March is Women’s History Month, and it wouldn’t be a celebration if we didn’t honor the Black women that trailblazed their way through Hollywood in a time of opposition and adversity. Hollywood was an industry that valued men first, women second, and Black women dead last. Yet, Black women continued to excel in the industry despite it.
Cicely Tyson is just one example of a Black actress pioneering her way through Hollywood. In a 1997 interview, Tyson said, “I wait for roles — first, to be written for a woman, then, to be written for a black woman. And then I have the audacity to be selective about the kinds of roles I play.” And selective she was. Cicely Tyson was one of the first pioneers for Black roles to extend beyond those that portrayed stereotypes, such as roles that centered around prostitution, drug addiction, and housework. She forced Hollywood to carve out a place for complex and three-dimensional Black characters and she did it with incredible poise and class, going on to win multiple Emmy and Tony awards and even a Presidential Medal of Freedom for the outstanding work she did to forever shape Hollywood and its perception of Black women.
Before Cicely Tyson, there was Dorothy Dandridge. The first Black woman to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress, it’s no hyperbole to say Dorothy paved the way for all Black acts to come. She got her start in a singing group called the Dandridge Sisters, and became an incredibly sought-after act in nightclubs across the country. Her beauty was in high-regard and her voice just as seductive, and her aspirations didn’t stop there. From the stage to the big screen, Dorothy wanted it all. She got her first starring role in 1940 and went on to dazzle the hearts and minds of anyone who set eyes on her. Her iconic curled hair and signature tangerine and classic red lip colors become key features of the fashion trends that upheld most of the atomic 1950s.
While Dorothy was born for the big screen, Lena Horne made herself a home on the stage at the height of her career in the 1940s. “I wasn’t born a singer,” she recalled, but she had made a prosperous career as one. She forged herself a place on the stage, starring in musical after musical. Perfecting the soft, mellow melody of romance songs and nailing the sexy, seductive performances as hedonistic handmaidens, she embodied every role she took on. She went on to win both a Grammy and a Tony and became a memorable icon, not just in Hollywood, but on Broadway too.
This March, we’re remembering these trailblazing women and celebrating their accomplishments and impact in our March 2021 box. In each box, you’ll find products to embrace the Black Hollywood vintage glam that embodies each of these pivotal women. Alongside these products, you’ll also find vegan, handcrafted lashes from Jatior Beauty so you can embrace your inner Black Hollywood starlet.