I guess the back story is really important when it comes to Bold, Brown & Beautiful. One of the beautiful models from our photo shoot asked me about it and she thought it would be great to share.
How did BBB come about? Well from watching the documentary, “Dark Girls.” I wrote a blog post about it. You can read the original here. But long story short, I felt that I didn’t see enough victory in the stories of the brown girls. It was more like they accepted being dark as opposed to realizing that they are just as beautiful as anyone else. It bothered me. And as a lighter skinned black woman, I felt like this wasn’t just their fight.
After the blog post, other women reached out to me and said, this should be a live discussion. They felt like the blog post wasn’t enough. Sooooo! We did our first Bold, Brown & Beautiful panel in Philadelphia on August 20, 2013. We watched clips from both “Dark Girls” and “Imagine a Future” and had an amazing discussion on self-esteem, colorism and images in media.
We took the same event to Washington, DC and also had a great discussion and proposed solutions on better embracing all brown women.
In between those events, I thought to myself, how can we keep this conversation going? There boldbrownbeautiful.com was birthed and the @bbb_series Instagram and twitter. This was an awesome way to stay in contact with women while we were planning our next events!
In my journey of promoting healthy images of black women, I realized there are multiple cultures of brown women who are all dealing with similar issues. There aren’t enough positive images of them in media, standards of beauty rarely include them and I thought to myself, wow, here is my purpose. To bridge the gap. I come from a family full of colors and if I was ever excluded from them just because I was lighter I don’t know what I would do. I decided that I wanted to promote something different. I wanted to promote that our beauty can co-exist. Whether you are light, dark, Latina, Indian, or the like, we can all be beautiful without downplaying one or the other.
I love my ladies. I want to work to make sure that I aid women in being comfortable in their own skin. Whether you are light or dark we all struggle with self-esteem and I can speak from personal experience. There are enough things that divide us, so I decided that this would not be another one of those things. The photo above is from our photo shoot for a brand new campaign entitled Redefining Brown Girls, How you see us, think about us and treat us. So the mission of Bold, Brown & Beautiful is to dispel myths about brown girls, redefine perceptions and create community among brown women of all colors.
Stay tuned. This is only the beginning.
Ashley M. Coleman