One of the most common questions we get asked is how we decided on our name. Honestly, it was a no brainer to us. We wouldn’t be the organization that we are today without the name ‘Beauty and Brains’. The name has shaped our purpose from our origin in 2018, and with every expansion, the meaning strengthens. At its simplest form, Beauty and Brains stands to represent the duality of Black women- both beautiful and brilliant. As an organization, we argue that these two terms do not exist exclusively, despite what society or mainstream media may try to have you believe. Your beauty, nor your placing importance on beauty, in no way diminishes your intelligence. If you are in this position, you know what kinds of assumptions can be made about you. We are smart AND we look good, equally. I can put just as much time into finding the perfect outfit as I do studying/preparing, and I should be proud of that, not feel judged or that I won’t be taken as seriously. On a deeper level, Beauty and Brains isn’t about physical beauty at all. It’s soul deep. It’s about perfecting what's on the inside and using that to reflect a better outside world. It’s about taking the time to balance and unify both aspects, so that you may be of service to yourself and others. It’s for this reason that we coined the phrase “Confidence breeds Beauty, Intellect produces Power.” Beauty and Brains work simultaneously within to give light to an improved, outwardly shining, you. I was inspired to write about this topic after hearing how eloquently and insightfully Angela Yang answered our signature “What does Beauty and Brains mean to you?” question on the Beyond the Borders Speaker Series. Angela nailed it when she described it as reimagining our definitions of both of these terms. To her, it is examining beauty and brains in a non-traditional, non-white supremacist way. So with that comes addressing the ways that society has told us that we aren’t beautiful and healing those wounds. Beauty does not solely adhere to Western standards- we’re proof of that. It is also knowing that a formal education isn’t necessary to have brains or to validate your intelligence. Everyone’s path is unique, and for some, school just isn’t for them. While Beauty and Brains is working to combat this, as of now, for some it just simply isn’t feasible or accessible. It changes nothing when it’s all said and done. I just loved loved loved hearing Angela’s perspective, because yes! I really loved how she spoke on the inclusivity of it all as well. The movement leaves out no one. I literally commented back “You get it! 💖💖💖” because this is Beauty and Brains at its core. If you missed it, you can still watch it under our IGTV section on Instagram! I highly recommend it. If you’ve applied for a scholarship or ambassador position, you’re familiar with our signature question. We tell our current ambassadors all the time that they were chosen because they are embodiments of Beauty and Brains, and they are. But truthfully, every woman is. It is the essence of the Black woman. We exude these characteristics naturally, which is why Beauty and Brains is so intent on helping Black women to realize this, and embrace it. Especially when the world doesn’t want us to. By integrating the two, that's how we unleash our full potential. ✨ So, now, it’s your turn. What does Beauty and Brains mean to you?