About ‘Pretty. Period.’
“I’ve spent many years researching and writing about Black body politics, particularly as it relates to skin tone i.e. colorism and skin color politics. For the most part, when we talk about skin color politics, we focus primarily on the sociopolitical DISadvantages that come with being dark-skinned in a society that continues to privilege and prioritize White/Western standards of beauty. Take for example, Bill Duke’s documentary, Dark Girls. Although it was a necessary documentary and indeed resonated with *some* my own experiences, something about what I saw in the documentary bothered me. Not because it wasn’t true, but because it was the ONLY truth I have long seen discussed.
As an academic, I could have simply written about it (which I did) or discussed it in my classrooms (which I do), but after doing this work for what feels like my entire life, I’m at a point where I would much rather create than to critique.
Enter ‘Pretty. Period,’ a (soon to be) transmedia project created as a visual missive in reaction to the oh-so-popular, yet oh-so-offensive “compliment” – “You’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl.” Our collective response is, “No, we’re pretty. PERIOD.”
Showcasing girls and women of brown-to-dark complexions in the truth of their beauty, ‘Pretty. Period’ emerges as a visual tribute to brown skin, a visional testament to Black beauty, and a vision board for healing – both ours and yours.
The site has three main sections:
•I AM – (You are Here) Information about the project and its collaborators
•YOU ARE – Features photos submitted by women who see themselves as part of this movement
•WE ARE – Features official project photographs captured by contributing photographers
The JOURNAL is where you will find a few critical musings. And only a few. While there is so much to say when it comes to dark-skinned beauty, I really want to focus on the PERIOD in ‘Pretty. Period.’ No explanations. No defense. Just pretty.
Sit in it. Mediate on it. Get lost in it. Come to appreciate it. Love it.”
Creative Director, Dr. Yaba Blay