Welcome to BeautifullyBrown.com
It was only a year or so ago that I thought about how tired I was of not seeing ample information on the internet about black women and beauty. Yeah, there were many black beauty vloggers, bloggers and influencers that were creating amazing content for black women to absorb. But there was still this really strange missing piece to the black beauty puzzle: there weren’t that many of them heavily focused on women who looked like me. You know, brown…dark skin. The information for women like myself was still far and few in between.
To be honest, I’ve always been my own inspiration when it came to beauty and makeup. I never paid attention to the “brown girl beauty rules” or the say-sos of women from older generations that didn’t understand my bright pink lipsticks and peachy blushed cheeks. I never cared, either. I’m a Virgo, whose father was a direct force in her extreme confidence in self and whose life was always filled with vivid dreams of out-of-the-ordinary aspirations. Walking around with false lashes in high school, when NO one was interested in wearing them, was not only super cool to me, but necessary to my beauty well being. My mantra was to never, ever do or wear what the other girls were doing or wearing. That was just wack.
But, I would soon learn that what I did care about, in regard to beauty for brown girls (or really, girls in general), were the women who felt like they were exempt from feeling the way I did about beauty and all of it’s wonder. I never understood why women who were my complexion completely shied away from red lipstick (it was because the beauty world, for so long, told them that it wasn’t for them), or why so many Asian women didn’t understand why their signature eye shapes were so beautiful (because, again, the beauty and media world had been telling them they weren’t), or why girls in college didn’t experiment with fabulous, crazy hair just because they freaking felt like it, like I did. Truthfully, there has always been a weird sadness I’ve had for women who failed to see how gorgeous they were. And this is not to be depressing or sappy. But really, why don’t women acknowledge their beauty?
Tracing back to being a young 5 year old, I remember getting super excited to take my dolls with my mommy to her hair appointments, and replicate whatever hairstyle Mrs. Margie would give my her. I’d usually be spot on (the French roll was my favorite!) Getting older, doing my friends’ hair would become my thing. I’d charge $7 for the girls to do my famous small, boxed individual braids and the boys $12. And then came makeup. Around middle school. Makeup was my thing. And unlike hair, makeup hasn’t gone anywhere. Trust me: my room is a freaking mini-Sephora.
But what does all this mean, and what does it have to do with Beautifully Brown?
In 2012, I became the Beauty intern at EBONY Magazine. I would then move on up to digital, and become the Beauty and Style editor there. I would also express to my editor how bored I was with the beauty content on the Internet for Black women, and how there wasn’t anything I could read as a dark skinned young woman to satisfy my beauty craving. And thus, my Beautifully Brown column was born. It took a while for me to even really understand what I wanted to write about, but after the first column took off, I realized that this was really, truly something us brown girls have been in need of for a long, long time.
After leaving my editor world, I decided to think about what Beautifully Brown really meant to me as a 27-year-old woman. Things were shifting in my mind about the word “brown”. It no longer felt like it only belonged to Black women.
I’d get my ah-ha moment about this deep feeling surrounding the word “brown” from a Korean friend of mine.
Julie hit me up one day, asking if I was going to still do BB as a blog or something after leaving EBONY. I told her sure, but I didn’t know when. Mind you, Julie is a fair-skinned, Asian woman. I wouldn’t think that she would ever consider herself “brown”, in terms of complexion, or even just feel like a “brown” girl. But then, she responded to me, in all caps: “OMG, YOU HAVE TO DO IT. US BROWN GIRLS HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER. WE NEED SOMETHING LIKE IT, YOU KNOW?”
And that was the moment it hit me.
While Beautifully Brown was birthed from the perspective of a young, dark skin Black woman who just wanted to fill a void in the beauty conversation, I realized it was no longer only for girls who looked like me. Beautifully Brown was for all ethnic women, around the world, who’ve, like myself, have felt completely ignored and eradicated from the on-going conversation of beauty.
So, to my fellow BB girls, this one is for you.
Welcome to the Beautifully Brown blog.