Some time back I remember discovering Bleubird's Style Muse Series and I loved it. The thing that stood out and resonated with me was that James was choosing muses that really mirrored her own look and style and it got me thinking about how important it is to see others that look like you.
This isn't a revelation, I know the importance of feeling a part of something instead of apart from something. From an early age I had the experience of being both a lighter skinned girl amongst a sea of darker skins when I lived in West Africa and then when I arrived back in England I had the same experience of being in the minority but in reverse this time. This time I felt as dark as night in the neighbourhood that I was growing up in. It wasn't a sad or miserable experience and in fact it was only on the odd occasion that I met someone else like me, that I would get a kick out of the shared feeling of being alike, of seeing myself as it were. It was in these moments that I would feel a mix of joy and relief to meet people that were brown, just like me. They might have different points of view, different experiences, different styles, be a different shade of brown with hair more kinky or less so but none the less, we were in the same ball park. It was such a blessing to meet my fellow brown girl and fellow blogger Mama-andmore when I was at college and to experience that sameness and difference all rolled into one.
When I came across Latonya Yvette's blog, I got that feeling! That mix of joy and relief kind of feeling. That sameness and difference all rolled into one stuff. I knew immediately that I wanted to feature her here on this blog because she just makes me feel good about myself, she makes me smile. I hesitated for a while because I'm just not a stylish type of girl and talking about style is not what I do, but the idea kept coming back to me and since it makes me so happy to read about another brown girl on the the other side of the world it seemed selfish not to share her! I love reading about this brown girl miles and miles away, that talks about her happy days, her sad days, her good hair days and her bad hair days. A brown girl married to a white boy with a lighter shade of brown child telling her story and making sense of this world. I kept thinking, I love this, I get this!
Latonya reminds me that fro's and red lips look fabulous and gives me hope that I can try that look out again someday, even if she's A LOT younger than me! She makes me excited about clothes and hair and make up and feeling good about yourself. She makes me think of times gone by when I used to have fun dressing up and making an effort. She reminds that that girl is still in me somewhere, probably buried under clothes that no longer fit and that still clog my wardrobe. Latonya makes me think of a former self, she makes me think about how I really wasn't that sorted or ambitious when I was at the stage of life that she's at and that is truly inspiring. She gently reminds me that there is always time to explore and to play, to be more. She makes me want to have fun playing dress up again and for that simple pleasure alone I am very grateful!