There’s peng Black girls who resemble us in Tyla’s Getting Late music video and we are loving that!
Magazines, billboards, music videos and film are tools of mainstream media that fail to provide many Black girls the opportunity to see a reflection of their natural hair and the browns that are pigmented onto their skin. The lack of media representation is damaging to how they perceive themselves and their beauty. It makes them wonder what it is that the media deems unworthy about their beauty. It makes them question how the world sees them. Adut Akech is a South Sudanese supermodel who, like many Black girls, grew up not seeing someone who resembles her in spaces where womanhood and beauty are present. She expressed to Vogue that growing up, this absence of her beauty in the media led to her feeling like her beauty was inadequate. Therefore, the presence of Black beauty in music videos like Peng Black Girls and Getting Late assures Black girls that their beauty is worth being celebrated and embraced. They are able to see themselves for who they are, rather than who the world dictates they should strive to be. It removes the lens that violently sexualizes and objectifies their beauty.
It liberates them to exist as they are without the barriers of the male gaze. This state of liberation is portrayed in Tyla’s Getting Late music video. There, the girls freely express their Black beauty with their natural hair combed out, bantu knots, box braids and faux locs. Tyla’s visuals celebrate the beauty that is representative of our communities; we see our sisters and our friends in their beautiful faces.
In her recognition of Black beauty, she also honours the kinds of beauty that exist together with Black beauty. Her sound is a fusion of jazz, the sounds of kwaito and the beats of deep house that mirrors the depiction of Black beauty in her video. The aesthetic expression in her music video exhibits a union of the specks of magic found in their melanin. It celebrates every kind of presence of their beauty. There’s dark skins, light skins and girls whose melanin is a little of the two tones.
The music video is sitting at one million views on YouTube and that means that Black beauty has been received by millions of eyes. And it deserves to be received by another million.
Getting Late Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6Tct3AAre0.