Friday, October 28, 2016

The Importance of Elegant Black Women Images

After I removed the images from my blog I started searching royalty-free stock images of elegant Black women (EBWs). The search was hard! There are some free stock-photo sites, many of the images were not good, and most were of White women. This is because the sites are probably White owned, the photographers are mostly White, and the models are mostly White. It is what it is (sigh). Photographers and models should be paid for their work and I don't want to take advantage of them. But while looking for images I felt so left out and kept asking myself 'why aren't there more images for us'?

It is so important that Black women and girls can see images of themselves that defy racial stereotypes so that they feel free to break those stereotypes. It really is mind control! We are not all blessed with imagination, and many of us don't question why we act a certain way, or if we could be different. Sometimes just the suggestion of a different path can inspire a flurry of ideas and possibilities for someone. This is especially important for BW because, due to our history, we have been bombarded with pessimism, criticism, and legalized restrictions on what we could and could not do. Showing non-stereotypical possibilities opens minds and could lead BW and girls to defy the stereotypes. Just think back to your childhood. Do you remember ever thinking that you could not be successful, beautiful, cherished, adored, or admired because you rarely saw BW portrayed with these qualities? Only seeing White women with these traits has an impact.

So what can we do to change this? We have to seek out positive representations and support them, including support with our dollars. Selling, publishing, and buying now is easier than ever! We can produce images to show the world how we want to be represented. There are already creative people making Black dolls with Afrocentric features and natural hair, there are now many BW on TV and in movies too. I have seen some people self-publishing books and selling them, including children's books. These items can be advertised on blogs and by using social media. They can be sold using online marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, and many others.

Well, in the process of finding images I came across some avatar makers! Some of them are actually girls games (like paper dolls) but you dress up your "doll" online and then download the images! It was quite fun and I must have made 20 images lol! Now this may seem childish, but think about all of the logos, product covers, clothing, commercials, and art that have graphic images of non-Black people on them. These were created by adult graphic designers who make a living designing these things. I'm no graphic designer, but I think I can make some simple things to decorate my blog or post for other's use. I plan to use these avatar makers when I do posts about feminine clothing as well as using Polyvore (Polyvore allows you to create fashion collages and you can post the widget on your blog. The items in the widget will show the price and brand and link to where you can purchase the product. As far as I know it's legal). Simple things like making your own decorations, book covers, wall decorations, etc. can help you to surround yourself with EBW images rather than images of other women. I'm going to find out about some of these options and share them with you as I go along. There is no reason why BW need to beg big companies to make these things for us when we can make or find them ourselves and sell to others. What we make will probably be more affordable and more to our liking anyway.

P.S. I also learned something fantastic that may be useful to bloggers. You can now use many of the images from Getty Images for free on your blog if you use their posting widget to give credit and link to their site! So I will be able to post images of EBWs all over this blog and it will be legal! Also to see a large collection of EBW images be sure to visit my Tumblr site because it's amazing!

Avatar Makers (pretty fun!): The first thing you should do with any of the games is check if they have brown skin and the hair options you want because many don't have brown skin tones.Take a look at the FAQ pages because it may be possible to use the image you create commercially if you give credit to the artist.

Stock Photos:

DIY Fashion Collages:

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Hi Ladies! Here I am back again after almost a year of no blogging. I have decided to start up this blog again so that I can continue to document my Elegant Black Woman journey because it is not yet complete. So why even start this up again? Well with the US election coming up, soon Michelle Obama will no longer be in the public view. She has been a big role model for me on my EBW journey. There is also a lot of racial strife in the US right now and it makes me wonder what impact that will have on the perception of BW in general. Today we are being represented much more on television and wearing natural hair is no longer abnormal. So with all of these changes I wondered if my opinions have changed and if I have kept up with my EBW ideals.

I started this blog in 2011 when I was still in school, unemployed, and with limited funds. It's not as though I have tons of free time or cash now, but it's good to have a hobby to keep oneself occupied. To tell the truth, when I started thinking about this again I was so excited! I plan to revisit my old blog posts and do updates and make a bunch of tips that can be used to become an EBW. I would also like to try using new social media, graphic design, and monetization ideas I have been learning. This blog has just been sitting here for ages so maybe it can become a source of passive income for me. I'm being upfront and honest about this part and I think that BW could all benefit from using some of these ideas. I could even post the tips, videos, and articles I have been using and maybe it will inspire you too! This is a niche blog that only appeals to certain women, but a niche can be a good thing. Everyone has opinions so why not share mine on this blog? There is so much I have to do! I have to add images, update my links, open social media accounts, and check out whether there are any other Black femininity blogs around.

You may notice that most of my images have been removed because I don't want to risk infringing on copyrights and I may as well monetize the site since I put so much work into it! So I'm going to sign up for Adsense. I will also sign up to be an Amazon affiliate because that way I can post images of items I am talking about, including movie posters. I am in the process of collecting free clip art and I am looking around for inexpensive clip art and stock photos that I can use on the site. One thing I want to mention is that since I started looking for free photos and images it has become really clear that there are not many for Black women at all! Over the years I have gotten so many comments complaining that the women in the images I used were too light or that I should have more images. I should not have posted those images at all because they did not belong to me! I miss them because they were amazing and they are still on my Tumblr site though if you want to see them.

Well, that was my first post of 2016! Welcome or welcome back if anyone is out there watching!
P.S. I have also turned the comments back on. I had to turn them off because of annoying spammers.