Unique in both music genre and style, these ladies have truly made black beautiful. There was a short period between my pre-teens and early teens when I would have done anything to keep my hair as flat and straight as possible. My worst decision was using the electric hot come day after day until may hair became undesirably whispy and uneven. But the topic on hair is only one of several things that many women have found hard to embrace in its natural state. Looking back, I ask myself, where were all the black African/American celebrities who could have inspired and encouraged so many young girls to embrace their features and characters, making it desirable even to non-African/black females? Whilst family plays a key role in bringing love and assurance, the music industry has (maybe unfortunately so) made direct impact on identity. Unfortunately coming up with results and conclusions is outside the scope of this post.
Take a look at my compilation of (what I have called) soul-style which we can celebrate to date; artists who have brought solidarity to embracing identity and ancestral pride. Encore.Lauryn Hill
The first on my list of soul-style beauties is Lauryn Hill, whose eminence is largely based on her avant-garde style and genre. Her commitment to the Afro, braids and dreads while showing off African-inspired jewellery, is one reason soul-style has become influential in music and in any other influential industry. Jenelle Monae
At number 2 is Jenelle Monae. Her signature suit-piece takes me back to the jazz era and the soul music of its time. She also makes grooming the Afro hair effortlessly achievable and consistently on-point. Beautiful! Esperanza Spalding
I was recently introduced to her music and was captivated by her voice, and-of-course, her hair and style. The African-American jazz bassist is nothing short of emulating ancestral pride (no matter how diverse her background is). India Arie
...the soul that lives within India is beautiful, carefree and striking. Her Acoustic Soul album was a source of inspiration for many individuals, stylists and designers by the uplifting message of embracing inherited beauty while letting go of any false identity. Deep.Jill Scott
A lot of us know her from star performance on Tyler Perry's 'Why did I get Married (1&2)', and many of us love her for her alternative style in spoken word, poetry and music. Her hair, makeup and smile is always flawless.
Between soul, jazz and funkadelia, Asa has remained unique and brazen about her heritage. I admire how she combines her African roots with her European upbringing in her choice of style and motifs.
Who would be on your list for Soul-style?