Letting Your Beauty Shine

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 18:13 Written by  Iya Bakare

Image is everything. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are pre-judged by how we look. From our hairstyles to the shoes on our feet (and everything in between), how we present ourselves makes a statement. Regardless of how you define your personal style, if you’re walking into a boardroom for an interview or down the street to a restaurant, the words that come out of your mouth and the actions you portray carry more weight than you may realize.

As I type this column, I have to pause for a moment and critique myself: Do I always portray a positive image in how I dress, what I say and how I treat others? It would be a false statement if I said yes. I definitely make a conscious effort to be the best example at all times, but I know sometimes I fail. But, the point is to strive to be the best and to lead by example. And what kinds of examples do our little girls and fellow young ladies have to follow?

In this issue, you’ll read a few articles I wrote about some positive women in our community who not only touch, but dig deep on this topic. Journalist and author Allison Samuels recently wrote What Would Michelle Do: A Modern-Day Guide to Living with Substance and Style, which talks about the habits and traditions of our beloved First Lady Michelle Obama and how we all can find our “inner Michelle.” Wardrobe stylist and model coach Aaja Corinne Carr’s editorial for this issue, “She’s in Color,” depicts the diverse styles and personalities of four ladies who make a difference in their careers and communities. Both Allison and Aaja work to combat the negative image of black women we see and hear about in the media, and shed light on the positive role models who exist, all the while practicing what they preach.

Many aspire to emulate the lives of the women we see on our television screens, read about in magazines or follow intensely online via blogs and other media outlets, whether they’re attorneys and entrepreneurs or throwing fists and drinks at the trendy spots in their city. Unfortunately, the latter has gained more popularity within the last five years or so. Instead of engaging in meaningful discussions, our actions depict us behaving worse than animals, and some imitate this conduct in real life. How can we expect anyone to respect us and take us seriously?

How can we get back to a place where we’re respected? Perhaps we need to revisit a place of self-respect and where we love ourselves too.

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare, GMO's managing editor, earned both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in print journalism. She earned her B.A. from Delta State University with a minor in English and graduated with a M.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago. In her spare time, the Chicago native continues to freelance and ponder ways to both inform and improve her community one story at a time.

She can be contacted at Iya@glossmagazineonline.com
Follow her on Twitter: @ibakare

Website: www.iyabakare.com