Charlene Haparimwi
May 19, 2016 9:59 am
Instagram

I became interested in alternative beauty for women of color when I was in middle school. At the time, I didn’t have anyone to look up to besides the white female alternative musicians and actresses I loved. While I thought they were amazing, I always wished to find people who looked like me.

White women tend to dominate the alternative style realm, while women of color have much less of a presence in alt fashion and beauty trends. Women of color who identify as goth, metalheads, scene queens, or any alternative lifestyle are often put on the back burner when it comes to representation. That being said, while alternative makeup and fashion for women of color is beautiful, fascinating, and deeply under-appreciated, we’re starting to get noticed more and more.

Black women especially are starting to come to the forefront of alt beauty style. Black girls like Amandla Stenberg, Willow Smith, Zoe Kravitz, English singer and fiancee of Robert Pattinson FKA Twigs, and actress/dancer Zendaya are rocking the dark and bright lipstick, colorful hair, black clothing, piercings, tattoos, and sometimes flowy, bohemian fashion that we usually only see on white women. Every day, black girls are also taking alternative style into their own hands and rocking different looks:

Afropunk is an annual alternative music festival that celebrates alt black fashion and beauty while bringing awareness to black alt rock and punk bands and artists, such as rapper Angel Haze. The people who attend go all out with alternative fashion and makeup, and the results are stunning:

There are many alternative rock and pop Latina, Latinx, and Hispanic artists that also rock the fashion and makeup as well. such as alt pop crybaby Melanie Martinez, lead singer of the funk rock band Mama Se, Kaina Castillo, alternative singer Xenia Rubinos, and Mexican indie pop singer Carla Morrison.

Alternative Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern artists like rapper M.I.A, Malaysian artist Yuna, Instagram models and everyday girls portray alternative fashion with style and grace.

Alternative women of color are stunning, diverse, and vibrant. They deviate from the mainstream for their fashion, but also do not fit in the stereotypes that befall their specific race. Once I started digging for them, I could not stop finding alternative women of color to follow and be inspired by. If you are a woman of color, feel free to rock that bright lipstick, dye your hair a funky color, and wear the clothes you want — because it is your style, and it’s not for anyone else to decide. You are free to be you!

Advertisement