The Viral Hashtag That Is Empowering Black Women Everywhere

Black women are no stranger to society's discriminatory beauty standards. For centuries, women of darker complexions, kinkier hair, and curvaceous frames have been mocked in comparison to white women or "ideal" black girls with lighter skin and straight hair.

College student Alicia Daniella took to social media to share one very important message via a hashtag: "#IWillNotApologizeForBeingDarkSkin." The now-viral slogan stems from Alicia's experience being bullied for her dark skin, an experience many black girls can relate to. The hashtag has started a movement, encouraging men and women to take to their social media accounts to share images of their beautiful ebony skin and their personal struggles with discrimination. The results are not only stunning to see but also heartbreaking to know that so many people share similar stories to Alicia's.

This isn't the first hashtag speaking out on society's unrealistic beauty standards, though. #FlexinMyComplexion and #MelaninPoppin have spread across the Internet, too, and a few clicks reveal pages of photos showcasing the beautiful diversity of black skin tones, hair, and features.

The rise of #IWillNotApologizeForBeingDarkSkin sheds light on the all-too-prevalent issue of discrimination against black women in society, specifically those with darker complexions. While we may still be a long way from a perfect world where everyone is seen as beautiful, it is satisfying to see positive movements like this one, encouraging people to be confident and NEVER apologize for the beauty they were born with. That's one social media campaign we can totally stand behind.