by Tricia Brouk · 22 May 2020 · 8 min read
In a world of Instagram influencers and social media marketing, there appears to be a trend emerging in the fashion world far beyond what purse or shoes your favorite Instagrammer is flaunting; instead, appealing to a topic of more depth.
Growing up, I hated how I looked. My mother is Irish, Polish, German, and Dutch, while my Dad emigrated from Nigeria. I was a biracial girl living in a majority Caucasian town. Not only was I surrounded by people who looked different than me, but I also rarely felt represented in the media. This lack of community during my adolescence gave me little to no self-esteem, self-worth, or self-confidence, which led me to want to change everything about myself: my hair, the accent I picked up from my African family, and even my skin color.
Growing up, every image depicted around me gave the message that most dark girls were ugly. So, when people would say, "You're pretty for a dark-skinned girl," I took it as a compliment.
The "All Black Everything Summit" was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. When stay-at-home orders first went into effect, I started to do an Instagram Live series called "Conversations with Global Pros" on my personal account as a way to stay motivated and engage with my community. As a full-time professional makeup artist used to being out and about, it was clear I would be stuck at home for the foreseeable future, and my work had come to a halt. The series started to take off and was doing very well. More importantly, I was having fun and the DMs I was receiving made it obvious my followers were enjoying the content, too.
There's never been a better time to stop and think about how we can do better and be better as a people, as a society, and as collective members of this beautiful planet we inhabit together. Why? Because the need for social and environmental sustainability has never been more urgent, including members in the beauty community.
Like most people, I am often asked, "What do you do for a living?" As a therapist of color, I think about what it is like to walk into my office. The walls are covered with my photography and beautiful illustrations from former patients of anxiety, depression, and recovery. "Thank You" cards are strung up, and the bulletin-board shows messages of allyship. On closer inspection, you might notice a carefully curated bookcase with titles on trauma, body image, and culture. Everything in the office is done consciously and intentionally; my space is not only a reflection of me but an invitation to others: an invitation offering my office as a safe space to do the work necessary for recovery.