Lovely Hoffman’s #BlackGirlMagic video will put the biggest smile on your face

Everyone can use some good vibes now and again, which is why R&B singer Lovely Hoffman’s #BlackGirlMagic music video is so perfect. And empowering. Hoffman is also an activist and an educator, where is where she got the idea for “My Black Is Beautiful,” a video that features 12 of Lovely’s own students. Since girls of color are often excluded in pop culture, it’s a necessary celebration. Hoffman told Teen Vogue:

I wanted to write a song that changed society’s perception of beauty. I wanted black girls to begin to view themselves, along with their curly hair, dark or light skin, and their high cheekbones as beautiful. The aim was to write lyrics for black girls to embrace their blackness and feel empowered.

She didn’t just write a song, either. Hoffman went all the way and created a curriculum for other educators called, “Self-Esteem for Young Black Girls,” to help them empower young women of color, in addition to showing them how to support the girls’ families and the organizations they’re involved in. Hoffman also encourages her students — especially young girls — to start journaling, use vision boards, and even recite daily affirmations. Learning how to be confident takes a lot of work, but with the support of teachers and grownups around them, young girls of color can learn to love themselves, even if pop culture still fails them in so many ways.

For Hoffman, it’s personal. She said that growing up, she never though of herself as beautiful, that that was something reserved for more “European” looking girls. But her students — especially the ones who participated in the video — know better now. A lot of them told her that they felt the song was written specifically for them. Really, it was. Hoffman’s seen the results, too. Since the shooting the video she said that her students have changed.

They are eager, more than before, to participate and be involved in school activities. Also, I’ve noticed that they now carry themselves with pride and confidence. They have really internalized the message of the song — and this means everything to me!

It means everything to a lot of other women and girls, too.