It’s Black History Month, and while we spend an infinite amount of time indulging in Black culture, it’s time to acknowledge the creation of some of the most popular beauty trends. Some of our favorite go-to looks have arisen from the Black culture – think laid baby hairs, intricate braided designs, and artistic acrylic nail designs.
For years the Black community has had its own idea of what it meant to be beautiful. Because we have a unique look that differs from the standard definition of “beauty,” we’ve learned to define that idea within our own culture.
While first these looks were stigmatized by others outside the community deeming them unprofessional, ghetto, and even sexual, today they mean the exact difference. The beauty trends that were dominate in the Black culture are now being seen on red carpets, runways and your favorite celebrity’s social media accounts
It’s time to give the Black community the acknowledgment it deserves. Here, we listed the most recognizable beauty trends that the Black culture has started long before it became an Instagram-feed aesthetic.
Acrylic Nail Designs
If you take a quick look at any 80s or 90’s R&B and Hip-Hop videos then you are bound to find at least one vixen with four inch nails designed with intricate art work, bold colors, and sparkling rhinestones.
Acrylic nail designs have been a part of Black culture for as long as we could remember. However, according to mainstream media they were a symbol of being “ghetto” and often mocked on TV shows and in movies.
Today, acrylic nail designs are having a must-have mani moment. Your favorite influencers are dabbling deep into this “trend,” but like all trends, it may not last too long. But for the Black culture, it is and has always been our culture’s aesthetic.
Whew, child. This is the one. Laid baby hairs have been having a moment for the last year or so. But, back in the day this was the final touch to any hair style, if those baby hairs weren’t laid then the style simply wasn’t done. And again, what was stylish in the Black community, was looked down upon in other communities.
Today, excess baby hairs are the sign on a style influencer. Whether the baby hairs are there to be laid, or they are finding ways to mock the look– it’s an aesthetic.
All those lip kits, and lipgloss collections are new to the Black community. In the past, our go-to lip look derived from the local hair store and didn’t cost more than a dollar. Brown lip liner was a symbol of adolescence. Once you hit 13 as a young girl, this was one of the first beauty staples you dabbled in.
Now, these lip liners and lip kits are being sold worldwide and making quite the profit. But to us it was simply a sign of puberty that paired well with gold hoop earrings, and a over spritzed hairstyle (IYKYK).
Sorry to break it to you, but those “boxer braids” your favorite celebrity has been rocking are really called cornrows, and they’ve been one of societies most “ghetto” styles to date — until they became a trend.
Cornrows and braids date all the way back to Africa, and slavery [if you think Black history starts there]. This traditional style can be seen in the Fulani Tribe, and was also used to hide food and serve as maps to freedom during slavery.
Today, this look has become culturally universal. Sadly, they have been renamed as it’s easily understood that the former name had a negative connotation. But, nevertheless the traditional style has transcended time and continues to add a stylish touch to every culture who decides to rock them — with laid baby hairs, acrylic nails, and lip liner of course.