“Dress how you want to be addressed.”
“Dress for success.”
We have all heard sayings like those above by our parents, mentors, or just adults attempting to steer us in the right direction – away from the negative stereotypes aligned with our melanin.
Recently, I have caught on to the wave of “The New Stereotype;” something a very dope brother by the name Marquelle Turner-Gilchrist has taken under his vision and is taking to another level. The goal for “The New Stereotype” is to use imagery to create new stereotypes, paint new pictures of the black man, and highlight the diversity and strength of a black man. The idea is to position black men in ways and places that they aren’t often “seen.” Black men well-traveled, educated, spiritual, cultured, innovative, relentless, and optimistic.
I say that to say this, in order to create a stereotype there must be frequency and consistency. This can easily be started at a young age.
Last Thursday (March 31), I got to be a part of something so beautiful and it touched me on so many levels words could never do it any justice. I was granted the opportunity to style a photoshoot with three of the most amazing kids I have ever met alongside their beautiful – both inside and out – mother, Tanai Benard who holds it down like none other. She has raised three children on her own while traveling all over the world.