salvationwithstyle

Strutting In The Spirit While Building The Kingdom

Category: Uncategorized

Admiration For Pigmentation

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I think one of the most beautiful pieces of art is the human body itself. The way it functions, what it is capable of, we all are original pieces designed by the greatest artist alive — God. However just like art we have critics, people that look upon someone’s rare creation and judges it’s worth. Its true! We live in a world where there is levels to beauty and stages to acceptance. We all range in different shapes, sizes, proportions, however the biggest emphasis we make is on our skin color. I was aware of the self-consciousness many people had towards their skin, however it did not hit me until one day at work. I was conversing with two woman at my job, and we were on the topic of cosmetics and skincare. One women had what we call, a “caramel” skin tone,  while the other women’s skin was a rich “dark chocolate” complexion. She ended up admitting that she was not fond of her skin, and her reaction was far from confident when I expressed the beauty of pigmented skin. The remainder of the day I was unsettled with the thought that an individual of age, was still unhappy with her outward appearance. Then it dawned upon me, how many ladies of all ages are waking up resenting their skin tone? Why is dark skin pigmentation not celebrated like the lighter skin crowd? Why are these woman or men for that matter lacking confidence? 


 

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Dark Skin? Light Skin? Is Skin Just Really Skin? 

We are all aware the belittlement of skin color has been around for years. Racism plays the biggest role, and impacts a lot of the stress on skin pigmentation. Some people may disagree and say that the issue of racism is not so much a problem nowadays. Yet the stress on skin pigmentation has been on the rise, especially in the African American communities. You would think that we would move on from our troublesome pass, and judge others due to character. However so many of us are stuck in the past, and knowingly or unknowingly humiliating individuals for something they cannot control. Before I carry on, let’s look into the reasons we all vary in skin color. 

We all know that genetics plays a big part in our skin color. We can be a mishmash of shades depending on our parents. However the color itself is primarily due to a pigment called melanin. Melanin is produced by melanocyte cells within the skin, thus those with darker pigmentation have more melanin within their skin. In addition, freckles and beauty marks is evidence of higher concentration of pigment in certain areas. Melanin also protects the skin against harmful UV rays. Those with a darker complexion are less likely to burn than those with a lighter skin tone. Nonetheless no matter who you are, we should protect our skin with sunscreen. 

Knowing the purpose and benefits of melanin can change our outlook on viewing skin. It is ignorant of us to make fun of those with darker complexions, when their skin is actually the bomb dot com. The comparison of skin colors, is just one of  the epitomes of ignorance within this generation. The light skin vs. dark skin dispute is far from humorous when we think about how far humanity has come. The ordeals our ancestors were persecuted for, we find to be comical. Think about it! Skin color was the main reason for slavery. Most Caucasian people at the time felt that pigmented (colored) skin color was a pure abomination. They viewed something that we could not control, as impure and distasteful. Yet we make jokes, or whisper in disgust when seeing someone with a darker complexion. It is complete arrogance! 

Therefore today I am setting the stage for a new beginning. Although we cannot wipe everyone from being benighted, we can choose to stop spreading the ignorance. Woman and men of darker skin tones have been the gem of beauty for years. Whether you have never acknowledged it, their skin captures attention in which your eyes cannot depart from. 

Models such as the ones shown below, are the cherry-on-top for inspiration and portray the exquistness in dark skin. 

Alek Wek: Nigerian-British Model

Alek Wek: Nigerian-British Model

Grace Bol: Sudanese

Grace Bol: Sudanese Model

Malaan Ajang: Sudanese Model

Malaan Ajang: Sudanese Model

Lupita Nyongo: Kenyan Actress, Model

Lupita Nyongo: Kenyan Actress, Model

Atong Arjok: South Sudan Model

Atong Arjok: South Sudan Model

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Akoul De Mabir: Model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Grace Bol: Flawless!

Grace Bol:
Flawless!

