As a fabulously fifty woman of color, it is important for you to understand that you live in a society that may not always embrace the beautiful hues of skin tones, hair textures, body shapes, or cultures of women of color. Sometimes people use negative stereotypes and negative perceptions of women of color and try to force you to identify with them or make you believe that you are inferior and that they are superior.
If you begin to believe the negative stereotypes, they can affect your self-esteem, self-love, self-identity, self-pride and self-respect, resulting in you becoming trapped in a psychic prison. As a result, you will begin to display negative attitudes, negative behaviors, and negative thought processes that can lead to you making choices that may defer your dreams, diminish your hopes, and destroy your ability to live life fabulous. Psychic prisons thrive on negativity.
Do not believe the negative stereotypes because as a fabulously fifty woman of color, you are so much more than the negative thoughts, words, or beliefs of people who cannot see the beauty in women of color. To avoid becoming trapped in a psychic prison, consider the following:
Remember that you are not inferior, less worthy, or insignificant because of the color of your skin. Show the world that you will not be a victim or trapped in a psychic prison because you are just too awesome to allow yourself to be trapped by the ignorance of others.
Tell your children/grandchildren that you love them and show them at the same time so that they continue to grow, not only knowing that you love them, but feeling loved. When children feel and know that they are loved, they will not look for love in the wrong places and from the wrong crowd.
Show your children/grandchildren that you love them in little ways that mean the most. A hug followed by “I love you” can build confidence and inspire. Become personable with your children/grandchildren and instead of texting them to say I love you, tell them in person and look into their eyes when you do so that they see the certainty in your eyes.
Motivate them with words of encouragement and remember that elaborate gifts are not substitutes for quality time, love, attention, or affection. When you show and tell, your children/grandchildren will know what love feels like and in turn, they will grow understanding what giving, receiving, feeling, and knowing what love is.
If you have not done so today, show and tell your children/grandchildren that you love them! Words and actions are powerful!
Culbreth, D. (2014). Living Life Fabulous at Fifty: Affirmations for Women of Color.
As a woman of color, you have the power to participate in change by voting on Election Day. Yet, many neglect to vote because they feel that their voice or vote does not matter. This is not true! Women of color are a growing group, and to make sure that your interests are priorities on the political agenda, you must be full participants in politics and Election Day. Doing this will bring better discourse for your families and country as a whole. Instead of complaining about today’s political scene, make sure that your voice is heard by voting. Encourage your children, friends, and family to do the same. You can even make the event exciting by throwing a Voting Dinner Party and asking each guest to bring a dish. In order to join the party, each guest would have to show their “I Voted” sticker at the door.
Consider running for political office and change the demographic of the political arena in your community, state, or on Capital Hill. You can use your power to focus on the change that is needed in society. Be a trailblazer and torchbearer on a mission to make a difference. Be a politician that works for the benefit of the people
Copying someone else is considered the highest form of flattery and that is okay sometimes. It would be better if you focused on being original in all that you do. Develop your own unique style that compliments who you are, not someone else. If your neighbor plants flowers, it does not mean that you have to plant the same flowers, but rather plant flowers because you want to and because you will take care of them. Do not steal the ideas of others but rather use your creative talents and skills and develop your own ideas. You never know how your original ideas may impact your life and propel you to success. If you do copy from others, be woman enough to acknowledge and give credit to the right person.
Know that you do not have to “keep up with the Jones’ rather, keep up with yourself and be original. When you try to copy others, sometimes you lose sight of who you are, become vain and sometimes bitter. You should have your own passion in life and focus on spending quality time identifying your individual likes, purpose, mission, and vision for YOUR life. Spend quality time creating and developing YOUR own ideas. Life will be more fulfilling and significant if you live your dash originally. Fabulously fifty women of color are original in all that they do!
You live in a society that does not always embrace or value the diverse spectrum of skin colors representing women of color throughout the world. Sometimes women of color are perceived negatively, negatively stereotyped, labeled as unattractive, and associated with negative views because of the color of their skin and racial category. These perceptions are unjust and designed to make you believe that in order to be considered beautiful, you must meet European standards of beauty. This could not be further from the truth. With every fiber of your being, know that the color of your skin, texture of your hair, shape of your nose, shape of your body, and size of your lips, are not indicators that you are inferior, they are not indicators that you are not beautiful, and they are not indicators of what you can and will achieve in life. Break down skin color and racial barriers and let the world see that you embrace, value, and love the color of the diverse skin tones of all women of color. Celebrate all women of color and be proud of the color of your skin.
