opinion · race · twittertrend

@iTunu_ Speaks: #UnconventionalBlackBeauty

This gif is kind of irrelevant but it makes me laugh

Created in hope of making all types of black beauty appreciated, #UnconventionalBlackBeauty encourages black people, in all shapes and sizes, to share images of themselves embracing their looks that don’t necessarily match up to the ‘conventional’ black beauty we see on social media nowadays. Less #teamlightskin #teamdarkskin #thick, more #bigforehead #gaptooth #widenose, it’s great!

Many people have questioned the concept, saying that there is no such thing as conventional black beauty, with some even suggesting that the whole trend is creating more problems than solutions. The problems being, encouraging friction where some black people are scrutinising others because they are light skinned, curvaceous and therefore incapable of feeling insecure about their image (oh dear).

As a skinny black girl, however, I can both understand and embrace the #unconventionalblackbeauty trend. I have had my fair share of comments from both black and non-black peers about my image and behaviour. ‘Wow, you’re so skinny you should drink some oil’ ‘Why don’t you hang out with the black girls?’, ‘You’re not reeeaaaaallllyyy black’ (so what am I, a concoction of hot chocolate and cinnamon- please enlighten me). Needless to say, all these comments questioning my ‘blackness’ have really irritated me over the years and I believe that this is what #unconventionalblackbeauty addresses. It encourages black people to appreciate their beauty, and acknowledges that black people all look and behave differently, which some still find very hard to understand.

In regards to the friction within the black community this is what I think. We as black people play a part in oppressing one another (yep, I said it), we have made a hierarchy of what is attractive, we have created divisions by introducing team this that and the other and we are letting it become alright for people to feel less black and less accepted because of their image or behaviour. If there were not images of black people beyond eating watermelons and picking cotton, do you think people would have ever believed that other types of black people existed? So if we don’t show images beyond twerking figure eights it will remain unknown that other black people exist nowadays.

Now, I don’t have any problem with the ‘conventional’ black person, and I use this term loosely because we are all a little bit ‘unconventional’, but if you use your personal ,or other peoples, widely accepted and applauded images or behaviour to make others feel less than, then that’s wrong.

My friend and I had a conversation about redefining Black Twitter and #UnconventionalBlackBeauty is a step in the right direction. Embrace (we’re doing a lot of embracing today) your image: dark, light, fat, thin, tall, short, wide nose, big lips, big eyes; embrace it all, but don’t let yourself get wrapped up in groupings.

I want us all to reach the stage where it’s more about accepting black beauty full stop, than a certain type of black beauty, but I thank #unconventionalblackbeauty for creating a platform where we can all feel appreciated and for opening up the conversation.

Check out this article about why #unconventionalblackbeauty was created, and this brief video explaining the concept 🙂

*AND BREATHE*, that felt oh so serious, so on the same note (ok not really, but I tried) here’s a funny picture for you:

funny senior quote

What do you think? Do you support the trend #UnconventionalBlackBeauty, or not?

Let me know what you think.

Comment, tweet @Voiceofthemav and share!

Follow  @Voiceofthemav for updates on posts and to keep the conversation going

Itunu 🙂




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