Beyoncé's 'Brown Skin Girl' Has Become The Latest Black Girl Anthem, and Now The Latest Internet Trend
This week has officially been named “Beyoncé Week” ordained by yours truly. In addition to her new 27-track album “The Lion King: The Gift”, she has generously given the culture a number of presents this past week including an aesthetically gorgeous and culturally sound new music video, her commandingly low voice as Nala in the new Lion King movie, and now, a viral trend that has brown girls everywhere flexing their complexions on the internet.
The 15th track on the album, “Brown Skin Girl” featuring Blue Ivy Carter, SAINt JHN, and WizKid, has inspired a new hashtag named #BrownSkinGirlChallenge to go viral on Twitter with celebrities like Ava Duvernay and Lupita Nyong’o joining the movement. Black women are posting photos of themselves where they feel most comfortable in their skin, whether they be wearing makeup, have their hair in kinky curls, or are dressed in traditional African garb.
The song opens up with Blue Ivy and SAINt JHN singing the intro in unison, “Brown skin girl/Your skin just like pearls/The best thing in the world/Never trade you for anybody else.” The empowering lyrics go on to mention the trials brown girls must face in the world in the chorus, WizKid singing “Brown skin girl/ya skin just like pearls/Your back against the world/I never trade you for anybody else, say.”
In the song, Beyoncé references famous dark skinned women in the industry such as Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, and former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland, praising their beautiful dark hues and their indelible strength and influence. In the third verse she goes on to uplift features commonly associated with dark-skinned girls, features that society has deemed undesirable, singing “I love everything about you/from your nappy curls/To every single curve, your body natural/Same skin that was broken be the same skin takin' over.”
The song closes with Blue Ivy singing the words of the chorus alone, an intentional creative choice by Beyoncé I assume to display Blue internalizing the words, the song in part sounding like a poignant talk between a black mother and her child. Beyoncé has once again created a sermon for black women through her art, reminding us to take pride in our brown skin.