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Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Between screening Black and Cuba and working on my new multi-platform project 9 GRAMS, I’ve spent some time this summer thinking about the Black woman’s image.  Of course in one way or another I’ve been thinking about it my entire life by looking in the mirror and beholding the relentless glamour of my mother and grandmother while I was growing up. In creating films that center Black women’s perspectives and – frankly- a lifetime of struggling to valorize my own, I’ve come to realize the most empowering and aesthetically beautiful representations of Black women are the ones we create ourselves.

8 thoughts on “Recognize

  1. Question? Why pick the brightest image to use in a narrative about Black Women? Thankfully when I think of Black women a darker more majestic picture come to my mind! All praises due to the rainbow we as a race have in our culture: But I can only remember what gave me the “sweetest juice” in my life time: [juice aka love]
    Like the originator of this blog for instance!
    Take care!

  2. As a black women who is consistently judged by other black women being called words like “valley girl”, this post truly spoke to me. We spend so much time judging one another for not being black enough or acting too ghetto, yet we fail to realize the beauty in being different. I could not have said this statement any better, “I’ve come to realize the most empowering and aesthetically beautiful representations of Black women are the ones we create ourselves.” I may not fit into some people’s perception of “being black” but whether a valley girl or not, I am a very proud Black woman!

  3. One of the final thoughts mentioned in this post resonate the most with me and that is “I look forward to continue creating myself for myself and affirming others.” I am an older female; and I, like most females, have spent too many years letting my perception of my image be molded by outside messages, mostly sent via Madison Avenue. Today, however, I am less inclined to listen to such messages and much more incline to look at my two daughters. I strive to create an image for my daughters and their peers to emulate, an image that considers aging as a stage of life to embrace not to elude. I want them to see that the lines on my face and the grey in my hair are signs of effort and achievements. I no longer hide the passage of time with specialty make-up or color treatments. Such efforts only mask true inner beauty earned. All of us, should listen less to others and listen more to our inner selves as we create ourselves and affirm others’ creations of themselves.

  4. This post speaks to me. Growing up, I struggled with the idea of being able to see the beauty in myself. I let society and the media dictate my perception of what skin tones could be deemed as beautiful. It took a long time for me to really embrace and acknowledge my own beauty and form my own standards of beauty.

    I love the fact that black women are being embraced and empowered. It gives me hope that one day, when I have a daughter, she’ll be able to recognize her own beauty from a very young age and she won’t feel the pressure to conform to someone else’s standard of beauty.

  5. The new transition of what beauty is, has become part of a new revolution. African-American women are walking into a path of loving the way we are born. I love seeing an increase in just being able to wear your natural hair. It is taking away to conforming your natural hair into what society thinks it should look like. The movement in younger generations, to accept their natural beauty. In 2016, girls in Kentucky are protesting a policy that implies that natural hair is “messy”. Policies like this are forms of racism and self hate, when a school makes it so that you cannot wear you’re hair. In a time when self love is becoming so relevant in society, we cannot be held back from old policies that were put into place. Black women need to continue to empower ourselves and other black people in general.

  6. Dear Robin,

    I totally agree with you. Seeing beautiful, strong and talented women in mainstream media helps us to trust ourselves. Beyoncé makes our vision of the black woman as the mother of the nation. A magnificent woman who started from nothing, being one of the most powerful figure of the 21st century – How inspiring.

    We need icons we can relate to and grow with.
    Thanks to Ella Fitzgerald, Josephine baker, Oprah Winfrey, Shirley Chisolm or Michelle Obama – but also Rada Boric and Sonia Gandhi (an so on), we, women, have more and more rights to be who we want to be.

    I believe that being who you really want to be is an everyday battle. We are influenced by our surrounding, by our society, for the worst but sometimes for the best. And let’s take only the best of it.

  7. It is so true, that the image we create for ourselves is by far the most beautiful. Women in general spend far too much time obsessing over their appearance and constantly comparing themselves to other women. Women on women hate is a very real thing, and I have seen it in action in places I never imagined I would. One would think that the catty girl gossip ends back in high school, but it often seems to follow us through our adult lives. We should be focused on inspiring and supporting other women, not tearing each other down. As a woman, I try to recognize the beauty in others and not worry if I’m too “this” or too “that.” Perfection is unattainable, and there is beauty in all of our struggles and imperfections.

  8. Growing up I have always struggled with the concept of my image as a black woman . Seeing inspirational females such as Beyoncé and Janelle express themselves through music and giving a sense of confidence to fellow black women . Too much emphasis is put on our appearance to flow with the status Quo of society .

    Having positive influences help to boost overall confidence as well as creating a sense of identity to be proud of .

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