Beauty Breaks: Session 4 | Re-cap +Photos
PHOTOS BY ALLY ALMORE
Beauty Breaks: Session 4 opened with a meditation led by Amina Ross, that allowed us to release anything that we felt weighted by or no longer needed, from worries to patterns that we feel stuck in day to day or momentarily. As we all grounded ourselves through this guided meditation and deep breathing, everyone was excited to welcome Jade Perry's workshop "I Slay" Stylin' as a Tool of Resilience.
Jade Perry, a contributing writer to various online platforms on topics such as culture, spirituality, entertainment and more, opened with a discussion on how Black women have and continue to use style as a tool of resilience. Many opened up about how dress codes specifically target Black women's bodies and how we are often hyper-aware of how we present ourselves in the world due to the gaze, criticisms, and hyper-sexualization of our bodies. We talked about how our grandma's and other elders have had "the talk" about how what we wear can get us into the careers we want. There was a general consensus about using these rules to get us in and then the act of challenging and pushing against dress codes that are often times specifically biased against Black people.
There was an emphasis on how style can function as an act of reclaiming our own bodies and identities in a world that pushes for assimilation to western European standards of beauty and identity. Perry led us through writing individual Style Manifestos that delved into personal definitions of style. The manifesto engaged us in involving all of our senses and surrounding feelings when defining our style, from the sounds our shoes make on the "L" to basic concerns and worries connected to true self-expression. Some of us shared our manifestos, discussing personal style and clothing as a practice of freedom, meditation through garnishing and as a revolutionary against gender expectations.
To continue onto ways to nurture and establish our physical selves to the world as Black people, Coriama Couture, a local aesthetician, began her workshop, "Hands-On: The 101 Guide to Affordable Grooming." Coriama went over the best and most affordable products for darker skin, makeup tutorials, personal hygiene methods and provided giveaways of safe sex products and of some of the products discussed during her workshop. We all went deep into conversation not just about grooming tips but also how natural beauty without certain products and services can often times make us feel the most lifted and free. Having that balance of self-care and self-confidence creates an inner and outer shine.
Jacqueline Smith, owner and lead consultant of GrowAsis Urban Gardening, imparted on us a revolutionary act of self-sustainability through independent nourishment with her workshop "New Beginnings:" Seed Starting. In the US if you look at neighborhoods in Black, white, and Latino communities with the same poverty rates, there are more large supermarkets available in poor white communities than there are in Black and Latino communities. Rather than having to go to predominantly white neighborhoods for a quality groceries we can start by growing our own herbs and vegetables at home. And, there is also the sense of pride in being your own access to a food source as well as the absence of contributing to labor exploitation, child labor and prison slavery that all often times comes along with how we get our food.
Jacquline who also goes by Jackie, first began by informing us of the places to buy our seeds, to avoid purchasing genetically modified (GMO) seeds. There was a heavy emphasis on the affordability of seeds and other materials that would be needed, such as recycled/free newspaper and toilet paper tubes. We then went over folding newspaper and deconstructing the toilet paper tubes to create pots for seeds and creative ways to keep our seeds pests and disease free.
We ended the session with a light meditation of passing energies with new knowledge on farming, style and outer beauty care.