The beauty industry is experiencing a change in diversity and representation of women of color and per usual, I am on the hunt to find beautiful people who are taking part of that necessary shift.
I recently spoke with Chanel Jaali, a Washington, D.C. based entrepreneur and artist and owner of Jaali Co., a sexual health education research and workshop. Additionally, Jaali runs an online boutique called FAMEousJ, which focuses on crochet and beaded fashion. The veteran natural rocked an afro for nearly 9 years before transitioning to locs, which she has grown for about 5 years now.
The one thing that stood out to me about Chanel was her latest creative project, the Glow Photo Series, which showcases women of all shades, ages, texture types and sizes in vibrant and boldly celebratory attire.
Real women, real representation
"Glow Photo Series was birthed because I felt like I needed to see more 'real world' beauty," says Jaali. "I wanted to highlight what naturally exists in Black and Brown women, and push more positivity into the world. I wanted to highlight what naturally exists... [and] push more positivity into the world."
When it comes to media representation of the natural and women of color spaces, Jaali feels as though we still have more work to do. "We come in all complexions and hair textures, and that should be displayed," she proclaims. "If more women of color had a stake in the beauty world, owned beauty businesses, and were in charge of creating advertising content, then I think we would see a greater shift in visibility."
Creating a safe space of beauty and creativity
All you need in order to participate in the Glow Photo series are 3 things: you must be a woman of color, wear the specified color for the shoot, and have a great attitude, according to Chanel. "I want other women to see themselves when they look at the series! We are at an interesting time in our history. Nothing that is happening is new, it's just packaged differently. It really will take us, as individuals and as a collective, to make changes to our society. We each have a role to play and a gift to lend to the revolution, and each role and gift is needed. The work is tiring, but necessary. This is why we must lift one another up constantly."
A message to the youth and the community
You are enough, just as you are.
You stand on the shoulders of phenomenal women who paved the way to be where you stand today. Take your talents and use them to move us even further.How can we follow you online? (social media links, etc.)
Follow Chanel's latest photo series on Instagram @glowphotoseries and keep up with her personal endeavors on @chaneljaali
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