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Melanin on Melanin

Posted on October 02 2017

MELANIN ON MELANIN -  It's about time black women started to appreciate their beauty and that time is NOW

 

Pictured: @naoumie, @iamjalicia, @iamtenika respectively, taken by @iulia_david_photography

"The whole concept of this shoot is to help empower women, particularly women of colour to love the skin they're in and to love and
embrace one another, as we are all individually beautiful in our
own way."

 

We teamed up with model/creative Jalicia Nightengale (pictured in the middle), for a creative shoot called "Melanin on Melanin". Melanin on Melanin is a shoot creatively directed and curated by Jalicia Nightengale. Jalicia's experiences living in the Caribbean watching young girls bleach their skin was the source of her inspiration for her shoot. She hopes that by creating beautiful images she will empower and inspire other girls to love themselves and to embrace their unique qualities.

 


 

We absolutely loved Jalicia's concept and wanted to share with you all her inspiration behind the shoot and what compelled her to create something so simple, but absolutely necessary especially in the business of fashion. So we caught up with her and sent her some questions to answer amongst her busy schedule.

 

1) What do you do?

 

I'm a freelance model and creative from the beautiful island of Barbados.

2) Why did you decide to put the shoot together?

I'm a very creative person, especially when it comes to photo shoots. I've been organising my own shoots since the beginning of my career, as I've been trying to build my portfolio and just found it fun coming up with cool concepts/ideas.

This vision came to me about a month ago. The whole concept of this shoot is to help empower women, particularly women of colour, to love the skin they're in and to love and embrace one another -  we are all individually beautiful in our own way.

In the Caribbean, there are so many girls who harm themselves by using bleaching products and methods just to be a lighter complexion. I have a family member that I'm always lecturing about her use of bleaching products. When I was home last, I asked her why she uses it and she said, "because light skinned girls are prettier." Her answer literally made me cringe and I told her that dark skinned girls are beautiful too. We just need to learn to embrace our beauty, instead of trying to change it, which gave me the idea for this shoot, focusing mainly on the magic of melanin and helping spread black beauty. That being said, the reason I became a model was to use my platform to create beautiful images to empower and inspire other girls about self-love.

I approached two other models, Tenika (@iamtanika) and the other model Naoumie (@Naoumie) to take part in the shoot. All three of us have very strong, edgy and unique features and are also three different shades of 'blackness' with different nationalities, hoping to capture the attention of black girls all over the world. I then reached out to three other brands Nünude Official (@nunude_official), Moyo by Bibi (@moyobybibi), Kiyana Headwraps (@kiyanawraps) and photographer Iulia David (@iulia_david_photography) and makeup-artist Gemma Howell (@gemmahowellmakeup)

I needed a strong team to bring this vision to life and they came through and conquered. This was a team effort and I just want to take this time to say a huge thank you to everyone involved!

Pictured: @naoumie, @iamjalicia, @iamtenika respectively, taken by @iulia_david_photography

3) How do you think the media affects the mentalities of black women? Is it for the better or for the worse?

The media affects the mentality of the black woman in such a negative way. We're always portrayed as the "angry black woman" which is a stark misrepresentation of who we really are.

The media is responsible for the way a lot of people see themselves and how others see them as well. Black women have come a very long way for our voices to be heard, we fought for our rights and still continue to fight to this day to be acknowledged,
heard and respected like any woman should.

Will we ever be seen and treated as equals? That's a question that remains unanswered.
Throughout the years, our culture has been looked down on and everything we do the media trash us for it (i.e for our hairstyles, for the way we dress, for our naturally blessed features and for our fearless attitude). Yet when it comes to defending our culture for being appropriated by others, all of a sudden we are being "anti-white" or its "reverse racism". We just want the freedom to be ourselves without the obnoxious stares, without the judgement and without having to ask permission.

4) Why is this shoot important to black women and women in general?

The importance of this shoot is to love and embrace who you are as a person and who you are as an individual. It's a visual delight to inspire those who feel like they don't matter and to help my fellow sisters fight this never ending battle.

A message to the readers:

To my beautiful Black queens:

Yes Queens, it's time to rise and shine and let that melanin
glow! Don't let anyone tell you the reason you can't is because
of the colour of your skin. Time to stop settling for less and start
aiming for more. Time to grab what is yours. For every woman
out there, let's continue to root for each other and watch each
other grow. Enough is enough! #equalitymatters

If you would like to book Jalicia as a creative director for a shoot or as a model.

Contact Jalicia:   nightengale.jalicia@gmail.com or via Instagram: @iamjalicia

Hair Stylist @lisafarrell, Photographer @lukenugentphotography