Black BeauTEA Talk // 7 Myths About Black Beauty

Black BeauTEA Talk is a monthly column especially for black brides to find inspiration for bridal hair and makeup hosted by one of the best in the industry, Brittney Taylor.

 Photo by  Natasha Johnson ; Makeup by  Brittney Taylor

Photo by Natasha Johnson; Makeup by Brittney Taylor

Hey beauties, did ya miss me?! So I need a favor from you all...wait a minute—don't say no so quickly—I just wanna hear your opinions on bubble tea!! I keep seeing it, and I'm curious, but I'm the type of person that's like “you try it first, and let me see how you react before I try it.” I'll end up trying it anyway, but I wanna have an idea of what I'm expecting beforehand. So as I'm sitting here sipping my Celestial Seasonings herbal tea, I want my beauties to tell me all the things about bubble tea!

On to the other tea...let's dispel some myths that we constantly hear as black women because honesty is the best policy, and they got us fucked up!

Myth #1: "Black Don't Crack"

I'm going to talk about skincare first because as a makeup artist, this is the most important part of beauty. So under my post asking to hear the biggest myths from my readers, the first commenter said “black don't crack.” This was a good one, and I'll be the first to say that this is TRUE and not a myth, and I'll tell you why it's true. Black women age slower than other races of women, and one main and very obvious reason for this is that melanin, baby! However, the danger in this saying is that it insinuates that as black women, we shouldn't do other things to take care of our skin.

Myth #2: "Black People Don't Get Sunburn"

Which leads to the next comment that “black people don't sun burn,” or in other words, we don't need to wear sunblock or SPF. This is a huge myth, and the biggest one in this post, because it is dangerous. While black people are less likely to develop melanoma or other forms of skin cancer, we are susceptible to it. Our melanin is a protective barrier from the sun, but there are many types of skin cancer, and they are more deadly for us according to some doctors. This is also because they are not detected early, obviously because we don't even entertain the idea that we could develop skin cancer. Our melanin is lovely and powerful indeed, which is why we have to protect it by using products that contain SPF and wearing sunscreen when we are out in the sun for extended periods of time, like at the beach or doing yard work. I read a book a year or so ago titled Skin written by Nina Jablonski; if you're into that type of thing check it out.

As for black people sunburning, of course we can. Not all of us have the same amount of melanin in our skin, or eyes even, and that's okay. So if you wanna help me hold up that glorious saying of “black don't crack” along with Angela Bassett, Momma Cicely Tyson, and a whole slew of others, moisturize (with SPF), drink your water, eat well, exercise, mind your business, and glow up!!

Y'all know my motto is #skinisin

Here are a couple links on skin care and black people so that you can get the facts and ditch the fiction.

Olay Reveals Why Some Women Age Better Than Others

Dark Skin Tones and Skin Cancer: What You Need to Know

Myth #3: "Black Women Shouldn't Wear Bright Colors"

Now let's get into some beauty/fashion myths since we've already established that, yes, black women are fine AF and we gonna stay fine AF. *flips hair* One of the biggest myths that we hear as black women is that we can't or shouldn't wear bright colors. Yes, I know that's the funniest thing ever, but I swear some people believe it, and I don't even have any words to correct the ignorance, so instead I decided to use some of the recent images from Shopfe-line's new releases to do the job.

 Shopfe-line
 Shopfe-line
 Shopfe-line

In other words, the only reply you should have to that comment is: “Bitch, you thought.” Black women can wear any color they choose, and they can do it with makeup or clothes. The deeper the skin tone, the more the colors pop.

Myth #4: "Black Women Can't Wear Blush"

One of the comments I received said that “Black women can't wear blush,” and this one hurt me deeply because I LIVEEE for a good blush, honey. One of my tips to the ladies I give classes to is always use a blush to add some life to your skin after applying your foundation. So let me show y'all that we certainly can and should wear fucking blush. Matter of fact, I wish I could pull a Oprah right damn now: “you get a blush, you get a blush, you all get a blushhhh!” No, for real, wear some blush today because it will make me very proud! I love a good deep red blush, a mauve, and an orange-toned blush like Taj Mahal from NARS really gets me going. Look at how I used the blush on this model; I mean her face is practically covered in it, and I'm happy about it.

 Photo by  Natasha Johnson ; Makeup by  Brittney Taylor

Photo by Natasha Johnson; Makeup by Brittney Taylor

Myth #5: "Locs Are Dirty"

So now that we know that blush is a go, and bright colors are your friend, let's get into the hair myths. Y'all know they're a hot ass mess, but we gonna address a couple today. The first comment about hair was “locs are dirty.” Now I know y'all can imagine my face right now! Remember a while back (2015) when Zendaya wore the faux locs hairstyle and that white woman jumped all the way outta her lane and had to get gathered? If you don't here are the receipts on that debacle.

Anyhow that is some bullshit. Black people can wash our hair and still have dreadlocks because of our natural texture. So if you hear someone say anything along the lines of "locs are dirty" or "unprofessional," just tell them to stay in their lane. Another thing commonly said about locs is that they are boring or unprofessional, and that's so untrue. I have seen so many styles done with locs and look forward to styling mine when they're longer.

 Hair by Whitney Trujillo-Watson, Photo by  Natasha Johnson ; Makeup by  Brittney Taylor

Hair by Whitney Trujillo-Watson, Photo by Natasha Johnson; Makeup by Brittney Taylor

Myth #6: "The Natural Hair Movement is for Loose Curls Only"

The last myth I wanna talk about is curl patterns and their meanings. The bottom line is that the pattern of your curl doesn't mean a thing outside of what products you'll use. However, there is a lot of nonsense that you'll find that makes it seem like the natural hair movement is only acceptable for those with a looser curl pattern—that those of us with a tighter curl have what some call “nappy hair.” On the opposite side of that, there is the belief that if you have looser curls you have to be less black than someone else; “what are you mixed with?” is something you'll hear often. All of that is bullshit, and it boils down to what I said earlier. We are not a monolith. Black doesn't look or behave in one way. It doesn't matter what texture your hair is; to wear it in its natural state is radical AF, and I support you! Check out my #BlackbeauTEAtalk I did not long ago about what it means to wear your natural hair in the professional world for black women.

Myth #7: "Black Women Are Trying to Be White When They Wear a Weave or Blonde Hair"

While we're on this topic, though, let's get into this line: “Well black women are trying to be white when they wear weave or blonde hair.” Look at my eyes...roll 'em! Listen Linda, honey, no black woman I know has ever bought a European or Caucasian weave, so cut the shit. But if we did that, it would merely be assimilation, which we have had no choice but to do, and that is of no fault of our own. Until we get these beauty standards in order, you will deal. So beauties, when somebody bothers you with the BS, do your fiercest hair flip and pay them dust. No explanation is needed for how you wear your hair!

The most important part of this all is to remember that people are gonna talk and have an opinion, but those opinions hold no weight. Live unapologetically, and remember that black beauty comes in many different forms; that's part of our magic! I am because you are, and that's tea!

 Photo by  Sean Junqueira

~Peace&Light~


BRITTNEY TAYLOR

I am a freelance makeup artist located in Cameron, North Carolina. I have been working in this area for three years doing event makeup, as well as print and some runway. This year I will be working to build a bridal artistry business that will be fully mobile. I studied makeup artistry at makeup artist studios in Richmond, Virginia, and from there developed my aesthetic. I spend a lot of time studying past artists, as well as trends today. I believe that everyone is beautiful, and my job is to enhance that!