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Black Women Are Sharing Photos Of Themselves In Front Of The Mona Lisa And Here's Why

"My hope was that if I shared my photo, other black girls would feel encouraged to as well, and we could reinforce the idea that beauty comes in all forms."


Black women are sharing photos of themselves in front of the Mona Lisa in a thread started by journalist and podcast host Darian Harvin as part of a comment on standards of beauty.

I want to start a thread: Black girls in front of the Mona Lisa. I'll start.

Harvin told BuzzFeed News how she was inspired to start the thread after revisiting photos from her last trip to the Louvre in Paris, France– home of the Mona Lisa.

She said: "I was missing Paris more than usual and decided to flip through photos in my camera roll from my last trip, and came across my photos at the Louvre. I remember the experience; slowly making my way to the front of the Mona Lisa, as close as I could get, and finally taking my photo."

Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The 28-year-old from Los Angeles, who was a staffer at BuzzFeed News until 2017, said that the message behind the thread was a wider comment on standards of beauty.

"Anyone who has seen the Mona Lisa in real life knows it can be underwhelming, as it is pretty small; however the image is significant due to her mysterious gaze and because it's by Leonardo da Vinci. But I also think the painting has, over time, contributed to ideals around beauty and what's acceptable," said Harvin.

"My hope was that if I shared my photo, other black girls would feel encouraged to as well, and we could reinforce the idea that beauty comes in all forms. Like I said in a subsequent tweet: I just feel like Mona Lisa has been fed as this traditionally beautiful woman, and when I see black women stand confidently in front of it, I think it pushes back against this notion of who is beautiful."

The Louvre experienced a surge in popularity in 2018 particularly from US tourists which was credited to Beyoncé and Jay-Z's single "Apeshit." The music video includes shots directly in front of the Mona Lisa.

YouTube


Black women have been sharing their photos in front of the iconic painting to create the thread. Harvin said: "I have to tell you that I am shook by how... people are reacting to this thread. Nothing in me was expecting this much positivity."

@dariansymone That's my momma living her best life when I took her to Paris last year. She immigrated from Haiti, raised 6 kids and sent us all to college. A BOSS.

@dariansymone I’ll just leave mine right here. 🤗

@dariansymone Heeeeyyyy 👋🏽👋🏽👋🏽

@dariansymone me ft my top knot

@dariansymone I knew this pic would come to use.

@dariansymone This was wildly specific but... 😂


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