MONROE STEELE'S TOKEN BLACK GIRL
YOU MUST READ HOW THIS INDUSTRY STYLIST SPEAKS ON THE STRUGGLE OF BEING THE TOKEN BLACK GIRL IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY AND HOW IT AFFECTS THE RELATIONSHIPS IN OUR COMMUNITY
I ran across this inspiring lady on Instagram because I was drawn to effortless style, however she wasn't just another fashion stylist, style blogger, or at least not by reading her blogs. Of course she is a fashion influencer, who works with fashion brands as well as runs her own magazine called Steele Fashion. But recently when I read her blog post "Token Black Girl" I knew that she was far more than just a blogger.
"At that time, to be a token made me feel valued. I was the one they’d chosen to represent the black woman. I had a duty to be the best I can be and to put out the best work because I had a whole race on my back."
The way she revealed the insecurities and pressures of black women in the fashion industry was refreshing and sincere. "Token Black Girl" was an article that needed to be said put out there because it can translate through so many industries that black women have careers in.
"I am by no means perfect. I have in the past felt threatened by another’s success and it took a lot of soul searching and self evaluation for me to really and truly be happy for another women’s success without the Why Not Me Pity Party. Every now and then I still get a wave of jealousy but I know I can’t sit in that. It’s human to get jealous, it’s not helpful to stay in that frame of mind."
I love how Ms. Steele was able to allow her guard to be down to even reflect on how the struggles of being the token even fed into the jealousy we face in such a competitive field. I have often times witness the pride among us to be the "THE ONLY" or the token when it comes to success and mobility. Our minds influenced to believe that "Their" acceptance reigns over even our own acceptance to ourselves. Being the ONE who was good enough and accepted by them meant some sort of passage to the American Dream. Rather than striving for inclusion, we've been made to believe that exclusion makes us special of some sort. Not realizing that it does take a village, right? \
I definitely enjoyed this read, and how she was able to coincide a social and personal issue with her personal style. Which I realize she does a lot in her other posts or articles. I enjoy the depth that goes beyond the cliche of "fabulously fashionable" and really embarks on some social and individual assessments that effects us. So definitely read the article and check my girl out because she is definitely Radical!