I don’t know about you, but whenever I see photos like these in a magazine, I cannot help but stare. The way rich, pigmented skin catches light is remarkable, and no other skin tone can compare in my opinion. I think it’s time we take the emphasis of our skin tones, and start looking at the big picture. If we continue to look at the outward appearance of people, we lose out on knowing some beautiful faces. In addition, if you are self-conscious about the color of your skin, you are probably less charismatic. Hence, failing to know our worth can hinder us from so many opportunities. 

Psalms 139:14 “I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:..”

This is something we should confess anytime Satan tries to discourage us on our appearance. We were created in the likeness of God, therefore we are far from unqualified. Therefore began to love the skin you are in, because beauty isn’t what’s adorned on the outside. True beauty is what flows out of the heart, as your daily walk is being enriched in holiness. Thus my admiration for pigmentation is just a small ripple in this ocean called society. However just as ripples grow and affect still waters, my unwavering stand will continuously spread. 

Source: http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/beauty/sun-care/skin-pigmentation.htm, http://iwantcrayons.com/2013/07/23/boogies-blast-alek-wek 

The Beauty Of Being Au Naturale

It’s Kinky, It’s Curly, No Its Wavy! It is the year of 2014, and never in my 20 years of being on this earth have I seen the emphasis of “going natural” become so prominent. Whether it’s the multiple natural hair pages flooding Instagram, or on the rise naturalistas on Youtube, you cannot escape the glorious manes. No one really is aware what started this “movement” but a lot of woman are catching on fearlessly.

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What Is Going Natural?  The saying “going natural” means to grow out or big chop ones natural hair, in order to enjoy it’s natural form and texture. Some view this process as a journey, in which they find a part of themselves. The variety in textures and hair patterns differentiates from person to person. This is what makes the natural journey somewhat an interesting discovery. What makes this whole process glorious is seeing countless African-American woman shedding their fears, and embracing apart of themselves. In addition, let’s not forget our mixed ladies out there joining in on the fun. For years straight hair has been the ideal look and goal for woman of all races. Not all fell in this category, but most woman especially those with ethnic hair desired to have their locks straightened. Most of those processes involves the use of heat and chemicals, which are beyond harmful not just to our hair but health. Let’s take a look at the infamous “creamy crack”, also known as the relaxer. Now we all seen the movie 2009 movie called, Good Hair. The documentary/comedy produced by Chris Rock, was the talk of the town. The film went in depths of not just relaxers, but weaves and other races usage of hair. It portrayed how black woman viewed their mane, and personally its a film I think everyone should watch. *Spoiler Alert Coming* Although I seen this movie years ago, there is one part of the film that has become a life long memory. During the film, they did a demonstration in which a relaxer stripped the paint off of a soda can. This was no reenactment ladies and gents, but you could see the actual color deteriorating off the can. So after witnessing such gruesomeness, I of course did my own research.  


 

Dissecting The Relaxer

Relaxers are a type of lotion or creme used to chemically straighten natural curls and kinks. You apply it from root to ends, and wait (usually in pain) for the chemicals to do it’s magic. However if you scratched your scalp beforehand, it probably is considered a curse. Although some woman have no problem using it, others have experienced hair loss and permanent burns. Most relaxers contain sodium hydroxide, also know as lye. The same substance can be found in products such as Draino, and many other household cleansers. Seriously guys if you research products containing sodium hydroxide, you are going to be blown away.  Although some relaxers now are lye free, the products are still as detrimental. Relaxers also contain phosphoric acid, which is known to cause health issues to the skin, respiratory tract, and nervous system. You can do your own research on the long-term effects, and risks. The FDA is even saying  these relaxers are far from relaxing. My advice to everyone is start looking at the ingredients in our so called, “beauty products”. Even the ones that have veered toward helping us natural girls can be harmful. Petrolatum, parabens, sulfates and so much more harmful ingredients are lingering inside of our bath room essentials. It’s times to get educated on what we are using and stop going with the flow. I congratulate the many woman, who have cut out the relaxer from their hair routine. The number one benefit for me was not just preserving my health, but being able to save money. Just think about how much money you would maintain , instead of shelling it out monthly on deadly chemicals?

