– by Tamara Pridgett
We at Un’ruly would like to take the time to acknowledge two influential women for their activism in celebrating and promoting Black beauty.
Domineque Banks, known as LongHairDontCare2011 to her 95,000 subscribers, battled Lupus since 2004 and lost that battle this month. She used her Youtube channel as a medium to discuss how Lupus affected the health of her hair and to help women transition from chemically processed hair to their natural texture. Her tutorials focused on how to grow natural hair and staying positive throughout the journey.
At the age of 19, Karyn Washington founded For Brown Girls to inspire women of darker complexions to love their skin. Karyn’s project “Dark Skin, Red Lip” encouraged women with darker complexions to wear their favorite shade of red lipstick, refuting the notion that women of darker complexions could not and should not wear bright colored lipsticks. According to reports, Karyn died by suicide this past April 8th. Karyn’s good friend Najah explained in a YouTube video that she suffered from depression and mental illness due to the death of her mother in 2013.
Washington’s passing sheds more of a light on depression. There is a stigma surrounding mental illness that keeps it from being discussed or acknowledged, especially in a society where emotions are viewed as weakness. In the book Sisters of the Yam, Bell Hooks expresses the importance of self-recovery, “we must be about the business of saving ourselves, and calling attention to all that is keeping us from being whole.” Seeking therapy is not a sign that your ability or faith is lacking. It’s okay to feel. Emotions ARE valid and we should seek support from friends, family or professionals when needed.
Although Karyn and Domineque may no longer physically be here with us, the lessons they taught about self-acceptance and self-love remain as a reminder of their legacy.