I am a Niche Parent Network influencer and received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own. Enjoy…
Hopefully, you did not miss the first installment of my #BIAJourney to Essence post ! It has truly been BEAUTIFUL in every sense. I enjoyed this challenge in so many ways and am excited to share with you all! One of the biggest highlights for me was making the Jumbotron and the TVs on Saturday night during the concerts! My #BIAJourney tweet was the talk of Essence Fest that night all thanks to the My Black Is Beautiful and Niche Parent Communities and the very talented Sarah of Starr Royl. Never in a million years could I imagine my tweet would go viral in such a manner!
— KeystrokesByKimberly (@KeystrokesByKim) July 5, 2014
Nadia Jones of Niche Parent has a unique way of taking people out of their comfort zone. I have watched her successfully do it for almost a year now. As I prepared to interview the Braxton sisters Nadia said, “Follow me.” Before I knew it she had me getting a full face make-over for the interview!
The funny thing is I do not wear makeup. At all. With the exception of weddings and other special occasions that are very few and far between. Right before I knew it Sarah with My Black Is Beautiful had graced my face with Cover Girl and had me looking prom pretty! I was glowing and extremely happy!
This meant more to me because for the first time I saw an old friend in the mirror and it was all thanks to this one experience which carried me through the weekend.
Interestingly enough, my last real push like this came from Essence magazine in November of 2009 on page 171 when I shared my story of stroke survival and diabetes. I am starting to think Essence is my circle of completion. Look at the numbers. (Smile)
I am very grateful for the opportunities. It is amazing to see good things happen for you and to you. I do not know if the planets are aligned or if it is just my due season however I am so grateful to be reaping my harvest. A firm believer of “Service is the rent we pay for living…” My Black is Beautiful has definitely given me a strong voice through their Beauty in Action challenge with nationally renowned transformational expert, Lisa Nichols! For me, after this weekend, this has become a lifelong challenge and I am ready to ride this challenge out until the wheels fall off.
My Black is Beautiful celebrates the diverse collective beauty of African-American ladies and encourages them to define, explore and promote our own beauty standard which is one authentic reflection of our indomitable spirit. My Black Is Beautiful initiates one of the largest online community conversations with African-American ladies. Please join the movement, define your own beauty standards and style and help ignite a wildfire of national conversation and share your extraordinary beauty with the world.
What does this mean to me?
Whew!!! This means EVERYTHING to me because self-acceptance is so hard to come by in my race and culture. History has not always been gentle on us. To the human eye I appear to be an African American lady. However I am a melting pot of German, Caucasian, Cherokee Indian, African American and who knows what else! I have learned to embrace it all. You see I was born in the 70’s when the brown paper bag test was still acceptable and I was too light to be dark and yet too dark to be light because of all the races and cultures flowing through my bloodlines. Not to mention other complex complexion challenges ranging from a mother dealing with her own darker complexion issues to watching me be discriminated against because I was not light enough or dark enough and trust me the list goes on and on. To top it off I had short thin hair with little edges. We will not get started on the hair complexes of my generation! Yes, it has been a journey embracing my inner and outer beauty – despite being voted a “queen” of my class more than six times from middle school through college. That “Mean Girls Clique” you hear about is so real! I survived and learned how to thrive in all environments. I love me some me! All of me – through all my times and stages.
When I shared part of this journey with the World Wide Web last month for the first time I felt so free. I had no idea how free I would truly become. I still have a ways to go with being a two-time cancer survivor, two-time strike survivor and so much more however this experience has been priceless.
I thank all the people I have encountered on my journey, no matter what their role, which helped me embrace The Kimberly Wright and all I am inside and out. My grandmothers and mother used to say “Pretty Is As Pretty Does” and that has stuck with me through the years and caused me to embrace myself through everything and I do mean EVERYTHING. In my teens it was a huge struggle which panned out during my twenties. Then in my thirties it was GRAND how comfortable I had become in my own skin. Talk about a new pep in my step. Yes ma’am, it was a new sheriff in town and I was it. Then I had a very life changing acute stroke at thirty five which placed my comfort level with myself back on reset. So far most of my forties have been comfortable on the next level despite a few obstacles and stroke aftermath. The only challenges I continue to see and have to deal with directly or indirectly is others’ insecurity in regards to me because yes my black is beautiful accompanied with brains, motivation, determination and a POWERHOUSE mindset!
Simply stated, I respect and celebrate myself as well as other ladies.