There is nothing monolithic about our looks. Blackness in all its countless iterations is part of our magic. Here we celebrate a few of the magnificent ways we show up – and show out – in the world.
“I want to empower other Black women with disabilities to know and feel like they matter – and that there is someone out there trying to pave the way for them,” says Mama Cax.
Yvesmark Chery says, “My vitiligo is who I am. I’ve grown a love for it over the years.”
Ours is a beauty that refuses to conform, bend or break. The way our features command attention and our skin radiates a spectrum of hues makes it impossible for us to fit into society’s narrow scope of physical attractiveness. From where we sit, the possibilities are endless and deserving of praise, a sentiment that’s echoed by legendary fashion advocate Bethann Hardison. “It’s essential to celebrate Black beauty because popular culture has taken over the fashion and modeling industry. The black community is used to our vast beauty, but now it’s become so important that society reflects it in every medium,” Hardison explains. It’s not acceptable for the entire race to be represented by one archetype.
The lack of inclusivity can also breed ignorance. “Stunning images of the diversity within our diversity is an opportunity to remind onlookers of our magnificent existence – and for them to not get lazy in their minds and think there isn’t beauty beyond themselves,” says Hardison.
The New York City-based thought leader has been woke from the start – and hopes others will be too. “I never needed to have outside validation. I never got conflicted about my race or where I came from or who I was, no matter how White my environment was. There is no limit to our Blackness, and that’s what makes us so wondrous.