Many were shocked to hear the news this week that well known dark skinned beauty crusader and creative mind behind the #DarkSkinRedLip Project Karyn Washington is dead. She apparently committed suicide.
Washington’s website For Brown Girls, created to "celebrate the beauty of dark skin while combating colorism and promoting self love," became an inspirational destination for women of all skin tones and backgrounds. Her efforts impacted not just brown girls, but pushed the idea of beauty equality forward for all.
Washington was best known for establishing the #DarkSkinRedLip Project in response to the persistent idea that black women look clownish in red lipstick, a notion highlighted by rapper ASAP Rocky — known beauty expert (side eye). The makeup aficionado shared this gem in an interview with The Coveteur, “But for real, for me, I feel like with the red lipstick thing it all depends on the pair of complexion. I’m just being for real. You have to be fair skinned to get away with that.”
AN internet mini-explosion followed immediately, but, in the midst of the brewhaha, the #DarkSkinRedLip Project was born. Under the rallying cry “Breaking Barriers and Building Confidence!,” Washington invited dark skinned women to share selfies in all their red lipped glory to show solidarity and quiet the nay-sayers. Ladies of all shades answered her call in droves.
I'm deeply saddened by this loss. Within a few days, the fight for beauty equality has made one huge leap forward and now has suffered a major loss. Karyn Washington will be missed, and I hope her life’s work does not end with her passing.