Black Girl Magic is not just a Hashtag, it’s a MOVEMENT!
“The most disrespected person in America is the Black Woman, the most unprotected person in America is the Black Woman, the most neglected person in America is the Black Woman.” -Malcolm X. This quote represents why the movement Black Girl Magic came alive.
As black girls and teenagers in today’s society, many of us have experienced low self-esteem, bullying , sexism and racism that have forced us to conclude that we need to create cultural awareness for both black girls and also people of other races so that they also can bring awareness about this subject. Black Girl Magic is a term used to illustrate the universal awesomeness of black women. It’s about celebrating anything we deem particularly dope, inspiring, or mind-blowing about ourselves.
“Black Girls have been poorly represented on television and in movies for decades”
One of the causes of the problem of black girls being treated poorly starts with television. While growing up, many kids and teens of color, especially black girls, have to look harder for television shows that represent their skin color. Shows are overshadowed with girls that represent society’s ideals of beauty: white ,skinny, and long blonde hair. The sitcoms Lizzie McGuire, Liz and Maddie, Zoey101 and more only showed us one kind of beauty. The media only portraying one kind of ideal beauty affects black girls in particular. While the media is only focusing on one ideal beauty, people tend to have a negative perspective on the image of black girls.
While growing up, many black girls my age could only name a couple of shows that actually had a black girl as their lead character. The sitcoms That’s So Raven and Proud Family were Disney Channel’s most viewed shows, and both of those shows took a stand on topics such as racism. That’s So Raven and Proud Family gave many black girls the confidence that they could star in their own show.
How Black Girl Magic is changing the game!
The Black Girl Magic movement has spread a light on black girls and women who are doing incredible things. First Lady Michelle Obama, Amandla Stenberg, Zendaya, Beverly Bond, Beyonce, Rihanna, Chloe and Halle, and more represent black girl magic .
Beyonce used her talents to embrace black women and girls. She recently released her music video album Lemonade which uses video and music to show the power of black girls and women. Celebrities such as Chloe , Halle , Zendaya, Amandla Stenberg, Quvenzhané Wallis, Serena Williams , and Winnie Harlow (who all appeared in Beyonce Lemonade documentary) represent black girl magic. Also in the music video appeared The Black Lives Matter mothers, who lost their sons and daughters to police brutality. Beyonce’s music videos show that no matter what a black woman or girl goes through, they still hold up each other and their communities. Just like Beyonce’s song “Lemonade” states, “we transform lemons into lemonade”.
Amandla Stenberg is an activist and actress. She uses her platform for many issues, such as her Cultural Appropriation video. Cultural Appropriation has become a big movement for the Black Community. Cultural Appropriation is the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture. Stenberg made a video called, “ Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows” . Amanda wrote , "While white women are praised for altering their bodies, plumping their lips and tanning their skin, black women are shamed although the same features exist on them naturally," she continued. "This double standard is one string in the netting that surrounds black female sexuality -- a web that entraps black women when they claim sexual agency. Deeply ingrained into the culture is the notion that black female bodies, at the intersection of oppression, are less than human and therefore unattractive." Amandla explains how black women are criticized for features like dark skin and plump lips, yet those with the same attributes are considered beautiful when adopted by white women. Amandla points out that the media degrades black women and does not accord them the value that they deserve when they embrace their features, yet praises white women and non-black women of color who take on black women features. It seems that on a black woman, cornrows are just a “ghetto” hairstyle, but on a white woman, they’re a powerful statement or a trend. Amandla believes if one is going to wear hairstyles typically connoted with black culture, one should embrace their culture as well and bring awareness to the issues they are dealing with.
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