BLACK VOICES

Activist Michaela Angela Davis Encourages Us To Embrace The Complexity Of Black Beauty

02/05/2015 06:50 pm ET | Updated Feb 07, 2015

Eurocentric beauty standards have dominated mainstream media narratives for years. While African American women deal with everything from controversial skin-lightening creams to prodding about black hair that is constantly hurled their way, a panel of black women joined HuffPost Live on Thursday to remind us that black is still beautiful.

“Here’s what’s dope about being black to me. [Black women have] this ability to flip the script whenever you want,” BET editorial manager and image activist Michaela Angela Davis told host Nancy Redd. “This ability to have what looks like contradicting ideas and be cool with it. Like I’m ratchet and refined, right?”

She then pivoted to hair and discussed how its versatility can be used to express a personality or mood.

"If you say, ‘Today, I’m feeling very Cameron Diaz,’ and you blow your hair out and put on whatever, and then tomorrow you’re Missy Elliot, that is the breadth of beauty that we can be, this bouquet of beauty," she said.

As she explained, black beauty is all about “complexity,” in everything from hairstyles to skin color, and being able to “authentically” embrace all aspects of that diversity.

“Look at all of our different shades and our sizes and our curves and our curls and our complexions,” she added. "Our complexity is also really beautiful."

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Watch the full HuffPost Live discussion redefining beauty standards here.

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