Even in the age of films like Black Panther and even with celebrities like SZA and Issa Rae repping for black women in the entertainment industry, black female representation in the media still has a long way to go. There is still a noticeable absence of black women in fashion, cinema, art, business and pop culture. When we’re not celebrated by traditional media, it can be difficult for black women to see our worth and take pride in the unique features that make us us. Of course there are a million reasons to revel in being a black woman, but here are just a few reasons why you should be proud to be black and female in today’s world.
1. The Versatility of Black Hair
Black hair differs from the hair of every other race. It comes in curls, waves, spirals, coils, zig-zags and it grows up and out toward the sun, rather than downward. Even our protective styles vary in design, from box braids to locs to Senegalese twists. Our gravity-defying locs are the perfect statement piece for any outfit, and contrary to popular belief—natural hair is professional and it doesn’t have to be overly difficult to manage. Loving your natural hair and not being afraid to show it off in everyday life is a powerful act of defiance. It sends a bold message to this fundamentally racist and sexist world: I refuse to cower to the pressure of Eurocentric ideals of beauty.
2. Our Uniquely Feminine, One-of-a-Kind Beauty
Black woman, we have a completely different aesthetic than other races of women. Instead of hiding our gorgeous features, we should use this distinctiveness to our advantage and accentuate these facets. Black women tend to have very full, feminine lips and large, doe-like eyes and we can often pull off bright, shimmery colors just as easily as neutral, earthy tones. We are also renowned for our curvier figures, a trait that is so desired, that it has sparked a global trend of plastic surgery. While being the envy of the rest of the world is certainly not the only reason to take pride in being a black woman, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Don’t be afraid to show off your natural beauty.
3. Black Women Are Winning All Over The World
It’s hard to be black in today’s world—it’s even more difficult to be a black woman. Yet, despite all the systems of oppression that marginalize us, black women continue to survive and fight back. According to Fortune Magazine, the number of businesses owned by black women grew approximately 322%, since 1997—which means black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States! Everywhere you turn, there are stories of phenomenal black women like Sibongile Sambo, the founder of SRS Aviation, Africa’s first female-owned aviation company! Also, one of the greatest athletes ever—if not the greatest—is a black woman named Serena Williams, who won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title while she was eight weeks pregnant. What a way to kill it!
4. Science Says We Age More Gracefully
“I am dripping melanin, and honey, I am black without apology.” – Upile Chisala
While regular exercise, keeping a healthy diet and maintaining a good skin care routine definitely plays a role in how quickly you age, a large portion of aging has to do with genetics. Black people produce the darkest, thickest melanin, which is known as eumelanin, which provides more protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, but the density of melanin packed within each skin cells allows our skin to age slower and more gracefully. While we do get lines and wrinkles, they are less likely to show up prominently on black skin because of our thicker layer of dermis, or skin. If being a black woman means we get to age as flawlessly as Naomi Campbell, sign us up!
5. Our Vivacity (and Diversity)
Black women (and black people in general) have a natural soul and rhythm and vivacity about ourselves. From the way we walk, to the way we talk and dress, there is a reason why we are the leaders of culture. Whether you are African, an Afro-Canadian or Afro-European, or even an Afro-Caribbean, there’s something unique about what you bring to the world. Black people are a diverse group of people, and in Africa alone, there are more than 1500+ languages. Wherever you go, black people are putting their own unique stamp on the world.
6. Black Sisterhood
Born out of the struggle of being a black woman in today’s world, black sisterhood is an indescribable bond that is completely exclusive to black women. Contrary to the media’s portrayal of black female competitiveness and snarkiness, there is no stronger love than that between a group of black female sisters. During moments of success, and during moments of failure, black women are consistently there to cheer each other on.
Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan said it best when he stated, “Dipped in chocolate, bronzed in elegance, enameled with grace, toasted with beauty. My lord, she’s a black woman.”
"Grace is a freelance writer and blogger from Canada. Her work has been featured on HerCampus, 21Ninety, Read Unwritten. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law."