“A lily is no more beautiful than a rose; an oak tree no more beautiful than a palm tree; and an opal no more beautiful than a pearl. Each is beautiful in its own right and each has unique value and plays a special role in nature” (Jackson-Lowman, 2013).
Light skin is no more beautiful than dark skin, thin lips no more beautiful than full lips, straight or wavy hair no more beautiful than natural or kinky hair, and a narrow nose is no more beautiful than a broad nose. Beauty is diverse in every aspect and each opinion or thought of what constitutes beauty are based on the individual. Because of this, there needs be more respect for the diversity of beauty that can be found in society. No one standard of beauty is superior to any other standard. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Understanding your own biases will help you better understand how and why you interact with other women of color as well as women outside of your racial group. Sometimes biases, whether conscious or unconscious, can prevent you from bonding and forming friendships with women who are different from you. Understand how and why you may be biased and how stereotypes, the media, and others dwell on the race and/or color lines that continue to separate and divide people of color and how they serve as barriers and road blocks that prevent you from becoming friends with a woman outside of your racial group. The media has a tendency of reporting how people of color from different racial groups are always at odds with each other and many times, they are over reactions to minor issues.
Know that women of color as well as women from other racial groups can bond and become sisters in unity. Know that you are a woman of color living in a society that does not always embrace your individual racial group, culture, ethnicity, or color. Do not let historical events, prejudices, and stereotypes prevent you from being a part of the change needed in this world.
Consider forming a bond with a woman from a different racial group and as you learn more about each other, your cultures and ethnicities, you may just become good friends, who will one day sit on one of your porches and laugh about the good old days, schedule play dates for your grandchildren, and celebrate holidays and cultural traditions together. You never know how your life as well as your new friend’s life will be enhanced. Understand your own biases and know that you can become friends with someone from a different racial group. Be a part of the change that is needed!
In 2015, we are celebrating, embracing and empowering girls and women of color by launching the National Girls and Women of Color Council (NGWCC) (July 2015). Accordingly, in collaboration with I Am Beautiful Global, Inc. and NGWCC, the Journal of Colorism Studies (JOCS) is inviting leaders and members of organizations for girls and women of color, authors, bloggers, scholars, and writers, etc., to submit essays for a special themed issue of JOCS titled Celebrating, Embracing and Empowering Girls and Women of Color (publication in July 2015).
Join us in celebrating, embracing and empowering girls and women of color. The special issue of JOCS will also be available for purchase in print through Complexity Publishing, LLC.
Call for Submissions
Deadline: March 31, 2015
The Journal of Colorism Studies (JOCS) is accepting essays for a special thematic issue Celebrating, Embracing and Empowering Girls and Women of Color for publication in Volume 1, Issue 2 (July 2015). We are particularly interested in essays that include but are not limited to the following:
- Trailblazers and torchbearers
- Change agents
- Unsung girls and women of color
- Believing in you
- Girls of color
- Women of color
- The marginalization of girls of color
- Diversity and inclusion
- Specialized glass ceilings for women of color
- Living life beautiful
- Standards of beauty
- The Color Complex
- Understanding biases
- Embracing diversity within the race
- Making good choices
- Mental health
- Music industry
- Communities of color
- The criminal justice system
- Teen issues
- Gangs and girls of color
- Family values
- Career choices
- Interracial diversity
- Intraracial diversity
- One size does not fit all
- Being original
- Breaking down skin color and race barriers
- Sisters in unity
- Skin color dynamics
- The perpetuation of colorism by people of color
- Identity and racial pride
- Loving my skin
We will also accept book reviews (books about girls and women of color).
To submit manuscripts for review, please register at http://jocsonline.org (you will be required to create a user name and password). Review the Submission Guidelines and then submit your manuscript.
We are looking forward to your submissions. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Donnamaria Culbreth
Journal of Colorism Studies