I was flicking through the latest issue of Grazia magazine yesterday and was thrilled to see that yet again Grazia has used a beautiful black model for the main beauty feature!
The feature is not colour specific, but focuses on the latest hi-tech, anti-aging products that are on the market – the no-surgery approach to holding back the years.
I had to smile to myself though, because the choice of model and the content of the feature was somewhat ironic ….has the beauty team at Grazia not heard that ‘Black Don’t Crack’ ???
This widely used term refers to the fact that black skin tends to age very well and the ‘signs of aging’ that the beauty (and cosmetic surgery) industry target with a plethora of products, devices and procedures – crows feet, fine lines and wrinkles, dark under-eye circles and puffiness, loss of elasticity – are not a major concern for the average woman of colour.
I am sure that you have all heard about, commented on and have formulated an opinion regarding the recent survey of 1,936 American adults conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation that found that while black women are heavier than their white counterparts, they have higher self-esteem and a better body image. I believe that this higher self-esteem can be also be partly attributed to the fact that the majority of black women do not abhor the aging process.
Now don’t get me wrong, aging is very much a reality for black women and eventually all of the ‘signs’ I mentioned above will begin to surface – however, in my experience, the onset of these changes in the beautiful, strong black women that have been a part of my life were never viewed in a negative light – in fact they was celebrated!
The leading ladies below typify the adage, ‘Black Don’t Crack’ , they are the essence of fabulosity!
Now you may be thinking that if you were a celebrity -with stylists, facialists and personal trainers at your disposal, you would look fabulous too, right??
Well all I can say is that for me, the most stunning, resplendent black women that I was surrounded by as I grew up, were those with whom I attended church.
I grew in the Pentecostal church, and it was here in particular that I saw Black women of all ages – young women who were just blossoming and the matriarchs who had held the fort for decades – dressed to the nines and looking spectacular week after week after week.
An essential item of attire that conferred a regal finish was the indispensible church hat.
When these women were dressed in their matching hat, suit, bag and shoes – you saw a confident, beautiful, representation of the black woman, one who celebrated her external appearance as she tended to her internal, spiritual being.
These women are our mothers and grandmothers, our aunts, our sisters and our friends. As a young girl, and now as a young women, women such as these continue to inspire me.
In 2009, just after the historical election of Barack Obama as the President of the United States of America, Essence magazine ran this cover of First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother Marian Robinson.
I still have a copy of the magazine on my coffee table, it is such a beautiful depiction of black womanhood and I love it so much! Mrs Robinson was 72 at the time that this image was taken… she looks amazing!
Age ain’t nothing but a number – embrace your outer beauty – which can only be a reflection of your inner confidence and the love that you have for yourself.