Today is Solange Knowles’ birthday, and we’re celebrating her for all kinds of reasons. While Solange’s big sister Beyonce is often the one getting all the press, Solange often flies slightly under the radar. And that’s a shame, because Solange is the master of funky expression. (I mean, just look at her incredible wedding photos.) Her extremely great style isn’t the only reason we admire Solange though — her music is incredible, too, as is the way that she carries herself in the public spotlight. Here are some of the reasons that Solange is my role model.

She creates music that’s catchy AND original

We love a good stage show as much as anyone else (bring on the left shark!) but there’s something really compelling about Solange’s choice to sidestep the spectacle. She’s just being herself and singing about how she feels. It’s catchy and cool, but also refreshing. Plus, how amazing are her music videos? Pretty amazing:

She changes the story for black girls everywhere

On social media, Solange embodies her #carefreeblackgirl aesthetic and shows the world that black women can reclaim their sexy crazy cool without being exoticized.

She breaks all the fashion rules (and then just makes her own)

Can we talk about the many patterns that is Solange’s wardrobe? Stripes, zig-zags, florals, circles, and bright colors are staples for this cool girl. Plus, her all white wedding? Can we all have capes in our bridal partieis, please?

She’s not afraid to go natural

Solange rocks her big hair all day, everyday. She’s graced us with kinky curls, braids, and afros, and complex updos. For her, it’s just another day of helplessly being fabulous. For black girls in the natural game, it’s endless inspiration.

She’s got a wide range of talents

Not only is Solange a great singer and performer, but she is also a songwriter, dancer, actress, and photographer. With so many creative outlets, it’s no wonder why she is an ever evolving artist.

She contains multitudes

Solange is not only an incredible artist, she’s also a proud momma. She is open about the joys of motherhood and pours so much love for her son that I can feel it all the way from my computer screen. It’s also pretty awesome that she demonstrates that although motherhood is a huge priority, it’s just one thing that women can do, not what defines them as human beings.

Most of all: whatever she does, she owns it

In 2009, Solange shaved her head and then said, What? She made a statement rocking her natural hair and didn’t think twice about it. Amazing.

Overall, Solange is just as amazing as her more famous sister. Happy Birthday, lady! You keep doing you.

Felicia Garcia is a writer, womanist, and recent graduate from Georgia State University. Felicia’s blog discusses personal events from a Black Feminist perspective, and has most recently appeared on Feminist Wire with a piece entitled A Deeper Look: Exploring the Violent Homophobia of Jamaica. When she’s not expressing her passion for writing and social movement, she shares her love for food, wine, and Fernet Branca at her home base in Atlanta, Ga. You can reach Felicia through her online portfolio at or her instagram at