Imagine... being born into a world were beauty is seen through a western lens. The first energy received reacted to the colour of your skin. The rejoice of a new life met with comments about the darkness of her skin.
The pressures from society to conform to western ideals continues after Day 1. And later the extremities can include the bleaching of ones skin, not just to be seen to be attractive but to 'progress' in life. This idea of social mobility..., maybe the subject of a collection to come.
In this piece entitled Nneka, Ibim celebrates Black women on their journey of self-discovery, those who embrace their natural God given self. As a Brother Ibim only has a sense of this pressure but is aware that it exists. In conversations he reminds us that “Black don’t crack”, which speaks to this age defying quality that people admire but of course we know it does, aesthetically and emotionally.
Nneka acknowledges this struggle when it comes to resisting social pressures and loving oneself, so perfect as we are. Here our Sister confidently looks at us revealing both an inner strength and an outer beauty. Ibim concludes, "we've arrived at a point where we don't need to blend-in. Not anymore, we need to stand-out".