The mainstream beauty industry consistently devalues black women, while subsequently, and blatantly, stealing their aesthetics. Beauty supply stores—sanctuaries of black beauty, of extensions, oils, weaves, bonnets, pins, and more—become a secret world of black women, where we explore and grow up, learning about ourselves and creating our own culture where we feel beautiful. They are refuges where we often subvert and challenge these notions of beauty standards, as well as face the insecurities forced upon us by beauty culture—learning how to exist and thrive in a world that questions our femininity, our sensuality, our beauty as black women.
“You don’t see us as beautiful, you won’t make anything for us, we’ll create our own world, our own beautiful, our own aesthetic.” —Antonia George
Jasmine Weber is a student artist based in New York City, focused on photographing people of color in ways they want to be seen. Find her @jasmineweber on Instagram.