One thing for certain and two things for sure—a Black girl will do her best to step out looking fly, bold, and beautiful in her skin and you’ll be lucky to be in her presence. Black mothers have always tried to teach their daughters (and sons) about the value of never leaving the house looking “a mess” and always putting your best version of yourself out there for the world to see. While this could be seen as a way to please others, it is also a way to be cognizant of how the world views Black people in this world as undervalued and less than already. So, what we’re not going to do is to give them something to talk about. Instead, we will BE THE SOMETHING they talk about.
For example, think about the legacy of Madam C.J. Walker and what she’s done for Black girls and women in the beauty industry. After experiencing her own hair loss from a scalp disorder, Walker created her own line of products for women to help with restoration, using lotions and hot combs, to create a booming industry with “beauty culturalists” selling her products that would eventually open the doors for other entrepreneurial individuals. At the onset of the 20th century, Walker was not only a beauty mogul but also the first self-made Black millionaire. Yet, her legacy doesn’t simply stop at creating a beauty industry and wealth because she was also a philanthropist and activist that cared about Black women in education, the work force, and in the community. In other words, Walker built a clear path for Black beauty entrepreneurs today to walk through doors with easier access and opportunity.
That torch has been passed from Walker to one no other than multi-millionaire and beauty entrepreneur Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty today with her brands Fenty Beauty and Savage X Fenty. While you may know Rihanna initially for her music career as an international pop star, she is becoming one of, if not, the largest beauty moguls in the industry with her cosmetics line Fenty Beauty. Rihanna reminds you that her line was created to be inclusive of all women, skin tones, and shades because all types of women need to feel included and feel beautiful. Fenty Beauty, Rihanna says, “It should never feel like pressure. It should never feel like a uniform. Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different.” After realizing how much success the beauty/cosmetic line has garnered her, Rihanna moved onto a skincare line, Fenty Skin, too, that helps women with those insecurities so they can be easy to use and successful with good results. But she doesn’t stop there because this entrepreneur even created a sexy lingerie brand for all types of women—because why—you all deserve to feel sexy and desired. Rihanna is for every woman. Just like the great Madam C.J. Walker before her, Rihanna, is also a giving woman and allows her philanthropy to be a big part of her platform as well with her Clara Lionel Foundation to help with climate justice. Rihanna may be a native to Barbados, but she’s definitely a treasure to us in the U.S., too.
While Rihanna is only one of many Black women in the industry, there are other Black women that are doing it big to make it for themselves. Keep putting that Black Girl Magic to use! Black women are turning profits and making it a commodity to be big, bold, Black, and beautiful.