How To Reclaim Your Forgotten Black Girl Magic
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At Natural Haircare News we aim to change attitudes about natural hair. Beyond the outward appearance though, we know in order to embrace our natural hair, that we’ve covered up for so long, one must know and embrace one’s self. Doing the work to build self-awareness and self-love. Being in community with like minded women and supporting each other on the journey.
One of the people leading the charge for us to reveal our Black Girl Magic is Nikia Phoenix, a Los Angeles based model, writer, and dream instigator with a passion for women’s issues, social equality, and all things beautiful.
I had the opportunity to sit with Nikia during the Los Angeles Black Girl Beautiful event and talk to her about her own journey with finding and unleashing “the magic”.
Hi Nikia. So tell me a little bit about you and how this event was birthed?
I’m originally from Aiken, South Carolina. Normally I don’t shout out where I’m from but now I can take pride in it because I realize that my home town is what birthed me. And my mother is here supporting me from South Carolina so I appreciate that.
Black Girl Beautiful started from conversations I had with girlfriends about how difficult it is for us to find the things that work for us and on top of that having to combat the negative we get thrown at us everyday as women of color. So I needed to create a safe space for us to celebrate our Black Girl Magic and our beauty without the ridicule of everyone us.
Exactly. And it’s definitely so important for us to celebrate our beauty, individually and collectively. As addressed by some of the women in the first panel discussion, our style, our beauty, gets appropriated all the time, but it’s never considered beautiful until it’s reflected on some other culture, mainly caucasian culture. With both of us being actresses it’s even more imperative that we don’t shy away from that representation. From expressing who we are as Naturalista’s particularly in the entertainment industry. I know I’m still finding my way with consistently doing that.
Yes, because they want us to weave it up, to cover it up, to wig it up in order to get these roles that are still stereotypical. Then, there’s only room for one of us. In commercials, in television, you see the black girl sidekick but we’re not just the sidekick!
No! We love. We anger. We have families we care about and children we want to succeed, just like everybody else.
But we rarely get to see those sides of us. Representation is so important. We need to be able to see ourselves portrayed in media, in real life, because its not just about us as grown women but what are we showing children? What are we teaching them?
Absolutely and that’s why events like this are so incredible because we need to start creating that for ourselves, putting it out there for ourselves.
So what are the plans after this event is over? What do you plan to do to continue moving forward and put the images, your message and mission out there?
I’m going to continue my project with an App called “Hey Black Girl”. Its available right now on Apple, the App store. It will be available on Android very soon. It’s literally a unique safe community for us to create our own affirmations and to be able to share those with other women. Right now it’s just photos. Eventually it will be a community feed and eventually video affirmations. So you can see everyone else’s’ journey also because there’s something about that community, that village, we feed off of each others positive energy.
Yes, so we see that we are not alone because often times we sit in our little rooms and just you know think we are the only ones going through something. Which brings me back to the importance of an event like Black Girl Beautiful. You see the camaraderie. You see and hear that there really is no separation. That we’re all sort of thinking and feeling a lot of the same things.
So, what is your mission? In general, for BGB, and in life?
My mission is to encourage and uplift people who don’t feel the love. We all need that love and support to get through the daily nonsense, the work, the whatever’s trying to bring you down. I just want to encourage people. And also encourage people to be themselves and not to think that you have to change who you are to be okay. I think often we look at ourselves in the mirror and I know I have these days where I don’t like how I look, I don’t like who I am. I just want to curl up into a ball and disappear. I suffer from anxiety and depression and I’m very honest with myself and people about that because when we try to hide from it…
When we stuff it down it makes it worse…
Right, it makes it worse. So we need to be able to talk about this amongst ourselves and encourage each other. So, however I can help.
Well this event is definitely helping to uplift and encourage people. In regards to the first panel again, I love the title and discussion – The Beauty Within – because it really does start there. It starts with ourselves and finding that thing inside of us, having that self-awareness and then walking the talk. Being an example so that other people can see it too, get uplifted and hopefully say, I want some of what she’s got! We each pull each other up.
Yes, we each pull each other up.
So what’s next for you?
Next we will be taking this to Atlanta. I’m excited and really looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to the conversations that we have, the encouragement and the community.
That’s exciting stuff for sure. Thank you Nikia for allowing this connection between, Black Girl Beautiful and Natural Haircare News, as we both do our part to be that change agent. Continued success as you shine and share your Black Girl Magic with the masses.
To learn more about Nikia Phoenix and Black Girl Beautiful click here.
|“Changing attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural.
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