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Celebrating Shades of Black Beauty

By Amaranthia Sepia

June 14, 2021

"Celebrating Shades of Black Beauty" is a new series I started with my mom, Claire, that mixes my illustrations with her digital paintings, dubbed "Sun Angels." "Curls and Curves" is the first piece in the series, and it focuses on embracing dark skin, large curvy bodies, and luxurious natural, kinky hair. We've wanted to collaborate for years by doing something around celebrating Black women. We created this series to represent fem Black bodies of all shapes, focusing on plus-sized bodies and illustrating the beauty of 4c hair because it's still seen negatively in society and our communities. These ideas stem from my Mom not feeling represented as a plus-sized/curvy Black woman and my self-hate experiences regarding my hair and what I perceived as body flaws. Additionally, we are maddened by how dark-skinned Black women are treated negatively in media, so most of the art in this series will showcase the beauty of dark skin. The background and hair colors are taken from her ClarityIsJustSoHip (Insta: @clarityisjustsohip) designs while I drew the bodies."

"Practicing Self-Love" is a reflection of my own experiences with self-love. Sometimes it isn't easy to take time for me and not overwork or not have my mind overcome negative self-talk, especially when it comes to negative feelings regarding my body. The blue body represents an exhausted, broken-down woman, and the woman filled with vibrant shades of brown is a healed version of that woman. She's recognizes that she needs to take time to reflect and practice self-care. I chose to represent it as a cycle because from my own experience, I sometimes feel so drained and neglect self-care, and I frequently have to remind myself that it's absolutely fine to take a break. Self-love is a continuous practice, and sometimes we make a mistake and have to rebuild again, and I wanted to show that's okay, as long as you get back on your feet. My Mom's pieces in this series include a manipulated mix titled "PeaceAnOneLuv," "Warped Ripples," "Amazing," and "Universal Womb."

View Amaranthia's socials, interviews, artworks, and activist work here:

View Claire's work on

View these works on Black Super Woman Chronicles at

Check out all the art and columns of June's Boston Compass at


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