Last year, Nollywood actress Beverly Naya started a campaign titled #FiftyShadesofBlack to inspire young black girls to love their skin tone and to teach them about self love and acceptance. In the first campaign for the movement, her fellow Nollywood starlets like Osas Ighodaro, Isi Atagamen, Vimbai Mutinhiri and more spoke up and shared what their definition of beauty was. View it here if you missed it.
Now, she is preaching the gospel of self love and acceptance with another campaign featuring 8 ladies of different shapes, sizes, complexions and ages who have written down the negative adjectives people have called them in the past; and on another sheet, the positive adjectives they associate themselves with.
This campaign, shot by Yetunde Babaeko, was aimed at helping the ladies connect with the process of acceptance, and helping them experience joy after realizing how much they have accomplished.
Read Beverly’s personal note on the campaign;
“Sometime mid last year I decided to start a campaign called #FiftyShadesOfBlack. The original purpose of the campaign was to encourage women and young girls to see beauty in all shades of black because there is no hierarchy of beauty determined by complexion in my opinion. I began to think deeply about how I could strengthen this campaign and with each day on this journey, I came to realise that black beauty equates to much more than what we see on the outside, it starts from within. I thought to myself, if I’m able to inspire young girls, even if its just one to love themselves from within then in turn they will teach others. The campaign has now evolved into something deeper, something that is not only befitting of young girls out there but it has taught me how to accept myself, flaws and all. #FiftyShadesOfBlack is an empowering campaign that teaches young girls about self esteem, self worth, self confidence and self love because possessing these four qualities will lead to stronger secure women who see beauty for much more than what the media portrays.
I partnered with Dark & Lovely earlier in the year for a photoshoot with eight beautiful females of different shapes, sizes, complexions and ages. I wanted this to be more than just a photoshoot for them, but an impactful and long lasting experience so I asked four inspiring women in the entertainment industry to stop by and mentor our girls for the day. Special thank you to Diana Yekinni, Liz Awoliyi, Osas Ighodaro and Lola Maja for being so vulnerable with the girls which allowed us all to connect with their stories in unimaginable ways. I also asked our ladies to write down negative adjectives that people have called them in the past and on another sheet of paper, positive adjectives that they feel now, this was to help the ladies connect deeply with the process and experience joy after realizing how much they have overcome to get to where they are today.
This campaign is very dear to me because in as much as it has helped other girls love themselves more, it has helped me understand myself and flaws a little better. Oprah Winfrey once said that when you inspire other people, you inspire yourself. I really couldn’t agree with her more and for that very reason I’m looking forward to mentoring more girls in the near future. All black is beautiful, lets continue to preach this to the world.“
View the campaign images;
Watch the Behind-The-Scenes video below;
Photography: Yetunde Babaeko (Camera Studios) (Instagram: @YetundeBabaeko)
Hair: Dark And Lovely (Instagram: @DarkandLovelyNG)
Makeup: Dorcas & Remi for Maybelline (Instagram: @MaybellineNYNG)
Concept: Fifty Shades of Black (Instagram- @FiftyShadesOf_Black)