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Have you ever heard the phrase, “You’re pretty for a dark skinned girl?”

That backward compliment is far too common for many of our darker-hued sisters, many of whom have grown up being told that their shade of brown is less than beautiful.

In a world that often covets Whiteness and holds it up as the standard, Black women have been finding ways to showcase our sheer magnificence since the beginning of time. But after being asked by a young woman at a lecture how she “grew out” of “wanting to be light-skinned with long hair,” Dr. Yaba Blay knew more work needed to be done.

Her response? The collaborative blog Pretty Period, which shares images and experiences from dark skin beauties from across the diaspora.

Pretty Period’s mission is clear: “To visually demonstrate the sheer abundance of dark-skinned beauty. We are indeed everywhere. We stand as the rule, not the exception.”

Meloni - Philadelphia, PA -Photo Credit: Ann Blake Photography

Meloni – Philadelphia, PA -Photo Credit: Ann Blake Photography

Pretty Period is collaborating with photographers from around the world that will share what they think being “Pretty Period” means. So far, Pretty Period has featured the work of Sabriya Simon of Kingston, Jamaica; danielle miles of New Orleans, Louisiana; and Roni Nicole of Atlanta, Georgia. The site is also working with photographers in Accra, Ghana as well.

In a time when Black women often find ourselves at the wrong end of a joke or the subject of seemingly unforgiving criticism, it’s comforting to see so many sisters reshaping the narratives about Black women on our own terms.

Visit the Pretty Period blog to see the striking images and submit your own.

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