Karyn Washington
Karyn Washington, creator of ForBrownGirls & The#DarkSkinRedLip Project *pictured not owned by author*

Today’s post is unusual for this site, but truly just as meaningful as any other post.

One of today’s online trending topics is the  loss of  Karyn Washington; motivating founder of ForBrownGirls (www.forbrowngirls.com). I learned of Miss Washington through The#DarkSkinRedLipstick Project (www.darkskinredlip.com), which motivated black women to accept their beauty as a whole and not allow others to demean and distort what was beautifully created ~ self. The tagline for the project speaks for itself: ‘Breaking Barriers and Building Confidence’. And so it did just that.  To me, the project expanded beyond brown girls because it was primarily about the acceptance of self and not allowing society, groups, ideologies to define what a person should wear, how they should feel, and who they should be. Karyn inspired thousands of black women and those that love them across the nation. She was passionate about her mission and perpetuated the idea of self empowerment! And for that I am grateful to have learned of her project.

The  sad part of this post is the report that we loss Karyn to the demise of suicide. While thousands of women were being empowered by her words, her encouragement, her national movement, Karyn was obviously dealing with her own despair. To those of us that weren’t her besties, her family, or even her closest confidant, she was seen as strong. The question is now surfacing as to how such a strong messenger doesn’t save herself. The point is no one is exempt from questioning themselves; their purpose; their longevity. Everyone has a bad day and for some, those days become longer than ever desired. Mental illness, such as depression, is a topic of discussion that comes and goes and often only when we lose great souls such as Karyn. It is important to keep her legacy in our memories. Not only while she was here on earth did she help many women realize their strengths, but now that she is gone may she continue to do the same. Through ForBrownGirls and The#DarkSkinRedLipstick Project she inspired others and we must continue to inspire ourselves and those around us. Share a ‘I love you’ or ‘You’re going to make it through’ to those that you love that may or may not be struggling emotionally. Her words; her message made a difference and yours could be just the ones that saves another life.

Through her passionate life many lives were enhanced. Let’s remember Karyn Washington and all the beautiful women whose demise was brought on by suicide. May they teach us the lessons that we know carry us on to the days to come and unite with others to do the same.

To her family and friends please accept condolences from the Passion Living Out Loud blog and community…