The Women Of Bad Boy Reflect On Embracing #NoStereotypes When It Comes To Black Beauty [VIDEO]

Gibson referenced the Kardashians and appropriation of Black culture – a.k.a., the apparent rebranding of cornrows as “boxer braids” – as she spoke about the power of influence that Black women have in pop culture.

“We are the same ones who shunned away from cornrows,” Gibson said, speaking about old-fashioned pressures for Black women to assimilate to white beauty standards. Today, many Black women take pride in natural hair and rock braids and Bantu knots as high fashion.

“So, this conversation is shifting because our conversation has,” Gibson added.

Additional pressure for the ladies occasionally came from record label executives. Total’s Keisha Epps struggled with being overweight in the music industry.

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“There was the stereotype of ‘you’ve got to be a little thinner.’ I had what you call, like, the little [stomach] pouch,” Epps recalled. “I felt the pressure of the record label. You have to look like this [thin] even though I loved my thickness.”

Epps said the only way to help Black women embrace their natural beauty is to continue to have open and honest discussion such as these.

“What is really important for us is to embrace who we are, how we are,” Epps added. “Every day, we should be striving to be our better selves. But until we are our authentic selves, there’s no way that you can walk the path that’s provided for you.”

The Women of Bad Boy panel will continue alongside the tour in Detroit, Baltimore, New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

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