Black Vogue: A Journey of Empowerment, Diversity, and Beauty

October 17, 2015, will forever be an unforgettable day, not just for me, but for many who participated in an epic and utterly wonderful event at Södra Teatern in Stockholm. When I founded the group and community Black Vogue, I never imagined that almost 500 beautiful Black women in every shade would one day physically come together in Sweden to celebrate themselves and their beauty. For one evening, we were the majority, and that feeling is indescribable.

Written by
Lovette Jallow

Published on

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As Mayimuna Carlqvist so aptly expressed in her reflection after the event, “After almost 30 years as part of a minority, it was epic and utterly wonderful to be part of an event that filled Södra teatern with almost 500 beautiful women in all shades of brown.”

I still remember the feeling of community and pride that filled the theatre that evening. It was a powerful reminder of the importance of feeling seen and appreciated in a society where many of us have felt invisible or diminished for a long time.

As Fatou Toure so strongly expressed after confronting prejudices about her beauty, “To be considered beautiful for an African means, according to me, that he meant that Africans usually aren’t considered particularly beautiful, but that I was an exception.” This type of prejudice and bias is something that many in the Black community constantly have to deal with.

That’s why events like this are so important. They give us a platform to embrace our beauty and to show the world that we are here, we are beautiful, and we deserve to be seen and heard.

But when I started Black Vogue, it was never my dream that it would grow and become the platform and meeting place that it has become today. It was a personal project, a small idea I had to create a community where we could share our experiences, support each other, and find inspiration in the beauty world. The result was that Black Vogue, which I founded in 2015 on Facebook, now has over 17,000 members. 80% of the members come from Scandinavia, which clearly shows the great need for such a group within the Afro-Swedish community.

The group’s goal is to encourage members by sharing selfies, makeup tips, and which products are used. This way, members get tips and answers from both other members and makeup artists within the group who know and understand how to work with darker skin tones.

By creating this platform, I haven’t just created a community, but I’ve also contributed to filling a gap and giving a voice to a part of society that has previously felt overlooked and invisible. It’s an honour and a privilege to be part of this journey, and I look forward to continuing to strengthen and inspire our society.

Black Vogue eventually resulted in an amazing project that became a book and Europe’s first,  named Black Vogue: Shades of Beauty, and resulted in the largest events to date.