Celebrate Black Beauty With Sissi Johnson’s #BringItBlackChallenge
It is extraordinarily difficult to put a limit on exactly who Sissi Johnson is. She is an international professor, social impact executive, scholar, writer, visionary, public speaker, cultural innovator, creative consultant, and model (though she wrestles with this particular title).
Most importantly, Sissi is an activist for human rights and personal joy. Johnson fiercely advocates fair payment and positive imagery of women of color in media.
In Johnson’s MBA global fashion classes, she often challenges major fashion brands that use stereotypical images of POC to promote their brand. She has worked with the likes of supermodel Iman while promoting women of color and in 2018 she appeared in and was the Creative Director behind singer/songwriter Maxwell’s musical visual Shame. Behind the scenes of the visual, she ensured there was diversity among the models and staff, and in front of the camera she served straight looks!
After the Shame project, she reached out to me concerning a piece I wrote on the visual and we have been digital comrades ever since.
Almost two years later, the rising star is still prompting women of color to live “shamelessly” and last month she digitally challenged us all to show off our “black beauty”.
Disheartened and traumatized by the graphic visuals of African American women and girls putting themselves on the front line of protests after the brutal public lynching of George Floyd; Sissi, decided to “cleanse the timeline” with a more light-hearted challenge.
Inspired by the musical divas of the 1990’s, she challenged her social media squad to show off their black beauty whilst sporting a retro brown or black lip color. She crowned the digital challenge the #BringItBlackChallenge and several submissions came pouring in.
I feel this challenge is precisely what black sisters need now. This year has been nothing short of traumatic. With racism and police brutality at an all-time high and unemployment at a record low, women of color need a challenge to take the stress away and focus on our beauty and self-care – if only briefly.
I must admit I enjoyed putting on a good record, making-up my face, and taking a few modest shots for Johnson’s #BringitBlackChallenge. It brought me a few moments of healthy pleasure in the middle of world chaos.
I encourage every woman of color and ally to look at some of the submissions from the challenge. Also, if you are in the mood to join the fun, please take your best selfie sporting a black or brown lip and post it to your social media page with the hashtag #BringItBlackChallenge. For a chance to appear on this website, send you submissions directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shoutout to Queen Sissi Johnson for gifting us girls with a moment of escapism, pampering, and socially distant fun. Also, take to her social media platforms (@asksissi on Twitter and Instagram) to congratulate her on her recent career successes and wish her a happy August birthday month.
We Love you Sissi, Keep Shining!