15 Feb Naturally You Celebrated Diversity, Natural Hair and Body Positivity
We all know the saying, “Beauty comes in all forms”, but does mainstream media really practice this motto? For ages, women of color have struggled to identify with societal beauty standards in movies, magazines, television shows and even advertisements. It wasn’t until recently, that diversity and inclusion has been vocally demanded and finally met. The climb has been slow… steady, but slow. We’re seeing more products, for beauty and hair in mainstream ads, more women of color in leading roles, and even in high fashion magazines. Still, we’re living in the era of many “firsts”. Vogue had it’s first cover with an African American woman, shot by an African American photographer. We shouldn’t be living these kinds of “firsts” in this era, but here we are and we are happy to celebrate.
To close out the highly sought after, DreamWeek SA, a week filled with African American entrepeneurs and creatives showcasing and sharing their talents in San Antonio, Naturally You was one of the final events as part of a 3 day series dedicated to fashion, beauty, and celebrating women. The event had skin, hair, beauty, clothing and accessory vendors all locally sourced in San Antonio. There were panels, fireside chats and presenters of all things beauty. The closing panel was dedicated to having an open and honest conversation about defying the traditional Euro-centric beauty standards regarding natural hair.
I was honored to be asked to speak, and as an Afro-Latina woman living in Texas, I am no stranger to the back-handed compliments, and the “Oh, you’ll look more professional with sleek hair.” comments, but we were there to not only share our experience, but also to educate women on how to defy these standards and learn to love and accept themselves while embracing their natural hair texture. Yes, we can be professional and hold positions of power in the corporate, political and even fashion world. Whether you’re Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Tiffany or Jeanie, we shouldn’t have to mold ourselves to fit any kind of standards of beauty. And that’s what co-founders of Naturally You, Tiffany Smith and Corin Reyes, have brought to the table. Peaceful dialogue and self-love is their goal, and for the 3rd year in a row, they’ve created a space where women of color and those raising us can feel safe, loved and absolutely beautiful.