I saw Chaka perform this beautiful jazz standard at the Essence Music Fest some years ago and it’s lingered with me ever since. Today Chaka Khan looks just as gorgeous as ever and she attributes her svelte physique to lifestyle changes for health reasons. We can all be inspired by her now as much as we’ve ever been—clearly for her beauty isn’t just an external thing. It’s not just about your hair or your skin or the measurement of your waistline. It’s about taking the best care of your whole self, and cherishing yourself.
My first exposure to Chaka Khan was the video for I Feel For You, which was in regular rotation on Casey Kasem’s America’s Top 10 TV show back in the day. That resplendent red mane and 80’s styles inspired me and made me realize big hair could be a big, beautiful expression of individuality.
Chaka’s Rufus era happened before my time, but this is one of my favorite songs. Her sass and self-possession coupled with her glorious style and majestic fro in this phase of her career were everything, and made her instantly iconic to legions of women who wanted her look and her effortless confidence. She had something to sho’ nuff set your stuff on fire, for real.
The Through the Fire video is all about Chaka’s flawless skin, her twinkling eyes and that signature red hair frizzed out to maximum fuzzy, touchable texture and 80’s approved volume. Nobody’s rocked big, red, highly textured hair like Chaka and that’s a testimony to having a consistently distinctive look.
Afrobella was the natural hair blogger at AOL’s Black Voices and a writer for Vogue Italia’s Vogue Black website. She has also presented keynotes at several major media expos and seminars.