In the world of African-American beauty, the words “roots” and “tips” may conjure up thoughts of re-touches and manicures. Imagine – for a moment — that your beauty standards were attached to royalties, family pride, achievement and inner-worth? Wouldn’t that be beautiful in any culture?
I was recently invited to appear on the BET show, “My Black is Beautiful”. I am excited by the fact that beauty and Africa are being discussed together, nationally! So much of what we as Black women have been influenced to dislike about ourselves are the very things that make us African: our lips, our noses, our hair texture, our hips. Here are a few of my tips for redefining the “roots” of your true beauty:
Know Your African “Make-Up”.
From the alignment of your face and symmetry of your eyes to the fullness of your lips and curve of your hips, everything that is the essence of you is rooted in who you are and where you come from. While these traits are becoming more revered in American culture, no surgery or other manufactured beautification process can override what’s distinctly yours by birthright.
Customize Your Wardrobe.
The influence of African customs can be spotted anywhere from your local Malls to a high-fashion runways. From artisan hairstyles and ornate jewelry, to hand-woven authentic fabrics and sophisticated accessories, gain a better understanding of your African trend-setting heritage and wear it with pride and confidence.
Top Your Models.
Sure Beyonce and Oprah are icons in their own right in the U.S. However, women of African descent have also inherited rich legacies of royalty, entrepreneurialism and gifted talents from the various ethnic groups throughout West and Central Africa. Seek out resources that expand your territory when looking to positive, uplifting role models.
As a result of the slave trade, African-American family identities –- including beauty traditions — were erased and replaced. Take your family’s identity into your own hands and seek reliable answers from companies like AfricanAncestry.com. One swab can reveal the roots of an entire family, which means every woman and/girl seeking true beauty in that lineage can benefit.
Are you really a minority? People of African descent are amongst the most populated people in the world and defining yourself in a broader context expands your conditioned points of reference. Africa alone comprises thousands of different ethnic groups with unique characteristics and languages. Your make-over doesn’t stop there. Once you know, routinely tap resources that help you connect, interact and learn with people that share the same ancestry.
As women of African descent, knowing your African roots can unlock a world of resources that affirms your inner self and connects to your outer beauty. BET’s My Black Is Beautiful program airs on Sunday, April 23 at 1 p.m. EST, and is hosted by Tasha Smith, Alesha Renee, Leela James and Kim Coles.
Visit AfricanAncestry.com today to get started on a journey that will transform who you see in the mirror!