Did you know I always smile at strangers when passing by? I’m serious. It freaks out some of my friends when they’re with me and I do it. Even when wearing a mask I will still smile at a stranger and add a nod or wave as well.
Here’s why, I am constantly afraid of being misjudged by my appearance. Give me a moment to further explain.
You see a Caucasian woman in sweats looking a little grumpy- you think maybe she’s had a rough day. You see the same but a black woman (who you think could potentially be a man because her hair is short)- you get nervous and hold your hand bag a little closer.
I have seriously walked down the street on my way to a hiphop class, (you can imagine my outfit style) and passed by a Caucasian couple- the man who was twice my size jumped out infront of me and stuck his chest out as though trying to protect his lady from me. It was so hurtful!
So now I assume I’ll be misjudged when passing by a stranger and give a big bright smile as though to say, I’m friendly- I promise!
I don’t want to be apologetic for my skin color. It’s crazy to think I should be! And it’s why I love clothing brands like that by Chocolate Chick Apparel that show the love I have for my skin color and remind others how beautiful dark skin is! It’s nothing to be afraid of.
Here is founder and creator Natasha S. Hunter to tell us more about her brand:
My Name is Natasha S. Hunter I’m originally from Minneapolis, MN and I am the Creator/Owner of Chocolate Chick Apparel.
Chocolate Chick Apparel has always been about celebrating women of color. We created our first t-shirts in 2007 with the intention of giving darker skinned women a shirt that proudly proclaimed the OPPOSITE of what many (myself included) have at one time felt: you aren’t beautiful or worthy of celebration.
We set out to change that rhetoric in a fun yet in your face fashion. At that time I was active duty military, so I had to shut operations down when I transferred to a deploying unit.
In 2012 I gave birth to my daughter Aries, and in 2014 I was encouraged to restart my business. Within that first year, we came to the realization that ALL women of color could use another reason to smile and attract smiles to them.
Thinking about the responses I receive whenever I wear my Chocolate Chick tees, I created a more inclusive line-up to include other skin tones of women of color and “HeARTwork” that celebrates being a woman of color and things that are important to us!
The success of that encouraged me to again expand our line to include children & men.
I think the customers solidify the feelings I want to invoke with Chocolate Chick Apparel. The best compliments I’ve received to date is “When I wear my Chocolate Chick tees, it’s like I have a cape on, I feel like a Superhero!”, and “Everything you offer makes a Black Girl feel good!”
That’s what I want. I want people to feel good. I want people to feel connected and worthy, and have a sense of belonging and feel like they matter.
I am so deeply connected to my designs that it is hard to pick a favorite. Each one means something, each one gives something different because they were created at a certain time for a certain reason.
Right now, it’ll have to be my newest collection, the “Bright Colors” collection. It’s a proclamation of how our skin glows in bright colors and it’s pretty hard to feel anything less than divine when you are wearing a shirt that says “Bright Colors Look Good on Brown Skin” and you are showing and proving in the flesh. Yeah… I think that’s pretty cool!