My name is Danielle Young. I’m a freelance lifestyle editor, content creator, and writer.
I’m Black. Blickity Black.
It’s funny. I didn’t care about beauty growing up. I was a tomboy, but I really remember loving Whitley Gilbert on A Different World. She was so glamorous and just so put together. Yeah, I would say she was one of my go to beauty icons when I first started caring about being a girl.
Caring more about being a “girl”, looked like a lot less playing in the dirt, trying to emulate my sister, and painting my nails. But like, painting all over my nail bed and my finger. I’d be like, ‘It’s fine, I’ll just take it off.’ It also looked like me wearing dresses. I hated dresses growing up and then all of a sudden, I just wanted to be girly. I wanted to be cute. And this was like middle school going into junior high school. I cared a lot more about what stuff looked like, but I was never a make-up girl. If anything, I was wearing Lip Smackers.
Do you remember Caboodles? I was obsessed! I was like, ‘Oh my God, I have to get a Caboodle. I have to put makeup in it’.
Those were my first few moments of enjoying beauty. I would steal my mom’s mood lipstick. My mom wasn’t a beauty girl either, because she would let the lipstick do the work. I do remember being obsessed with lipstick and I still am.
For my beauty routine, I do a tinted moisturizer. I might do a BB cream. My skin is so oily and I sweat a lot so I try not to put too much on my face because I end up wiping it all of anyway. But I love a cat eye. That is my go-to. Even if I don’t wear anything on my face, I will put on a cat eye and a lip. It’s that, some light foundation, some mascara, and a lip. I always have on a lip because I feel like if all else fails, at least I have something on my face that’s a statement.
Now that I’m older, I’m like, ‘Am I too late to not know what I’m doing?’ because I’m very confused sometimes when it comes to foundation, getting the right color, highlighting, this and that.
Owning my beauty is a lot of things. Most recently, I took off my wig. My wig has been something that I’ve used as a mask, as a crutch. I was covering up beautiful natural hair knowing that I had it, but not really wanting to invest the time and energy into it because I’ve always thought it was ugly.
My sister, who’s closest to age with me – she’s two years older than me – always had a head full of beautiful hair and I’ve always been that little sister that didn’t have anything. So hair was always such an important thing to me and it was always an insecurity for me. The wig became a security blanket and shedding that took a lot of nerve for me and a lot of patience. I’m still trying to be patient with my own beauty and embracing all of it because this it the only life I have. It’s the only body and hair I have and I might as well live with it and enjoy it.
I think society has made it very easy for little Black girls to not love what they see in the mirror. Luckily, I think this generation has a lot more girls to look at.
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot that we could look at. But now girls see Lupita on all different magazine covers and just different Black girls all over. The natural hair movement –being able to log on the internet and see different girls with different textures –is very helpful.
I’m still on a journey of accepting my own beauty. It’s hard. It’s a daily struggle because I might be accepting of this hair right now, but I might look in the mirror tomorrow and be like, ‘I really hate this stupid, natural hair. It’s so dumb’ and I might want to put back on my wig. But the one thing that I feel like is constant now with me taking it off is that I don’t really know if I want to go back.
I have a life coach that told me, “There is no slump, there is no rut. We create it.” And once I realized that, I was like, ‘Yo, I can control it.’ So every day I try to create space for me to feel positive about myself and anybody that follows me on social media, especially Facebook, knows I’ll do little moments of gratitude.
I’m conflicted about being a brown girl in 2015. While we’ve made a lot of strides and there’s a lot of self-love and we’re literally in the middle of this whole “carefree Black girl movement”. We’re dying our hair blues and purples. We’re wearing outfits and being like, ‘Fuck you, no apologies.’ No apologies for my body and for who I am. So I love that we’re in this carefree stage of Black girl living. Like your Lion Babe, SZA, and Willow Smith. All of these girls are just being whoever they want to be. However, I think that Black women are often tragic parts of pop culture and society and we’re always being poked at and prodded and experimented on and shamed and all these things. But, because of this generation that we are in – this whole loving yourself and being carefree – I think it battles it. It battles it a lot.