“Black is beautiful, baby. Black is beautiful.”
^^Some man in New York told me that when I was 15. He had a cloudy eye and bad teeth. It was weird, but I digress.
When taken care of, black skin is supple and positively radiant. Despite what racists like to say about our genetic coding (all of which was/is wrong, very wrong, or horribly twisted), having darker skin can sometimes come in handy. Going a bit scientific, the darker you are the more melanin you have. Skin is typed into six classes, with the higher the number meaning the darker the skin—I’m probably a five or six. Not only does our melanin protect us from sun burns (hehe #whitepeopleproblems), but it also lessens the sun’s aging affect on our skin. As long as we take care of it with lotions, drinking lots of water, and a good diet, we have a better chance of looking younger longer. Again, I’m not against wrinkles and I hope I never feel the need to get Botox, but just like a tall person playing basketball, I’m not against using what was given to me as an advantage 😉 (Source)
Find a good moisturizer for your hair, whether you’re natural or relaxed (especially if you’re relaxed!) Carrot oil is pretty heavy duty, I usually only use it the night before I “co-wash” my hair because it isn’t the greatest smell stuff, but it works for me. I also forgot to include a night cap. They look silly, but they keep your hair from breaking against the pillow. If your man has a problem with one then dump his butt. A hair pick is nice as well. I don’t fully pick my hair out due to its texture, but I give it a little poof to make sure the mini ‘fro (Aka Teeny Weeny Afro: TWA) is even all around. Hair is a sensitive topic within the black community, so finding peace with what you have and knowing how to maintain it can make your feel more confident and beautiful.
Find a good moisturizer for your face and skin as well. I’ve extolled the values of using coconut oil for a moisturizer in the past, but you also want something for your body. Ashy is never okay! Eucerin is thick and effective. This is great for if you’re feeling really dry or are just starting to moisturize. I’ve been on top of lotioning up for years, so I can use lighter options on a regular basis. Bag Balm is great for the lips and we’re known for having a great set of kissers so we shouldn’t let them go all chapped. Those black face actors were just jealous their smoochers weren’t as voluptuous!
Not only do I adore the First Lady for her class, style, and efforts toward a healthy America, but she brought black female biceps to the forefront. Body builders get crazy tans to create shadows that better display their muscles. Conveniently, being black already gives you built in highlights! Think of your skin tone as the pushup bra for your biceps. Lift heavy and consistently for beautiful and functional arms.
Finally, find “nude” products that work with your skin. I’ve yet to find a good nude lipstick, but I inadvertently discovered a wonderful nail polish that, from a distance, closely resembles my natural nail bed color. This is great for interviews as it’s not too out there, but the sparkle French Manicure keeps it fun.
On a final note: I’ve never woken up and wished I was white, but growing up in an adoptive white family in a very white area of the country means I’ve never had a lot of black women to look up to. And I’ve long given up on looking to TV for a wide assortment of black role models, but I’ve worked on becoming my own role model by taking care of myself and taking note of the dark women I’ve seen. Black women (all women!) should embrace who they are. It doesn’t mean you have to wear ruffles or makeup and be super feminine, but whatever your style is be comfortable and take care of yourself to the best of your ability, because you never know what younger girl you might inspire on the streets.