Last week was hard for black women. Kim Kardashian’s bare ass—and all the white privilege it represents—was everywhere you scrolled, an unintentional attempt to fulfill the directive on the cover of Paper magazine: Break the Internet.
Whether you thought her flaunting her big bottom was exceptionally vulgar or artistic homage, you knew that whatever it was, you couldn’t get away with it. Black girls get scolded and shamed for flaunting their bodies. Kardashian does it and literally gets put on a pedestal (she’s standing on one on the Paper cover).
We needed a pick-me-up. Something with some class, some creativity we could get behind. We didn’t need a reminder that black is beautiful (and not just when the attributes show up dipped in white), so much as we just needed an immediate counterexample to Kardashian’s ass-out imagery. I mean, there has to be some balance.
Come through, Mrs. Solange Knowles-Ferguson. The quirky fashionista, singer and songwriter has always marched to a very different beat from her pop-star sister and everyone else, too. And her wedding day was a reflection of that, just as everyone expected, once the blogs broke the news that the younger Knowles would marry over the weekend. We were all expecting something unique. But Solange and her new husband, videographer Alan Ferguson, took their celebration to epic status.
From her fluffed-out ‘fro on her big day (yes, big hair is special-occasion hair) to her array of caped cream one-pieces, including a to-die-for Stephane Rolland jumpsuit, Solange served up hippie goddess and superhero chic with futuristic flair. She showed enough curves to let you know she was a woman, and covered enough for you to know she was a lady, too.
If you’ve ever been to a white party, you know that folks can get that dress code mandate very right—and very wrong, too. Also, someone always goes rogue on the color restrictions. Solange’s guests came through fierce, on theme—and covered. (In the group picture that features 12 women, there are just two sets of knees exposed.)
“Black people in white look like little black angels,” The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Phaedra Parks once observed. And you know what? She was right. Some sort of award should go to Tina Knowles, who stunned as the mother of the bride with a plunging neckline and svelte waistline. And there should be an honorable mention for Jay Z, the dutiful brother-in-law, whose perfectly tailored cream suit looked straight off the cover of GQ.
3. Black love abounds (at every age).
The Knowles women exemplified black love on Solange’s big day. Of course there were the newlyweds, Solange and Alan (he looks a full two decades younger than his actual age, 51, and looked “crazy in love”). Big sis Beyoncé was escorted by her family: husband Jay Z and their adorable fluffy-haired mini, Blue Ivy, who was pictured on her mother’s hip as the family exited the church. Mama Knowles was accompanied by her very fine, gray-bearded beau, actor Richard Lawson, whose hat she held in multiple pictures.
It’s clear that Solange didn’t follow the rules, and the results were amazing. From Solange and husband-to-be riding a bike to the ceremony, to her wedding pants; unconventional group wedding photos, taken by Rog Walker (and seemingly inspired by Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft); and regal, floor-length, cream Kenzo wedding gown with two simple gold Lady Grey cuffs, Solange went totally left, and it came out right.
You can hardly scroll through an essay on relationships or black women without stumbling across a stat about how we never marry, or a line bashing single moms. But here is Solange, a divorced mom of one, finding love—and locking it down—a second time around, and with a husband who gazes at her adoringly. Then there’s rapper Jay Z, once the poster boy for black bachelors, lovingly carting around his daughter in his arms with his wife by his side. People grow up. It’s beautiful to bear witness ... sort of. (Instagram counts.)
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