‘Beautiful’ campaign comes to Navy Pier
by Frances Moffett
The “My Black is Beautiful” four-city tour kicked off at Navy Pier June 14, giving African American women all over the city the royal treatment as they had the chance to partake in makeovers, massages, health screenings, yoga and meditation sessions, and finance workshops.
Since its launch last year, the “My Black is Beautiful” campaign, a brainchild of multinational manufacturer Proctor and Gamble, has taken steps to lead a discussion among Black women about beauty standards in America, self-esteem and race.
“My Black is Beautiful is a movement that will foster positive images that celebrate African American women and empower all women of color to love the skin they are in and embrace their inner and outer beauty,” P&G Multicultural Brand Manager Kisha Mitchell Williams said. The event officially started with an introduction from actress Tasha Smith, who starred in the big screen hits Daddy’s Little Girls and Why Did I Get Married?
“I love my community of Black women, and for me to be able to be a part of the tour to empower them through my testimony and advice and encouragement, I am thankful to God,” Smith told the Defender. She led a panel discussion about race and beauty with panelists Merri Dee; Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell; president and CEO of the National League of Black Women Sandra Finley; 19-year-old filmmaker Kiri Davis; and general and cosmetic dentist Maria Ashley.
A fashion show hosted by WGCI-FM/107.5 followed shortly after, and former editorial director of ESSENCE magazine Susan Taylor then presented the keynote address, urging Black women to take charge of their homes and communities. “Our community is a mess, and it’s a mess because of women,” Taylor told the Defender.
“We have stepped down because we don’t believe in ourselves, and we don’t speak up. We don’t know our power, and we’ve abdicated our authority. But we’re here today to say that you can look good, you can feel good, and that you have everything you need inside of you to put the reigns of your life in your hands.” R&B singers Kindred the Family Soul and Avant later performed live, ending the day’s events on a soulful and upbeat note.