It all started with a Facebook message.
A few years ago, nothing in my life started because of Facebook. It was just a site that I logged onto to see what my friends and family were up to.
I didn’t get any insight into the world. I wasn’t reading the news through my social feed.
Incredible how time can change things. Today, I meet new people and make REAL connections every single day…from Facebook. I transact business, from
Facebook. I became an entrepreneur on Facebook. Joined a book club. Met a couple of celebrities. Followed social movements. Started contributing to a blog.
All of these things have come into my life purely because I have an active Facebook page.
The most recent turn of events involves yet another post gone viral. Meet Lil Kim. Actually, you probably already know her…but you may not recognize her now.
She’s gone through a series of surgeries and transformations to completely change her outward appearance. Like always with these kinds of polarizing posts, we can all speculate. But Lil Kim has made it so that we don’t have to speculate as to why she felt the need to so drastically alter her appearance. Spelling it all out and laying her cards on the table for the world to see her vulnerable, shaking hand…she has been quoted saying that “all my life men have told me I wasn’t pretty enough…to this day when someone says I’m cute, I can’t see it…no matter what anybody says.”
In case you’re new to the Internet, Lil Kim is a rapper who at the height of her career was part of the wildly successful record label, Bad Boy. Through the years, she has showcased a very public transformation via paparazzi photos, blogs, appearances and even her own social media.
What she posted a few days ago has been the topic of conversation throughout all of social media. Not only do these new photos not resemble Lil Kim as we have come to know her…they don’t appear represent a black woman at all.
This got me thinking about the message being sent to black women, but more importantly to young black girls. Is she telling us:
– that if a man doesn’t find you attractive, that you should alter your appearance until he does?
– that you can only be beautiful with fair skin, small features and blonde hair?
– that your worth comes from your outward appearance?
No. No. No, no, no, no, no. This is wrong.
Then came the Facebook message. I told you before, it all started with a Facebook message.
“Hey Brit,” it started. “I hope you are well. I’ve launched a social media campaign…let me know if you want to be part of it. Heart.”
In my inbox was a chance for me to bind together with other women and shout to the rooftops, “No! This is wrong.” I couldn’t type the words “Yes. I’m in!” fast enough…thank God for Facebook groups that allow perfect strangers to interact and share pieces of themselves from afar. It is because of Facebook that I am connected to this woman, Khadijah Lardas, from whose brain the idea of #MyBlack #MyNarrative was birthed.
So… that was the birth of #MyBlack #MyNarrative. It’s a social media campaign and a movement geared towards educating black women about their power to OWN their beauty, their narrative…and to equip and empower them to take back their narrative. It’s home is, where else, on Facebook: you can find us on the community page at www.facebook.com/myblackmynarrative but we also have an Instagram (@myblackmynarrative) and on Twitter (@MyBlackMyNarr).
But this is so much bigger than Lil Kim. Instances of black women bleaching their skin have been on the rise here and abroad over the past few years. You’ve probably read or watched a viral post or two. I’m part of this movement because it BREAKS MY HEART to know that there are young girls out there questioning their worth, their beauty, and not knowing that they have the power to create their own narrative.
So I didn’t hesitate to join. I began feverishly reaching out to everyone in my network: friends, family, business partners, affiliates, and even local public figures. My message was simple: will you help?
Because I am a firm believer that together, there’s no limit on what we might accomplish. Black women, please know that you are beautiful, valuable and worthy. Your invitation into this life did not have a dress code or physical form for all to adhere to. All shapes, all sizes, all skin tones are beautiful. Your invitation on this earth and into this life said to come as you are. Because you’re enough.