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.
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."
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."