#BlackisBeautiful: Why This Girl’s Prom Dress “Broke the Internet”
Across America, prom season is in full swing. Waves of taffeta, organza and satin flutter in the early summer breeze. Yet who should appear to save us all from this cotton candy nightmare?
Kyemah McEntyre to the rescue!
Originally shared on Instagram, Kyemah’s picture in her prom dress was shared so much over various social media channels it “broke the Internet!”. Seeing her image and reading her words was nothing short of inspiring. How often do we see “blackness” celebrated in our culture: black beauty, black youthful aspiration, black intellect, black art… (Most often we see how American culture views blackness, even in teenaged girls in bathing suites as a threat as evidenced by these recent incidents here, and here.)
Kyemah, you are the antidote to negativity, hate and ignorance. Thank you, thank you for sharing a positive, inspiring vision!
She states in her Instagram post:
I’m Kyemah McEntyre, I am 18 years old and I am undoubtedly of African Descent. As an artist I have a completely different point of view compared to most individuals. I am extremely analytical and observant. Throughout the world, we have people who do not notice each others essence and humanity. We Stunt our collective spiritual growth by allowing assumptions and stereotypes to cloud our mind and thus our physical reality. We let these negative ideas get the best of us, and in turn a world of isolation is manifested by our lack of sensitivity and desire to sympathize with each other. This results in a world in which people live within the confines of their own space, isolated from each other and separated from the rest of the world.Sometimes we get trapped in our own prejudice ways. We don’t notice how the idea of a particular type of person changes the way we live our lives. The most creative people are the ones who step out of their comfort zone and take advantage of the world around them. My abilities as an artist allows me to experience the benefits that versatility fosters. Being exposed to all kinds of people and cultures is the muse for my artwork. I am an aspiring artist who is very passionate about the connection between art and the world. I believe that in order for society to gain a wider horizon, we have to be willing to acknowledge other people from differences, beliefs, morals, and values. I would like to take this moment to say that you have to understand who you are because if you leave that space open, you leave your identity in the hands of society. Don’t let anyone define you. Beautiful things happen when you take pride in yourself. #blackgirlsrock #kyebreaktheinternet
“Don’t let anyone define you. Beautiful things happen when you take pride in yourself.” – Kyemah McEntyrImages and words like these are the antidote for all the negative messages our media perpetuates in regard to black culture. In sharing her own unique self, Kyemah inspires us to open our minds to a world of possibility and to celebrate “blackness”. In doing so she also challenges us to share the special, unique and quirky parts of ourselves (no matter what color we are) that we may hide because we’ve been fed a steady diet of American media which teaches us from day one that anything outside the narrow confines of European beauty standards is unacceptable. (Read more about the harmful effects of the white beauty ideals here.)
This is for always being labeled as, "ugly" or "angry". Thank God, stereotypes are just opinions. – Kyemah McEntyre✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/UXTLyVSF9f
— KYEMAH MCENTYRE (@KyeTheCreator) June 7, 2015
Thank you Kyemah for giving us yet another example of the fact that… Black girls definitely DO rock!
Does any of this make sense to you? What are you doing to challenge European beauty ideals for yourself and with your children? Share your ideas in the comments below.
Related reads: What does it mean to be an ‘Average Black Girl’?