Chances are you’ve probably seen at least a photo or two recently of an African-American woman taking a selfie with the world-famous Mona Lisa painting.
Well, there’s a reason behind all those photos.
It all started when journalist and podcast host Darian Harvin posted a photo of herself in front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris, France. Harvin explained,
“I was missing Paris more than usual and decided to flip through photos in my camera roll from my last trip, and came across my photos at the Louvre. I remember the experience; slowly making my way to the front of the Mona Lisa, as close as I could get, and finally taking my photo.”
“Anyone who has seen the Mona Lisa in real life knows it can be underwhelming, as it is pretty small; however the image is significant due to her mysterious gaze and because it’s by Leonardo da Vinci. But I also think the painting has, over time, contributed to ideals around beauty and what’s acceptable.
My hope was that if I shared my photo, other black girls would feel encouraged to as well, and we could reinforce the idea that beauty comes in all forms. Like I said in a subsequent tweet: I just feel like Mona Lisa has been fed as this traditionally beautiful woman, and when I see black women stand confidently in front of it, I think it pushes back against this notion of who is beautiful.”
This is how Harvin kicked off what has now become a viral phenomenon.
Other black women soon followed suit and it became a trend. Take a look at all these beautiful ladies.
Harvin said of all the women who shared their photos, “I have to tell you that I am shook by how… people are reacting to this thread. Nothing in me was expecting this much positivity.” Bravo, ladies!