One day last week I was on Twitter and saw something that said “every black person on Twitter needs to rt this at least once, RIP queen, you won’t be forgotten.” In the photo below that text there were two pictures of Miss. Karyn Washington with a caption that read, “Karyn Washington, founder of ‘For Brown Girls’ and the ‘Dark Skin, Red Lips’ project has died at the tender age of 22. And this was not a natural death. This was an apparent suicide. Karyn, who dedicated herself to the uplifting of dark-skinned black girls and women, and worked so hard that they would have a sense of well-being, was struggling with depression and mental illness, and was unable to extend the love she gave to others to herself.” *Eyerolls to the second part of their caption.*
Immediately after reading this tweet I began to look up For Brown Girls and Karyn Washington. The first piece of information I found was an article that featured a video from one of her closest friends. Her friend talked about how loving and sweet Karyn was. She also confirmed Karyn’s death was not caused by self hate or “not extending the love she gave to others to herself.” Karyn’s mother passed away from cancer which seems to have had a major impact on her. (If you are struggling with any suicidal thoughts please call the national hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255 or reach out to me. It doesn’t matter if you know me or not, we can talk.) Articles on her death were posted everywhere I tried to search for For Brown Girls. Rumors and people being plain nasty should not overshadow the great work Karyn did!
I want to celebrate her life and everything she did because that work made a way for myself and others with similar missions! Karyn’s work inspires me. I would be grateful to have even half of the impact she had on black females.
The mission of FBG posted on their tumblr page is “www.forbrowngirls.com, an organization dedicated to celebrating the darker shades of brown while combatting colorism” (Colorism is described as “prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.” – Google Dictionary.) “and promoting self love! FBG was founded in 2011 by Karyn Washington.” It looks like the website is now owned by someone else but I would still encourage everyone to check out http://forbrowngirls.tumblr.com/!
|Karyn Washington, Founder of FBG and The #DarkSkinRedLips Project
The mission the #DarkSkinRedLip Project posted on their tumblr page is “Breaking Barriers and Building Confidence!” is the tag-line of ForBrownGirls’ latest ongoing online campaign that invites women with darker skin complexions to submit and showcase a photo of them rocking a red lip (www.darkskinredlip.com). Since April, the organization has been promoting this project through social media and word of mouth to help put an end to the notion that women of a darker hue don’t look attractive wearing bright colors, in particular, red lipstick. Along with abolishing that stigma, the project will serve as inspiration to any girl or woman who have given into this stereotype and shied away from wearing a red lip. In viewing such images, a darker skinned girl who is hesitant to try a red lip will find the confidence to step out of her comfort zone, disregarding the opinion of anyone else. The project has received much support and we look forward to reaching our goal of having 1,000+ women participate.” Find more at http://darkskinredlip.tumblr.com/!
Love the skin you’re in. I don’t care what anyone says about you, you are beautiful. (Read our Beauty Quotes post!) In order to continue Karyn’s efforts I encourage everyone to post a photo of themselves wearing their favorite red lipstick or saying why you love your skin tone.