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[Pics] White Male Howard Student Launches #BlackWomenAreBeautiful Campaign

Avatar • Mar 25, 2016

20-year-old Russell Schiller (IG) is a white sophomore advertising major at Howard University. According to a profile on BeyondBlackWhite.com Schiller is “a Wisconsin native who grew up in a predominately black neighborhood” and has always had an affinity for black women, to his mother’s dismay.

https://www.instagram.com/Russylvlysl/

https://www.instagram.com/Russylvlysl/

Schiller recently launched the #BlackWomenAreBeautiful photography campaign, shooting images of his Howard classmates. In a video for the Howard University News Service, Schiller explains his motivation;

I find a very deep beauty within black women and I wanted to finally portray that, and I also wanted to capture that elegant beauty of what is black women and really teach people that this is something we need to appreciate, whether it be dark, light, big, small…”

Watch Schiller talk about the project below.

Howard University is known for having a gorgeous and stylish female student body. In 2011, Huffington Post ranked Howard as the second best dressed college in the nation.

Most of Schiller’s images were compiled specifically for a feature in Howard University’s Hilltop newspaper.

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

However, you can see some of the campaign’s images on Schiller’s Instagram account for his photography business.

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

https://www.instagram.com/shootsbyruss/

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ARM
ARM
4 years ago

I don’t know how I feel about this. It’s always nice to see black women celebrated and appreciated. But the whole “I grew up in a black neighborhood” “Affinity for black women” makes me almost suspicious. Like those white men are usually so unknowingly racist and fetishizing. You know

Suchalady
Suchalady
4 years ago
Reply to  ARM

And as it turns out, he is one of those white men. The Internet found some of his n‑word filled tweets.

Rachel
Rachel
4 years ago

I’m of two minds about this; on one hand, I’m happy to see black female beauty being appreciated, because our features, hair, and bodies, and skin tones are usually maligned when people aren’t raving about white people’s many attempts to copy (but never replicate) us. On the other hand…I hate that this is probably going to be framed as “See, white men think we’re beautiful!” as if we need that validation to justify our beauty. Mixed feelings.

Dee
Dee
4 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

I feel you; it’s bittersweet. I definitely appreciate the campaign and those photographs are beautiful. I just cringe at the thought that the response from black women who appreciate this project will be construed as black women needing validation. However, I hate to be the sour patch…so Ill just leave it as I love the idea of the campaign. Black women are often seen as unattractive and frankly, it’s refreshing to get some praise.

Sukhai Booker
Sukhai Booker
4 years ago

I really wish people would do research before uplifting people like this. This is a white man who actively says nigga, but people wanna put him on a pedestal for calling Black girls pretty :/

BlueCornMoon
BlueCornMoon
4 years ago
Reply to  Sukhai Booker

Before you criticize him for saying “nigga”, just remember that it was OUR ignorant BLACK rappers that brought that word out in public & put it on blast. In my generation ( the 60s civil rights era) that was a fighting word among our people & at black schools kids got in trouble at school & at home if they used it on each other because it was the slave master’s word for us & a symbol of disrespect. And we had just about trained white folks not to use it. But along came negative hip hop & rappers with… Read more »

Nevorchi
4 years ago

I wonder what the reception would be like if it was reversed (Black man launches — white women are beautiful).

Not that I have anything against this. but I can see so many things that can become a “problem” had that been the article.

