In 2013, a woman named CaShawn Thompson wanted to help remind black women that they are “magical” beings. Not in a fairy-tale sense, but rather to get black women to recognize their own uniqueness that is as beautiful as their skin color and hair texture. It took a while for the hashtag #blackgirlsaremagic to get the viral attention it deserved. When it did last year, however, black women from all over the world utilized the term for celebrating black femininity and creating solidarity. Its also a form of social justice. This hashtag sheds light on the stereotyping and racism black women face, as well as the lack of recognition for our achievements.
Personally, I live by this hashtag (by its essence and not all the time on social media) because it serves as a reminder that black/brown skin is beautiful and I have something to offer to this world. The more I see this going around on social media the more inspired I get to contribute to this collective outreach. So here are a couple of ways for you can embrace your inner magic:
- Post Your Best Selfie
This is a hashtag and what better way to use it than on post of your beautiful face? Instagram is a great app that is notorious for its copious amounts of selfies a person can share. Some can say its self-absorbed to do do so but posting a selfie is a great way to help boost your self confidence. Post a photo to remind the world (and yourself) that being black is beautiful.
- Share Your Creativity With The World
Other than writing I also enjoy fine art photography, theatre, and film. As a black woman, I used to find it difficult to find other black artists like me who shared a specific aesthetic. Thanks to social media, there are more artistic platforms tailored made to give people of color a voice. So if you love the arts and create work yourself, try uploading a photo or a film of your work to the internet. It doesn’t have to be just the arts, it could be any activity where you can be creative like cooking, gardening, sewing, etc. Find Facebook groups, online curations, and magazines who are looking for work by people of color and network with other artists. The Art Hoe Collective on Instagram is one of many great examples that are dedicated to giving artistic people of color (and queer POC) a place to share their work with the world.
- Be Proud of Your Roots
This is the core of #BlackGirlMagic that makes this more than a social media outcry. Knowing that you are black makes you come face to face with a brutal reality that comes with that because America’s deep ties to racism, slavery, and oppression can be felt today. Due to mainstream media’s often unfair picture of African Americans, it’s hard to feel good about being black. This movement advocates for women to understand that even though being black comes with challenges, you are more than just brown skin and there is nothing to be ashamed about. Be proud of your heritage.
- Love What You Do and Own It!
No matter what your job is, if you love what you do, you should own it. There are plenty of industries where minorities are underrepresented, such as tech. As mentioned before, the arts is another industry where many people of color feel like there isn’t enough room to have their voices be heard. This can make you feel like why bother claiming a title you identify with. Part of proclaiming #blackgirlsaremagic is self-acceptance and owning parts of yourself. So if you are an artist, even though you don’t have a large social media following, own it. If you are working in the technology industry and you love it, say it aloud. If you write, call yourself a “writer.” Be proud of working in whatever industry you are in and share your achievements!
- Try Something New
Is there a new goal you want to achieve? Have you always wanted to try a new activity or lifestyle? Go for it! Again, this message of #blackgirlmagic should empower you on an individual level too. Challenging yourself to do something different, in any area of your life, is a great way to tap into your inner magic.