There is nothing better than a LOUD Girl to add some warmth and stylish Sunshine to your life during a chilly Winter. I recently caught up with Stylist and Thrift Expert The Working Beauty, Esq. (yes, she’s a lawyer, too), who specializes in thriftily upgrading wardrobes to help people look fly.
Check out how her style reflects her LOUD, below.
LOUD Girl Movement (LGM): What does your style mean to you?
The Working Beauty: Style is an individual expression of how one chooses to communicate who they are. That’s why I always say fashion is universal – style is individual.
LGM: How does it reflect your voice?
The Working Beauty: My style is a direct reflection of me, and my voice. When I get dressed, there are three things I keep in mind that I want people to know about me: I am authentic; I am edgy because I push the envelope and don’t mind going outside of the box; and I love God and that love allows me to love people.
LGM: Why is Style important to you?
The Working Beauty: Style is so important. A person has seven seconds to make an impression and like I tell my clients, it ain’t nothing you can say or do in just seven seconds except be dressed. A person’s style should reflect exactly what people want others to know about them. Quite often, style is all we have and having a good sense of your individual style can keep you afloat. Having great style can make a person!
LGM: What do you think about the way mainstream media portrays Black women and girls? How are you using media to examine, reshape and help people rethink who Black women and girls truly are?
The Working Beauty: Black women and girls are out here winning right now. Mainstream media is obsessed with us. They may try to limit us but the beauty of Black women is that we are limitless. Every time mainstream tries to box us in, we defy the odds.
I remember when all we had [regularly in media] was Oprah. Sure we may have reality shows like Love and Hip Hop that – arguably may not be the best representation of us – but we also have shows like Queen Sugar, Insecure, Blackish, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. We have more options to see ourselves in media.
Black women are breaking records in ice skating, track, tennis, and every other sport; curing diseases and building empires; becoming mayors of major cities (shout out to Kesha Lance Bottoms) and judges at unprecedented ages. There are more Black women as entrepreneurs than ANY other demographic.
Every day I am inundated with information about Black women winning. It was that reality that helped me believe that I could be my own boss and mogul.
I use media to show love and celebrate ALL Black women – from strippers to CEOs – because as a Black woman my magic is that I recognize myself in all of them. A part of why I love my business so much is because I get to interact, on a very intimate level, with a very diverse range of Black women.
LGM: Have you ever experienced a time when you were expressing yourself and telling the truth about something and someone tried to silence or insult you? How did you react?
The Working Beauty: People try to silence me all the time. What’s important is whether or not they are successful and with me they are NEVER successful. People can only do what we allow them to do. If I am silenced, it is because I allowed it.
When I was in college, I spent my entire tenure learning about voice – the importance, the right to exercise it – down to the scientifics and psychology of our voice. I studied ways that people like bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou and Chimamanda Adichie use their voices to express their thoughts.
I was obsessed with voice because people always called me “loud.” So, my senior thesis was titled “And Your Daughter Shall Preach,” that examined the oppressive nature of the Black church on the voices of Black women – particularly those who were called to preach.
Even though it’s been 10 years since I wrote the paper, people who try to silence Black women still haven’t learned that they ain’t stopping nothing. No man can stop or stifle a voice that is meant to be heard. I interviewed more than 20 women in clergy and leadership positions of various denominations. I remember there was a Bishop whom I asked how she had risen to such a prestigious role in the Black church despite the efforts to thwart her ambition and she basically replied, in the same way my mother had always taught me, what God has for you – is for you (my mother would add and can’t no devil in hell take if from you). So long story short, I have I continued to do and be me. The loud, colorful, educated, opinionated girl and now, woman, that God has always called me to be!
LGM: If you could tell your younger self something about your voice and style, what would it be?
The Working Beauty: If I could tell my younger self something about my voice and style, I would say one thing “You had it right all along.” *wink wink*
As always, LOUD Girl Style speaks for itself. Get in the groove of the season and strut your LOUD.
Get LOUD and styled by The Working Beauty at:
Editor, LOUD Girl Movement Blog