In Other News! *dramatic transition music* One thing I know for sure is this small, yet affective change is impacting history. Some may not be able to tell, but slowly our out of this world curls are intriguing our youth. I am seeing younger girls rocking their natural hair and protective styles more than ever. In addition, I am noticing how it is affecting the views of other races. Most reactions are positive and some are viewing it as some meaningless trend. I myself can say that by going natural I most definitely found a part of myself. Growing up I strongly disliked my tough, unmanageable, stiff hair. I would look at Caucasian and Hispanic girls tamed, straight, flowing hair and wonder why mine was so different. I would walk around with shirts on my head, pretending to have the same loose textured hair. Now that I am older I am able to laugh at myself. However it is no laughing matter knowing other young girls are feeling the exact way. Why most we feel like our hair is the problem? Why do society say having, “nappy” hair is disgusting, but straight hair is accepted? Why do so many ethnic girls say, “I want white girl hair” instead of seeing the beauty in their frizzy curls? Why? Why? Why? Instead of dwelling on the problem, lets focus on the truthful solution. The truth is we are beautiful, we are abounding in worth and no one should tell us otherwise. Society have us confused, and the empowerment I am sharing is not limited to just us black woman. In fact, there is woman of all shades, and shapes that feel unattractive, and unworthy because of their hair. Some will not even walk out of the house, unless their hair fits the opinion of others. Last time I checked the bible says in

1st Peter 3:3 “Your beauty should not come from outward adorning or arranging of the hair, of wearing gold or putting on fine apparel; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (NKJV), 

Therefore our focus should not be to please society, but to please God even in the little matters. I’m am fully aware that a woman’s hair is her crown and distinguishes her from the next. However it should not be something we use to determine our worth, and value. The glorious thing about going natural is the change: physically and spiritually. I am in no way saying God abhors those with relaxed hair. I am simply expressing the testimonies of myself and many others, that had a different outlook of themselves. It is crazy how something so small can affect one’s life! To all my natural sistas, don’t listen to what anyone says. Your hair is an expression of you. Look at that frizz, and see it as a reflection of yourself, free and exquisite. Look those irritating kinks and knots and see it as a mere image of you, bold and rebellious. Our hair is indeed rebelling against what society refers to as beautiful. Therefore continue to embrace every bit of yourself, and know your worth.

Come On Now! These Ladies Are Definitely Reflecting The Beauty Of Being Au Naturale! Check Them Out!

Danielle Sarbo Instagram: @siempre_marie

Danielle Sarbo
Instagram: @siempre_marie

 

Khadejah Bennet Instagram:@beautyofabennet Blog: www.beautyofabennet.blogpost.net

Khadejah Bennet
Instagram:@beautyofabennet
Blog:http://khadejahbennett.blogspot.com/?m=1

 

Instagram: @shundaglaspie

Instagram: @shundaglaspie

 

Destiny Thomas Instagram: @_herbeautyspeaks Blog: www.herbeautyspeaksphotography.weeby.com

Destiny Thomas
Instagram: @_herbeautyspeaks
Blog: http://www.herbeautyspeaksphotography.weeby.com

 

Chelly Desgages Instagram: @_sunshinerenae

Chelly Desgages
Instagram: @_sunshinerenae

 

Shanatava Davis Instagram: @shanatavad

Shanatava Davis
Instagram: @shanatavad

 

It's Me! Before the shaved sides.

Me! Before the sides were shaved.

  Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relaxer, http://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/search?tbl=TblChemicals&queryx=1310-73-2, http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~nshah/cosmetics/relaxers-healtheffects.html