A few months ago someone approached me at an event
We spoke and I told them my profession, I’m truly so proud of what I do!
They immediately asked if I specialized in black makeup, I protested because I am SO happy to be inclusive and offer my services for ALL.
They went to my Instagram, showed me pictures of bipoc models and re-iterated that I was a black artist, specializing in black makeup.
At this point I start to feel the familiar sting that comes when I am about to experience racism.
I changed the topic, they came back and asked if I also did hair. I said yes and then it began.
Oh, wow, and can you ever comb yours? Looks so difficult
This person got up and immediately tried to grab me hair
I moved back and told them to stop
IT WOULD NOT STOP
Actually, they would only stop after 4 more tries.
Others stepped in at which point I was offered the piece de résistance: I’m not racist, I have half and halfs in my family. I touch them all the time, I just wanted to feel a fully curly afro for once!
This person reached for me one final time. I had to physically push them away from me.
This all happened in this city. This all happened now. I felt as though no matter how successful, to some, I am still perceived as something to pet, play with and explore at whim.
I chose not to speak publicly, I chose forgiveness and most importantly I chose self love and care.
This year has shown me that no matter how I am perceived I have a choice on how I perceive MYSELF.
The truth is that I am beautiful
The truth is that I have my space
The truth is that I have my body and agency over my body
The truth is I am a 29 year old business owner who has inspired many and will continue to do so in every path I choose
I am real and raw and deserving of all the beauty the world has to offer.
This person was simply sadly confused!
I am ever so grateful for that realization, for the happiness I generate on my own now.
Unfortunately for them, racists will always exist. They’ll continue to hate me, belittle my accomplishments and maybe even harm folks like me. Unfortunately for them, I will shine brighter and bigger than my wildest dreams.
And that’s all I had to say today 😉
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