Karyn Washington, founder of the For Brown Girls blog, has died of an apparent suicide, reports MadameNoire.com. The influential blogger was only 22 years old.
Washington’s blog celebrated self-love, particularly among dark-skinned women. She also launched the #DarkSkinRedLip project after rapper A$AP Rocky suggested that darker-skinned women should avoid crimson lips. Following her lead, thousands of women of color posted photos of themselves proudly rocking red lips using the hashtag.
While working earnestly to empower women of all races and colors, Washington was also dealing with personal struggles. According to a friend, she had been battling depression and was also finding it hard to deal with the loss of her mother.
Black women, who often shoulder so much burden and to admit any weakness of the mind and body is to be considered defective. Vulnerability is not allowed. Tears are discouraged. Victims are incessantly blamed. We are hard on our women, and suffer as a result.
When your community tells you that you’re better off praying than seeking the advice of medical professionals and medication, you feel shame when you feel your mind is breaking. There is no safe place. To admit to any mental frailty is to invite scorn and mockery.
Mental Illness is Real