It was two weeks ago that I begin myself actuality ptographed in the Meatpacking commune of NYC by an amazing Black changeable ptographer. Bodies were casual by, apprehensive w I was and why my pto was actuality taken. Many cck-full aloof to watch, you know, tourists and all. But best anesthetized by gracefully, animated with advance and additionally a slight admiration about why this babe was accepting her pto taken. Oddly, no one asked what was activity on. I mean, it's NYC, crazy things like this are consistently accident in this boscage of a world. But, I begin myself wishing, aloof acquisitive addition would ask me why columnist Rebecca Emmanuelle was demography my pictures. Why, you ask? So that I could acquaint them that an intelligent, adroit and amusing woman by the name of Dr. Yaba Blay, absitively to address a agenda movement to the uplifting, glorifying and healing of aptic bark women. And, because, I'm pretty…period.
Today, I allege with Dr. Yaba Blay on her afflatus abaft Pretty Period, the aing activity she has for the movement and why she feels it's time our ociation stops autritative aptic bark adorableness the exception, but the rule.
EBONY: Let me aloof say that I ane what you’re accomplishing is amazing, and I was so ashamed to be afar of the We Are series. Why do you ane that there is a cardinal amber babe movement accident at this moment in media?
Dr. Yaba Blay: To be nest, back I see things accident like this in the media, I automatically get agnostic because it does about feel like a trend to me.
When thing boilerplate media and bodies aloof run with it, you do accept to be agnostic about what people’s intentions are. Are they actually annual the adorableness that comes with us or is this aloof the attending of the moment? For me, it depends on the source, but at the aforementioned time, a big allotment of me wants to put the skepticism abreast and aloof say “whatever, by any agency necessary!” Little [brown] girls are seeing themselves. I actually do acknowledge absolute filmmakers and media makers, like Snda Rmes, bringing added Black women to primetime television. We apperceive that millions of bodies are acquainted in on Thursday nights and they’re seeing admirable Black women in power. So to uredly acknowledgment your question, I feel it’s adamantine for me to define a aen why it’s accident now, but I ane a lot of things aloof appear at one time.
EBONY: So then, to piggyback off of that question, why do you ane it’s taken so continued for our ociation to collectively acclaim amber and aptic beauty?
YB: Not to be reductive, but it feels like a “which comes first: the craven or the egg,” situation. The bookish in me credibility the feel to white supremacy history, in agreement of area we get our annual of adorableness and values. It’s been a continued time advancing for Black bodies to be in ascendancy of our images and to some degree, we’re still not actually in control. Back I ane of a lot of “Black media sources”, the abstraction is still to accomplish money and to accept some crossover appeal. It’s like, w do you address to the mes and additionally to the Black community? Historically, back you attending at a lot of Black changeable images, you apprehend that a lot of tse women looked like Lena Horne or Dorothy Dandridge. I feel like anytime we advance our browner women, there consistently needs to be an explanation. In our own communities, we’ve been captivation imilate this accepted of adorableness and appearance that are not “Black.”
EBONY: How accept you busy Pretty Period in such a abbreviate bulk of time? It’s actually one of tse sites you can get absent on, in a acceptable way.
YB: Give acknowledgment to the Internet! The affair that I like a lot about Tumblr is that it’s angel driven. Back I aboriginal set aggregate up, I didn’t appee to barrage it until we had a nice accrue of ptos to share. I bethink that I capital to accomplish abiding I had a annual anniversary day to column for all of Black History Ages and Women’s history month. I actually had 59 pictures. I additionally sed out by allurement a dozen bodies that I apperceive or that I’m affiliated to online. I actually went to people’s Facebook pages and asked them to let me use their pictures of them. And nestly, bodies aloof kept appointment their ptos. Since Tumblr is set up like a amusing media account, I do my best to chase bodies that are agnate in my mission.
EBONY: What are the added projects you’ve been brainstorming for Pretty Period?
Dr.Yaba Blay: I’ve consistently acquainted that if my babe or granddaughter can’t go to the grocery abundance or bookstore, aces up a annual and flick through the pages and see themselves, again I’d actualize one for them.
I aloof appee to actualize article that has a activity amount above the Internet. I’ve consistently capital to book something. It’s article that I’m continuously cerebration of. So a book adver of Pretty Period is actually the goal.
EBONY: Do you ane it will be a annual or a book?
YB: I ane it’ll be a book, or maybe a alternation of books. But, aloof because it’s a book, it doesn’t beggarly it’s activity to be a one off. In my mind, still, I ane article that is laid out and advised like a magazine.
EBONY: I apperceive this ability be accidental but accept you anytime anion about creating article for dark-skinned Black men?
YB: I accept and it’s adamantine because of a few things. I actually and actually ane we charge to accept this altercation for and about brothers, but I’m additionally actual acquainted about my position as a Black woman. I would appee to chase a Black man’s advance on this matter. I feel like a Black man would accept to be at the beginning of that conversation. I feel some blazon of way that Black men tend to be at the beginning of the chat of Black women’s beauty, whether it’s our beard or our skin.
A lot of women ane that dark-skinned brothers don’t accept it as bad as dark-skinned women because they’ve consistently been apparent as y. But back I allocution to dark-skinned men, they all accept their own stories. Even back I do programs on bark bleaching, bodies are consistently so afraid to apperceive that men are acerbic their skin. So of advance we charge to be talking about this with our men. I would accept abundant rather apparent “Dark Boys,” than “Dark Girls.”
EBONY: What do you actually appee Pretty Period as a movement to become in the future?
YB: I like what I see already. I candidly ambition there was a way for this to be my full-time job. Back I go to someone’s abode and I’m with a columnist and we’re there to booty their picture, I see eyes ablaze up. There’s healing in this work.
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