I wanted to write this post months ago, but was scared because I know I will be ruffling some major feathers. This is my blog, this is my truth, and the topic that I will be discussing frustrates me and many others so I am gonna type as fast as I can, get it out, try to be as respectful as I can be, and get something that has been bothering me off of my chest!
For months and in some cases years I have seen leading black women in politics, hollywood, music, and fashion look absolutely ridiculous while posing on the cover of major print publications, speaking on major national and international platforms like the Grammys, Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and countless public forums for the world to see. Some of these women’s speeches “broke the internet”, and pulled at the heart strings of women of color worldwide because of how heartfelt and relatable they were.
Unfortunately while many women were crying their eyeballs out happy that these ladies beat the odds and defied the many roadblocks that are put in front of black women on an everyday basis, I was too busy trying to figure out how on earth their make up artists did their make up and thought that it was ok??!! Now we have all seen it!! One of my favorite “it ladies” has a super popular show on a major tv network, and is on the cover of one of the worlds most popular fashion magazines as I right this blog post. Almost every single time I see her at an awards show or as a guest on a morning show, night show, talk show, etc … I am always left feeling uber frustrated and angry. Her brows are never perfected, her skin doesn’t look dewey, or matte, or satiny, or anything special, the shadow never looks super perfected or messy in a high fashion way, her lipstick isn’t ever ‘popping’, and I could go on and on. She has amazing skin, large eyes (which means she has lid space to play with), great cheek bones, and naturally full lips, but always looks mediocre. Another woman I always cover my eyes before looking at has a deeper skin tone, and lovely natural hair.
She has certainly paid her dues in the world of theater and hollywood and is finally getting the recognition that she deserves. I have seen her on countless occasions with foundation that makes her look either dead, muddy, or gray. I have seen setting powder make her look like a banana and sometimes even Casper, lashes that looked as if they were falling off of her eyes, lines of demarcation around her forehead and neck, and highlighting and contouring that would make a clown grimace.
The last leading ladies that I would love to discuss are both from the mother land. One hails from West Africa and belongs to one of the proudest nationalities and ethnic groups on earth! The other is East African and Ivy League educated. Both flaunt beauty that defies the parameters of western beauty standards, and have earned their spots as “it ladies” in hollywood. Just like the first two that I mentioned, their make up seems to leave me wondering if the artists had the skills necessary to complete polished and well executed looks on these women of color.
I know that some of the artist used by the women mentioned above have been in the game for over ten plus years, and have had these women as their clients for just as long. Some of the artists that these “it ladies” use consistantly are published and represented by some of the top makeup agencies in the country, some are men, some are women, and some are not of African descent. That is all wonderful, and I wish them all the success in the world. My problem is that I need for them to be more critical of their work. I need for them to take classes, ask questions, look at their work from a distance, and practice on other women the same skin tone as their clients if they are not comfortable working with deeper skin tones, because it is imperative in this crazy world that often makes black women its ugly step children that these talented, hard working, beautiful women always look amazing when they are accepting prestigious awards, gracing the cover of magazines, and slaying the red carpets everywhere they go!! They deserve to look the best that they can look and deserve make up artists who can deliver!!