Leah Vernon
By: Lenora Houseworth

Less than a decade ago, the face of Muslim women was that of an invisible onlooker in both fashion and beauty, with virtually no representation anywhere. Now, in the midst of a turbulent political climate, those days are officially in the past. With big retail brands and beauty companies forming partnerships pushing diversity, Muslim beauty gurus have become a viable and much-needed voice. These ladies are defining beauty on their terms while showcasing their faith like we’ve never seen before. Check out some of these gorgeous beauty bloggers and learn some of their tips and tricks!

Photo: Olushola Bashorun
By Lenora Houseworth

The year of 2017 has been a doozy, no doubt. From the ever-exhausting, ridiculous excuse for a President, rampant sexual assault scandals, to the numerous crimes against humanity, Black women have been the silent bright spot in an otherwise dark socio-political landscape. 

Recently an article published on ABCNews.com asserted black women have a newfound “hope” after the news of Meghan Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry. Now I won’t go into here why that is an extremely flawed (Read: wack) argument, but I will say personally my only real takeaway from the article was that the struggling, desperate, unloveable black woman narrative is tired, overdone and quite frankly FALSE. 
Do we still get paid 64 cents to every dollar a white male gets? Yep.
Do we still hold less than 2% of senior leadership positions in major corporations? Yep.
Do we still have to work twice as hard as a double minority for the same recognition and success compared to our white counterparts? Yep.
Yet, and still we thrive.

This year more than ever before, proved the power, resilience and brilliance of black women in every area of society, and I loved watching every minute of it. Both in my inner circle and beyond, black women are creating, flourishing and fighting like only we know how despite all of the societal and institutional roadblocks, all while staying moisturized and melanated. 

To that, I have compiled a list showcasing that indeed #BlackGirlMagic is real and dispelling a few myths about the current condition of African-American women. 

Photo via daremebeautiful
1. For the first time in American history, Black women are the most educated group in the country according to the National Center for Education Statistics despite major wage gap inequalities. 

2. We continuously fight against injustice using our vote. With more than 95% voting against morally corrupt talking heads likes Donald Trump and Roy Moore, black women prove repeatedly we are a political force. 

Vi Lyles
3. Along with that, we are breaking political ceilings. From Charlotte North Carolina's first Black woman mayor, Vi Lyles, to New Jersey’s first Black Lieutenant mayor Sheila Oliver, black women are changing history.

4. Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs adding an estimated 340,000 jobs to the U.S. economy since 2007 thus helping revive a struggling American economy.

5. We start movements that dispel the stigma of sexual violence. A decade before hashtags and celebrity support, Tarana Burke created the Me Too movement to tackle sexual predators head on.

Letoya Luckett & husband Tommicus Walker
6. Black woman are in love and getting married. According to census data, 75% of Black women are getting married before 35 with more than 80% of educated, established black men marrying black women. 

Founders of the Black Lives Matter movement- From left: Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi. | Ben Baker for Politico Magazine/Redux Pictures

7. Black women fight and protest relentlessly for human rights and the disenfranchised.

What moment in 2017 made you most proud of African-American women? Tell us below! 

Lenora Houseworth-Weston is a social media strategist and writer based in Jersey City, NJ by way of the Windy City. Her work has been seen in places such as Yahoo.com, Glaad.org and BlackEnterprise.com. Jay-Z lyrics and avocados are her life. Follow her adventures on Instagram @LenoraSheWrote!

Fenty Beauty By Rihanna
According to research, black women spend a whopping 80% more on cosmetics than any other group, yet remained majorly-and noticeably-ignored by the industry for years.
Insert singer Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty collection, the atomic bomb that has (in a few short weeks) revolutionized the beauty world, leaving it scrambling for black women’s attention. I must say, this observation alone makes me even giddier for the superstar’s success, which shines a beaming light on an undercover problem within beauty--diversity. With #FentyBeauty now joining the ranks as yet another black-owned beauty company addressing the unique challenges women of color face in the makeup aisle, we thought it fitting to highlight a few more black-owned beauty brands. Take a look!

What other black-owned beauty brands do you adore? Tell us! 

Lenora Houseworth is a social media strategist and writer based in Jersey City, NJ by way of the Windy City. Her work has been seen in places such as Yahoo.com, Glaad.org and BlackEnterprise.com. Jay-Z lyrics and avocados are her life. Follow her adventures on Instagram @LenoraSheWrote!