These images were created to celebrate the beauty of rich pigmented, strong and unapologetically black women like myself. Self Love. Equally we wanted to highlight the importance of love and unity- not just sexually, but with friendship solidarity and the idea of interracial relationships being important to keep diversity burning across all aspects of life – to drive out hate.
Mainstream media and the global fashion industry generally do not celebrate or promote rich pigmented women (beyond a ‘caramel complexion’) as being aspirational. There are barely any campaigns with a ‘love story’ or ‘sexual attraction’ connotations where the woman is darker than Beyoncé or Rihanna. Lupita Nyong’o seems to be a token gesture. Additionally, there are many black cultures that do not accept black women with white (or other) men. We wanted to change this constant, hateful, divisive, ignorant and monolithic ideology.
I love my size hero body and rich melanin skin. Many also do, however there are far too many images and constructs telling the world otherwise. Google searches rarely show aspirational fashion editorial images of black women (‘chocolate’ complexion) with white men, and in the U.K. media there are barely any images of popular or ‘successful’ alpha male celebrities with highly rich pigmented girlfriends or wives. Off the top of my head I can only name Robert Pattinson, Rob Kardashian and Robert De Niro who have (or have had) black or mixed race partners!
If you search ‘black girl white guy’ the results are several nice images, yet none are fashion editorials. If you search ‘black female model and white male model’ you’ll laugh. Along with photographer Steph Dray and male model Ernest Gromov, we created these images to subvert, provoke and celebrate. This is just one of the many ways we say: Love. Overcomes. Virtually. Everything.
Photographer: Steph Dray @stephdrayphotography
Styling & Writing: Adwoa @missbrowngotaround