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"You're too Dark": A Re-Ignition

My mom named me Ebony before ever setting eyes on my cocoa skin, nonetheless the name would be extremely fitting. Throughout my adolescent years I was extremely conscious of my skin tone, making it a point to never wear dark colors in fear that someone would say I was "blending in" to my black turtle neck. I feared the lights going out in school because of comments that I "couldn't be seen". However, once entering undergrad at Howard University, a sense of pride came over me. At Howard, I learned about my heritage, culture and the beauty in my skin; a lesson my mother spent years trying to teach me.

The comment "you're too dark" is one that I have heard before. In fact, I was once told I was too dark to dance on my high schools dance team. Too dark to be considered beautiful by society. Too dark to date a guy. However, with the growing representation in society of rich melanin skin dancing across screens and platforms, I never thought that a nationally known brand would tell me, I am too dark for their products.

The incident at Ulta has reignited a fire in me. The make up artist's comments were not only hurtful, but also completely inaccurate. Thus, it is my mission to teach, inspire and educate the world on the beauty in all shades. The makeup industry is embracing diversity, however underneath this widely popularized celebration there is still a sense of isolation, lack of product knowledge and options among many salons, brands and stores across the country, specifically for women with darker hues. In addition, despite brands creating a wider array of shades often just a few are available in-store. And in my experience, even if the correct shade is available, staff working on the counter or in a salon are generally not trained or knowledgeable enough to match foundation to darker skin tones or design a flattering application.

I would say this is a new journey or role for myself, but in fact it has been my mission throughout my life. Needless to say, I am excited for all the things 2020 will offer. I want women and girls across the world to see their faces reflected in mine and know that they are beautiful and accepted as much as any other counterpart. I strongly believe its important that every shade, tone and facet is represented in beauty. In the upcoming weeks you will find new content that I am working on getting out prior to baby London's highly anticipated debut! So stay tuned.

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