One night, I went to a bookstore and took a stroll down the magazine aisle. The covers were no different than they had been, for what seems like, my entire life. But that night, I became aware and very mindful of the lack of diversity fanned out in front of me. At the time, a short list of Black women graced the covers: Beyoncé and Rihanna. If there were any other black women (especially with dark skin) they were tucked behind Playboy and Penthouse with their weaves, oiled up bubble butts and smooshed tits, front and center on sketchy “Men’s Interest” magazines.
As I stood there, the weave on my own head began to weigh very heavy on my shoulders.
“None of these women look like me. Why am I even trying to emulate women emulating other women? This feels wrong.”
I had had enough. There was something wrong, but I didn’t know how to fix it. The only thing I could do was get rid of my own personal angst in an attempt to chip away at this brutal message. The next day, I made an appointment to remove my fake hair, shave my chemically straightened hair off and start over.
I never looked back.
I have been on a magazine hunt since I decided to create a vision board. I used to stockpile magazines. But, I live in a studio apartment and saving every issue of Vice and Juxtapoz is a recipe for abhorrent squalor. So, I needed to re-up. I went to a bookstore and took a stroll down the magazine aisle. Again, the covers were no different than they had been, for what seems like, my entire life. But on this particular night, I was triggered. There was a feeling of mindfulness and awareness of the hauntingly familiar lack of diversity fanned out in front of me. A short list of women of color graced the covers. Blac Chyna and Wendy Williams. I began to sweat as I searched high and low for women who looked like me or just weren’t Wendy Williams and Blac Chyna, to be honest. My search resulted in a chilling reminder that we have made absolutely no progress in five years. If there were any other Black women, especially with dark skin, they were tucked behind Playboy and Penthouse, with their weaves, oiled up bubble butts and smooshed tits front and center on sketchy “Men’s Interest” magazines.
Read my original Medium post here.