When I first started this blog, I knew that I wanted to use it as a platform to share both my thoughts and the work of others that mirrored the mission of JadeTPerry.com. I wanted to feature people, organizations, sites, and initiatives that:
- Encouraged, inspired, & empowered readers to thrive in spite of systems that are not inherently set up for their success & affirmation
- Lovingly & creatively challenged sacred & secular systems (and their participants) toward greater inclusion and cultural validation
- Offered information, ideas, & counter-cultural narratives towards these purposes
I am beyond excited that our first feature comes from a colleague I met in the blogging arena: Whitney Barkley, the creator of the website, The Skinny Black Girl’s Code. Whitney is a blogger, photographer, digital media strategist, and the recipient of the Black Women Career Network’s Millenial Visionary Award.
Hearing about her work was eye-opening for me. I have always been drawn to seek out resources on body positivity for women who are thick and curvaceous a woman who has, for the better part of my life, been a card-carrying member of #TeamThick. So, when Whitney approached me with the information for The Skinny Black Girl’s Code, I was excited to learn about and to see another nuance of the body positivity movement.
The Skinny Black Girl’s Code is “an online platform to help women and girls gain confidence and self-esteem”. Under the leadership of Barkley, the Skinny Black Girl’s Code uses media & imagery to promote body positivity and acceptance. She explains,
” I began to understand the importance of self-love and confidence in college, after dealing with self-esteem and confidence issues in my childhood and teenage years. I created The Skinny Black Girl’s Code due to the lack of resources available for thin women of color and to offer the world a perspective that is often overlooked.
I interview women who identify themselves as ‘thin or skinny’. I discuss their journey and ask them to highlight the challenges they’ve faced and what they have done to overcome them in relation to body image and self-esteem. My goal is to interview 100 women and create a guide based off of the themes found within the interview”.
Critical themes that Whitney has already seen in her work include a) the need for greater understanding, awareness, & advocacy around eating disorders and b) the dangers of intrusive / problematic comments around women’s bodies. She states, “I think it’s critical for others to know… there are eating disorders that are prevalent for women who are discontent with being skinny and attempting to gain weight (using harmful ways / methods). Society needs to understand how it influences low self-esteem among skinny women (of color) when jokes and negative comments are offered…”
Through her life experiences and her work with The Skinny Black Girl’s Code, Whitney Barkley has noted that beauty standards are often culturally bound and that many women also feel pressure to achieve a “…thick or Coke bottle shape. Additionally, there is a perception that women who are thin or skinny do not have problems or self-esteem issues…” Thus, Whitney hopes that The Skinny Black Girl’s Code will bring some of these issues to people’s consciousness, as well as offering tips for women of color who “want to overcome obstacles related to their body image and perception”
Outside of the Skinny Black Girl’s Code, Whitney blogs on Career & Lifestyle topics at http://thewritegirlblog.com. She currently resides in Cincinnati, OH with her husband Jerome and cat Rosie and believes, “an un-examined life is not a life worth living” (Socrates). You can follow her @ and follow The Skinny Black Girl’s Code @
Check out the full site here!