally appeared in the blog: crownoflaurelsdot

Last words: I personally believe that there have been some positive changes with beauty brands starting to consider women of colour, however I believe that as women of colour we still have a long way to go to be represented to our fullest potential in the world of media and beauty. I would love to hear your thoughts down below…
 

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1 Comment

  1. by Nana Dokuaa on 12/29/2017  5:47 PM Reply

    Beautifully written article. I am so glad you have touched on how difficult it is for us black women in this eurocentric obsessed world. What breaks my heart is that is that even in Africa ( the motherland) , woman are going through the same struggle. Well done for addressing this issue.

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