THE EMANCIPATION OF AFRICAN WOMEN

Lupita Nyong'o

For many centuries the representation of the African culture such as beauty and tradition has had a very dim light upon it. Did Lupita Nyongo’s fame and success make it easier for us or was it the evolution of Kylie Jenner’s hips and lips?

Many scholars argue that black culture itself has now become a fashion trend. On the 17th of September 2016, the world famous American designer Marc Jacobs went viral on Twitter.  At his show in New York, he had predominately white models with dread locks and many took offence to this. However, personally, I feel like that particular statement about our culture becoming a fashion trend would lead to a long winded debate as to whether or not cultural appropriation has a positive or negative effect. I am quite happy that the physical features I was once mocked about is now being appreciated. People now pay millions of dollars to more or less look like me! I can now have confidence in the fact that my daughter won’t feel inferior to the Caucasian girl seating next to her but instead they will both appreciate and respect each other’s physical appearances.

There are many various way in which we could look at this. Nevertheless let us a take the positive approach and look at the recent progress.

  1. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter have allowed us to share beautiful images and videos worldwide that relate to our culture. We are more or less in control; we can now inspire and educate a wide audience about our culture to an extent. Darker skinned women are being used on runaways more and more every day. Popular YouTubers such as Nikki Perkins broke the internet when she first appeared with her very rich dark beautiful skin. We no longer have to search pages and pages in the magazine till we come across someone who we can physically relate to.
  2. Traditional Media: Vogue is a very prestigious magazine that people have access to all around the world. Lupita Nyongo was the cover star of Vogues October Issue this year. On this cover Lupita is wearing African prints and the shoot itself took place at the village she grew up in. Lupita also shares in this issue that she wants to create opportunities for people of colour. Lupita’s appearance on this magazine is quite significant because she makes us to understand her roots and culture.
  3. Women in higher status positions are now on the rise In Africa. Liberia’s President is the first female president in Africa. Ellen Johnson Sir Leaf became president in 2006 and this year she was recognised as one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbes Magazine in June. Folorunsho Alakija, has businesses’ in oil and fashion , proving that women can just about do anything . Folorunsho Alakija was also listed as one of the most powerful women in the world and is the richest woman in Africa, and also beat Oprah Winfrey to the he number two spot on the Forbes black women rich list.
  4. Beyoncé‘s most recent and very popular album ‘Lemonade ’had many African Influences. In the videos for songs “Sorry,” “Daddy’s Little Girl,” “Love Drought” and “Forward,” . In these videos, Beyoncé wears braids dresses up in Ankara and other African tribal costumes. Beyoncé is one the biggest names in show business, making Lemonade a very significant album. Beyoncé embracing our culture on stage to masses of people is actually a big deal! Let us not forget that she is a mogul and the majority of people that are dying to see her perform live are not coloured people.

Black patriotism some would call this article. Cultural emancipation maybe? In conclusion the way in which our culture is presented is looking more positive than ever, however it’s still sad that it has taken this long.

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