UNAPOLOGETIC: an appreciation for the black woman.
Before you read my words and view my images, I would like to take a bit of time first to share where this project stems from.
I was driving one day (I can't remember from where and to where I was headed, it was a random drive) and trying to brainstorm ways I could celebrate Black History Month with my art. And then this project came to me.
This project is meant to be a celebration of traits that we, as black women, have always possessed but have not always felt appreciated for. Yes, there are beautiful movements happening in 2018 where big butts are proclaimed as desirable and full lips are envied and stretch marks are acceptable and TWA's (Teeny Weeny Afro) are applauded.
But that was not always the case.
I can remember as a child overhearing the phrase "ugh, my butt is getting big" with a tone of disgust. I can remember wishing my hair was long, and naturally bone straight, and easily swayed from side to side when I walked down the hallway. I can remember feeling like my nose was unattractive and took up way too much real estate on my face. I even went so far as to make jokes about my own nose and its perceived width and flatness in order to beat others to the punchline.
I can remember all of these things. All of these feelings.
But that's no longer my narrative. So today, I celebrate these things. I feature these attributes and highlight their beauty.
Why are you ashamed?
You are black beauty, personified
Don't you know you are pure honey
from the tip of your head to the soles of your feet?
Magic rushes through your viens
When you speak,
nature heeds to your call
Though the struggles of your people
may weigh heavy on your soul
You walk through this world as a queen
approaching her throne
wearing the crown God already gave you
A crown of
Sunlight dances on your skin
Rejoicing at the simple honor
of being in your presence.
You are love.
You are light.
You are here.
- Chanel French