Two Black Girls Living In Color
I believe that celebrating Black Women is one antidote to the burdens of oppression and exploitation we face daily. I often find myself in a combative state against the world, raising the issues that affect us, challenging the status quo and advocating on our behalf - all things which I will continue to do, but I’ve found that it’s just as important for me to celebrate the beauty, joy, diversity, life, style and grace of Black Women.
The first time I came across Yolande Macon’s instagram page (@thelanguageofyolande), I was immediately drawn to her individual sense of style, unique point of view and the authenticity in her simplest looks. We met at a party in New York City when she recognized me from the YOU BELONG NOW (YBN) platform. Yolande was one of the inaugural 100 Black women on the YBN instagram page, an effort to raise awareness about the deep-rooted issues of systemic racism and colorism that plague the blogging and fashion industry. Those 100 women demonstrated that there are no justifiable reasons for excluding Black women in the industry, yet discrimination on the basis of race and color is rampant and too often intentional. A couple of weeks ago, I asked Yolande if she would shoot with me and the rest is history!
Valerie: How would you describe your style?
Yolande: I would say my style is classic with a twist. I love taking classic pieces and playing with their color, texture, dimension, and proportion. I’m fun and don’t take life too seriously.
Valerie: Have you always been drawn to bright colors?
Yolande: I’m from the South, so bright clothing has always been my norm. I’m learning how to love black and neutrals at this point. Also my color favorites change with my mood. Let’s say at the current moment my favorites are pastels and neons.
Valerie: There is so much diversity among Black Women. What does being a Black Woman mean to you and how has that translated into your style?
Yolande: Being a black woman means showing freedom and joy beyond my circumstances. We show this in every aspect of our lives especially our style. There’s no limits to how and what we wear. I translate that exact essence into everything I wear. My style honors and pays homage to my culture’s freedom.
Valerie: How important is it to celebrate Black Women?
Yolande: Black women are often referenced but overlooked. Our contributions to society are clear but we aren’t often recognized. This can mess with our self-esteem and strength. It is important that we celebrate black women and all that we do because our society would be nothing without our confidence, endurance, and strength.