Utopia
Utopia
4 years ago

This man does not look white ‚or is it me? This man looks Asian .

boohissss
boohissss
4 years ago

We don’t need a white guy to show the world how beautiful we are or to confirm that for us and the [black] men who already see it. I also don’t need to be fetishized or patronized. I don’t care home many black communities he has infiltrated– it’s just another example of a white man saying and doing white male things.

silly little thumb
silly little thumb
4 years ago

his twitter is filled with disparaging comments about women and the n‑word. no thanks.

laila
laila
4 years ago

can people just appreciate this without finding something “negative” or “suspicious” about it?? every time a non black person(especially white) tries to appreciate black women some black people always try to turn it into a fetishization issue or something negative. For Christ sake it can never be someone just simply appreciates black women, there always has to be a hidden negative agenda. Some of you are exhausting. I saw a youtube video where a white boy made a whole ass video about black women not being respected and represented enough in society( he made very solid points),something that all black… Read more »

kaydenpat
kaydenpat
4 years ago
Reply to  laila

Well said. I think what this guy is doing is lovely. The women are fully dressed and the photos are tasteful. I see nothing that suggests that he fetishisez Black women so I have no problem with what he’s doing.

Mhhm
Mhhm
4 years ago
Reply to  laila

But why shouldn’t we be extra suspicious when a non black person does something like this, when history, and that’s recent history as well, has proven time and time again that their motives haven’t been the best? A lot of the time when a non black person inserts themselves into black spaces, black discussions etc, the results have been detrimental in some way for other black people. So yes, our initial reaction should be one of skepticism, of caution. That has nothing do with wether or not we as black women are indeed gorgeous, and being cautious of the messenger… Read more »

LIBO
LIBO
4 years ago
Reply to  laila

PREAACCHH !! YAS GIRL

trackback

[…] BGLH posted about Russell Schiller, a white Howard University student who launched a #blackwomenarebeautiful photography campaign featuring black women from his historically black university. Many lauded his efforts to highlight […]

Dee
Dee
4 years ago

It was Black rappers who put the Nword in the public? I thought is was the white men and women in history who used that word to dehumanize black people and antagonize them in public settings (i.e. lynchings, schools, rallies, church, and anywhere else). But I guess it makes more sense to blame the black people who have attempted to reclaim a word invented to hurt them. And Hip Hop was negative? how? Maybe its the music you choose to listen to that is negative.

Duende Brooks
Duende Brooks
4 years ago
Reply to  Dee

He blame wants to blame everything on us

Duende Brooks
Duende Brooks
4 years ago
Reply to  Dee

He blame wants to blame everything on us

Nate
Nate
4 years ago

We black men know our black sistars are beautiful, and we don’t need shay wh**** implying that we are unaware or unappreciative. Would an A/A student have received the same type of press? And what about these women’s brains, accomplishments, and futures? I’m sure there is much more to them than their external features. What can old boy say about these ladies internal qualities? I’ll leave it at that!

cryssi
cryssi
4 years ago

He’s cute and seems sweet. The ladies are beautiful, just missing + size girls, I’m sure it was just an oversight though.

nubian queen528
nubian queen528
4 years ago

I would have answered to him in this way

Duende Brooks
Duende Brooks
4 years ago

Then stop calling them black. BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT, THEY ARE COPPER COLOR, CINNAMON COLOR, BROWN, BRONZE VANILLA, COCOA BEAN COLOR , COCOA COLOR

hatecreatingusernames
hatecreatingusernames
4 years ago

And his racist/misogynistic tweets have been exposed…of course.
Black women need to be careful dating these type of white men. They may talk a good game but in my experience, many of them are a bit messed up in the head. They don’t respect black women as much as they say they do. He apologized but I’m a big believer in actions speaking louder than words. His apology means nothing to me.

DarthTurner
DarthTurner
4 years ago

I’ve seen several similar campaigns from black men, that went virtually ignored. Yet this kid comes along, and creates a project which inspires adoration and praise from black women. Whats comical, is the same black women that ignore praise from black men, will scream about black men not protecting them.
Black folks need to be mindful, of the importance we give white folks’ opinions.

Duende Brooks
Duende Brooks
4 years ago

I WISH PEOPLE STOP CALLING THEMSELVES BLACK, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT, THEY ARE COPPER COLOR, CINNAMON COLOR, BROWN, BRONZE VANILLA, COCOA BEAN COLOR , COCOA COLOR

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