A TikTok user who goes by the name @iambrattyb has been using her make-up skills to highlight the legacies of African-American women during black history month.
Her videos are overlaid with subtitles, in which she speaks briefly of a period in history and the beauty trends of the era, specifically in relation to black women. She then talks about the women who popularised these trends.
In a recent video inspired by 1930s, she explains that makeup trends included: "thin round arched brows, red lips and a natural flush to the cheeks". She continues:
The 30s gravitated towards a push for a more natural look rather than the 20s vamp look. Let's talk about a woman who showcased these trends.
She goes on to talk about Ella Fitzgerald:
Ella was a wildly popular American jazz performer and song vocalist. She turned to singing after a troubled childhood and debuted at the Apollo Theatre in 1934. Discovered in an amateur contest, she went on to become the top female jazz singer for decades!
Throught the rest of the make-up tutorial, she lists Fitzgerald's successes, including beating out Marilyn Monroe for a gig, becoming the first African-American woman to win a Grammy and popularising scatting as a jazz technique.
Other videos look at make-up trends across different decades. The 1940s highlight Eartha Kitt, and the 1950s Big Mama Thornton. She finishes off each video by reminding her viewers to celebrate Black History Month.
People of colour – especially women – are often erased from the history lessons we learn, which are largely shaped by the white men who write the vast majority.
Talking to a younger audience about the huge cultural, political and social impact black women have had throughout history is crucial if the next generation are going to correct the errors we've made.