18-year-old high school senior Kyemah McEntyre wanted to make a statement… and boy did she!
Kyemah, who attends the Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts in New Jersey, describes herself as “undoubtedly of African descent” and stated on Instagram that her statement dress is a response to being labeled ’ ”ugly” or “angry”.’
Okay, but before we continue this story, let’s back it up for a second. Who on earth is telling this girl she is ugly?! We just posted about Twitter’s epic #unconventionalblackbeauty tag full of black women sharing painful stories of being called ugly for things like dark skin, wide noses, slender figures and big teeth. The twist? The participants were absolutely gorgeous (if you don’t believe me you can see for yourself here…) It seems that despite the thousands of blogs, tumblrs, IG accounts and Pinterest boards dedicated to celebrating black beauty, there is still a strong and pervasive cultural message telling black girls they are ugly. It’s both enraging and outrageous. Alright, back to the story…
Kyemah designed the dress herself and wore it with a stunning afro and headpiece. And if you’re surprised at how gorgeous the gown is, you shouldn’t be. Kyemah has been accepted to the prestigious Parsons School of Design and will be attending in the Fall. She accompanied her photo with this caption;
I’m Kyemah McEntyre, I am 18 years old, and I am undoubtedly of African Descent.
As an artist, I have a completely different point of view compared to most individuals. I am extremely analytical and observant. Throughout the world, we have people who do not notice each other’s essence and humanity. We stunt our collective spiritual growth by allowing assumptions and stereotypes to cloud our mind and thus our physical reality. We let these negative ideas get the best of us, and in turn a world of isolation is manifested by our lack of sensitivity and desire to sympathize with each other. This results in a world in which people live within the confines of their own space, isolated from each other and separated from the rest of the world.
Sometimes we get trapped in our own prejudice ways. We don’t notice how the idea of a particular type of person changes the way we live our lives. The most creative people are the ones who step out of their comfort zone and take advantage of the world around them. My abilities as an artist allow me to experience the benefits that versatility fosters.
Being exposed to all kinds of people and cultures is the muse for my artwork. I am an aspiring artist who is very passionate about the connection between art and the world. I believe that in order for society to gain a wider horizon, we have to be willing to acknowledge other people from differences, beliefs, morals, and values. I would like to take this moment to say that you have to understand who you are because if you leave that space open, you leave your identity in the hands of society. Don’t let anyone define you. Beautiful things happen when you take pride in yourself. #blackgirlsrock #kyebreaktheinternet
Now, about breaking the internet… The picture of Kyemah’s dress has been retweeted 4,000 times…
When European Ideals and standards of beauty mean absolutely nothing. 💕✊🏾 Instagram: @MindOfKye pic.twitter.com/TVtqpZiwE4
— KYEMAH MCENTYRE (@KyeTheCreator) June 6, 2015
The photo on her Instagram account has been liked more than 12,000 times and her Instagram followers have shot up tp 14,000.
It seems this young woman’s queenly bearing is a refreshing break from our culture’s current obsession with all things ratchet. Oh, and she was voted prom queen… obviously.
Ladies, what are your thoughts on young Kyemah?