The #BlackGirlMagic movement was started in 2013 by a social activist and fashion designer named CaShawn Thompson.
Thompson’s idea (which went viral many times over) was designed to increase the self-worth of black women and girls by honoring their accomplishments. The remarkably dominant performances of young, black female athletes at the 2016 Olympic Games gave further credence and popularity to the #BlackGirlMagic social movement.
American society often casts light on stereotypical images of black women and girls that are not necessarily positive or healthy. Thompson’s movement is full of black women and girls who are working just as hard as she is to reverse the stigmas brought on by negative imagery and the underrepresentation of black female success in unchartered areas.
“I say ‘magic’ because it’s something that people don’t always understand,'” Thompson said in a 2015 phone interview with the Los Angeles Times newspaper. “Sometimes our accomplishments might seem to come out of thin air, because a lot of times, the only people supporting us are other black women,” she continued.
However, according to Vibe Magazine, a celebrated black woman in popular music has come under fire for what many people have called a whitewashing of the #BlackGirlMagic movement. On Monday (July 3rd), Queens, New York-born rapper Nicki Minaj reportedly made a social media posting that did not sit well with supporters of #BlackGirlMagic.
“I love all my fans the same. All girls are magic. Don’t ever forget that, my darlings. Straight. Gay. Jewish. Muslim. Asian. Black. White. Spanish. etc,” the Young Money artist wrote in a Twitter message.
This seems ironic coming from Nicki Minaj because she has not been shy about speaking out against the racist double-standards that exist in Hollywood between black women and white women. So far, she has not spoken out against the backlash that has come from the controversial tweet she made on Monday.
However, it is worth noting that black women and girls have a social struggle that is unlike any other female experience by women and girls in other ethnic groups. Nicki Minaj definitely knows this. Having a very ethnically diverse fan base and being financially enriched by the sweat equity of a pop star does not remove her from the stigmas attached to her race.
Furthermore, it is very important for black girls to have effective guidance from womanly figures in their home and family so they are not negatively influenced by the hyper-$exualized imagery propagated by women who are famous by-products of popular culture.