One of the newest members to Cleveland’s large family of clubs is the Embody Love Club, focused on empowering the community to embrace who they are. Recently, the club has taken action to show solidarity with Black History Month by hanging informative posters around the school.
It is no surprise that racism still both is directly and indirectly rampant throughout American society today. Take our media culture as an example. Much of our media intake today is dominated by skinny white women with smooth blond hair and body proportions that are simply impossible for the average woman to achieve. Though these are the ideals the Embody Love Club combats, the club has decided to tackle another important debacle this season.
In the 86 years of its existence, the Oscars has awarded only 32 black actresses and actors. Numerous awards are given during this annual ceremony, so it comes as a shock and outrage that in 2016, the Oscars have chosen to include no black actors, actresses, directors, or filmmakers in the official nominations list.
In an effort to combat this unfortunate fiasco, the Embody Love Club has used their platform to put up posters of popular black celebrities in American culture. Pop culture idols including Jaden Smith and Zendaya are featured. The son of Men in Black star Will Smith, Jaden Smith is the new face of Louis Vuitton’s 2016 womenswear campaign. The teen is known for making tidal waves with his gender-fluid fashion choices, which include wearing skirts to school. Zendaya, originally a star on an original Disney channel show, is best known for embracing traditional black hairstyles like box braids and dreadlocks, as well as advocating for women to gain equality on all platforms with men.
Despite all the featured celebrities, the most important face on the Embody Love Club’s new posters is none other than Cleveland alumnus and former Rose Queen Amber Starks. She is the founder of Conscious Coils, a hair salon in Southwest Portland where traditional black hairstyles and natural hair are embraced. Stark writes on her business’s website, “I founded Conscious Coils…to encourage us, people of African descent, to love and embrace our hair, ourselves, and our diverse culture.”
Later this month the Embody Love Club will also be starting the Love Mirror Campaign which will be showcased in the three girls bathrooms in Cleveland’s main building. The campaign focuses on empowering individuals who use the female bathrooms throughout their daily lives. The mirrors will be surrounded with encouraging words and phrases “I believe in you” and “you are an imperfect perfection.”
No matter what issue the Embody love Club is faced with, the message is always clear: the real you is the only you that matters.