Jackie Aina may be better known as a champion of diversity and inclusivity in the beauty industry, but she’s also an advocate for Black love. Not only does the beauty influencer use YouTube to coach women through applying their makeup, but she also uses the platform to show Black girls, and specifically those with deeper complexions, what a healthy romantic relationship looks like.
On the Beauty Carnival stage at the 25th Anniversary of Essence Festival, the content creator opened up about her conscious decision to share her relationship with her significant other, with her three million YouTube Subscribers.
While most public figures keep details about their relationships private, the 31-year-old says she wants young Black dark skinned women to see an example of a positive relationship amongst two Black people.
“I’m really big on representation and visibility, and we’re here at Essence Fest so we’ll just be extremely honest—everything’s got to be Black,” said Aina. “Ultimately, I actually decided to start the [couples] channel, because lets just be honest, sometimes the men in our community are not always as welcoming of a particular type of woman amongst the Black community.”
Hinting at colorism, which is a prevalent issue that still negatively impacts women of color, she opened up to the audience.
“When we started to become more public with our relationship, in my head I thought to imagine how encouraging that might be for someone who looks like me to see she has a man who loves her, that’s also Black, that’s not degrading her, humiliating her, talking about light-skin this and light-skin that. That could be the little bit of encouragement someone may need. It might be inspiring for them. A lot of people don’t have a lot of positive examples of that.”
Aina isn’t shy about drawing visibility to the issues that affect young Black women, including sensitive subjects such as skin color. Not only does she draw awareness to shadeism at the beauty counter, but she also underscores its impact on romantic relationships and self-confidence. In a climate where touchy subjects are brushed under the rug, we’re happy to see that she’s pulling out the carpet and bringing these important topics to the forefront.
“I want young Black women and young Black dark-skinned women at that, to see another example of a positive healthy relationship among two Black people,” Aina said in closing.
To see #blacklove personified, check out these touching images of Jackie and her bae.