A List of Black women that taught me the importance of being yourself.
As a black woman having examples to follow & who inspire me really helped shape me into the woman that I am today. If I didn’t have women who looked like & understand me. I don’t think I would be so confident in the skin I’m in now. From my mom to my aunt & more. Additionally, the black representation of celebrities who are women truly have impacted my soul & self too. They’ve taught me confidence, liberation, self expression, vulnerability, creativity, positivity, empowerment & so much more.
From the early 2000’s to now seeing the wave of black girl magic & black women in general using their natural talents. While effortlessly shining truly has made me proud & willing to do the same. Furthermore, I remember seeing Beyoncé in the Crazy In Love music video as a kid not even knowing or realizing how significant that moment was for myself. She stepped out in the intro with her signature walk, completely owning the place, wearing what she wants, & completely liberated. This was just the beginning of a major solo career. As for me, I realized this was Beyoncé showing us that she is growing & maturing not only as an artist but also as a woman. Similarly, this happened with Rihanna during the good girl gone bad era. The drastic haircut, the edgy style, & the growth in her voice & aesthetic. She became her true self in that moment. Not just as an act of rebellion against her label but to also free herself of the box they put her in. Clearly, that moment was monumental.
As for black women in my life. An example of a vulnerable, confident, selfless & intelligent black woman I know is my mother. She is truly one of the coolest women I am grateful to be related to. For example, in high school her clothes & hair were very self expressive but she was confident in herself, so nobody had the guts to say a negative word towards her. She is extremely intelligent, was a straight A student, & has gotten promoted in every job she’s ever had. That’s where the selflessness comes in because she would take shifts if any of her coworkers weren’t in the mood to come in. A workaholic but she enjoyed it. Furthermore, her vulnerable state is shown with appreciation & honesty. She writes in a journal often, reads & has a whole book collection. She’s a nerd at heart even though she’s always outwardly shown herself as the life of the party. Comparing myself to her. I would say I got the nerdy side. I’m ok with that. Lastly, she inspired me to love myself as I am & not let any person tell me what I know I am not. I’m just grateful to be her daughter.
Not only is she a proud black woman, an entrepreneur, a fashion icon, a hit maker, & a unapologetic liberated beauty. Rihanna is herself. A couple of my favorite quotes from her are “I don’t do things for the response or controversy. I just live my life.” “To me it’s tougher to be vulnerable, than to be tough.” “For the first time I don’t want to get rid of my curves. My body is comfortable, it’s not unhealthy. So I’m going to rock with it.” The reason why I love these quotes is because Rihanna has shown us in her most vulnerable state, to then quote on quote “create controversy” by speaking her mind, & accepting her body in every stage it’s been in from being thin to slim thick & now curvaceous. She’s unapologetically honored herself in everything she does. Additionally, from the music, looks & even the expansion of her empire. Nevertheless, being such a huge celebrity she is still that down to earth, humble, & amazingly talented girl from the islands of Barbados. That’s why we as the Rihanna navy absolutely love her. For consistently being her true authentic self. She has personally taught me that I can be sexually liberated. Lastly, that there isn’t a need to seek others approval of how you are as a person. And that anything is possible as long as you believe in yourself.
I grew up being a major fan of Destiny’s Child. As soon as they came on the radio I would immediately sing along. When the Dangerously In Love era happened I was truly in awe because this girl wasn’t a little teenager anymore. Beyoncé really proved that you can never fit her creativity into a box & from that moment on I was so inspired. Every album, every tour, every magazine etc…is so cohesive, intricate, creative & meaningful. Beyoncé’s self titled showed us that you can be a mom & be sexy. BDay showed you can experience somethings that would knock a person down but still be standing. Furthermore, Lemonade was Bey’s way of saying to her white audience I’m a proud ass unstoppable black woman & I want to remind y’all of that. In addition, Bey’s honesty, authenticity, & yet private way of being inspired me to view life from a similar perspective. She showcases that you don’t need to appease your critics, just believe & enjoy your art & self expression.
Naomi is apart of the pivotal aspect of fashion. All the designers she’s come to become close with over the years have always said similar things, despite all the negativity she experienced during some tumultuous times in her life. For example, they say “She’s a kind & hardworking woman. ” Also, Naomi got herself in on her own with consistency & persistence all at such a young age. To now being one of the most sought out models in the industry. I remember in an interview with Barbra Walters I think it was. Barbra had stated that Naomi had a reputation for being a bitch & in return Naomi with confidence said “If I’m going to be a bitch. I’ll be a hardworking bitch, a strong bitch, a successful bitch.” Her energy is so powerful & when she said that Barbra had to move onto the next subject because she was stumped & didn’t know what else to say. That’s the energy I inspire to have. In short, Naomi inspired me to stand my ground in face of adversity with confidence when it comes to anything.
In conclusion, knowing your worth as a black woman, truly changes how you view life. Having positive examples helps build your character & confidence. Which, as proven above leads to expressing yourself through your essence, career, art, body & culture. Helping you understand why being who you are is so valuable.