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51st NAACP Image Awards - Arrivals

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We were all incredibly moved by the viral video of Ariyonna crying after calling herself ugly. It was heartbreaking to watch. Ariyonna, who was getting her hair done in the clip, looks at the camera and utters, “I’m still ugly.” The woman, tending to her locks interjects and swings into action.

“Don’t say that! Don’t say that! Don’t say that! You are so pretty.! When you look at yourself you’re supposed to say “Oh I am so pretty. You are so pretty!”

This is no new narrative. Colorism is so deeply embedded in our society, it’s become the norm. Dark skin and kinky hair is rarely regarded as beautiful. However, in recent times, a movement to rewrite the old scrips has emerged. We’re seeing more dark skin and natural haired women in the mainstream media. Director Matthew A. Cherry, who took home an Oscar for his short Hair Love, is helping retrain our thoughts and denounce old beauty standards.

After watching Ariyonna break down in tears, he started the hashtag #ArtworkForAriyonna to promote more images that look like her.

Since going viral, Ariyonna has received an outpouring of support. Check out all the digital art showcasing Ariyonna’s beauty.

‘Hair Love’ Director Matthew A. Cherry Starts #ArtworkForAriyonna Hashtag After Dark Skin Toddler Calls Herself ‘Ugly’  was originally published on