I remember my sister and I sneaking out to watch TV shows such as Dexter's Laboratory and Power Puff Girls, when we were growing up.
I had a crush on Dexter, the main character of Dexter's Laboratory. I admired his superpowers.
My sister, on the other hand, named herself Bubbles, after one of the three girls on Power Puff Girls. We both loved the idea of having superpowers, and fantasy, because it helped us escape our reality.
This fantasy made us think out of the box and see possibility no matter what our circumstances are. Growing up in rural areas with few opportunities, except hoping that one day school will change our lives for the better, is the reality I am talking about.
Heroes with superpowers is not what you get in real life, at least not in my neighborhood. So this incredible series of images by an American artist resonated with me.
Hairstylist and model LaChanda Gatson is another woman who was inspired by some of her favourite childhood shows. She is an American artist with over 20 years of industry experience, and specialises in hair and makeup for photo, film, theater, weddings, and events.
LaChanda teamed up with an American photography studio Creative Soul Photography to create this stunning series of images, and it's going viral globally.
The series was created with the aim to celebrate black excellence by showcasing the beauty and glory of young African-Americans, and the creators hope to inspire people around the world.
The Husband/Wife duo behind Creative Soul Photography said this in one of their Instagram posts, "We hope that by showcasing these kids in all of their beauty and glory they will be inspired to soar even higher than those who came before them."
So I just had to reach out to her, and find out more.
This resulted in an exclusive interview with Parent24 where LaChanda shared what representation and change means to her.
Read our Q&A with LaChanda here:
How far do you think we have come in representing all kinds of beauty on television, movies and books?
Unfortunately, not much has changed since I was young when it comes to animation and fantasy. We have a long way to go with movies and books.
What does representation mean to you?
Representation is how we are presented or portray in the entertainment industry. I hope this series is just the beginning of endless opportunities of inclusion and more black creativity in fantasy.
Let’s continue to have a conversation and understand that our children matter too.
What more do you think needs to be done in order for us to be represented as black women?
A miracle. A great start would be inclusivity. I created the change I wanted to see. I think it’s time for us to stop waiting on other people to include us and be the change.
LaChanda hopes that young people of colour see themselves in her art.
In her Instagram posts she emphasises that young people need to believe that they are beautiful, talented, gifted, hold ancestral gifts, powerful, and just as deserving of a happily ever after.
She believes in creating the change that you want to see, which I think is profound - and something the youth of today need to start thinking about.
Let us know what change you want to see from your own communities, and how you want to play your part in creating that change.
Share your stories and questions with us via email at chatback @ parent24.com. Anonymous contributions are welcome.
Don't miss a story!