Passion Lived Out Loud: RIP Karyn Washington and all the beautiful women that have inspired yet battled with their own despair

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 ( I learned of Miss Washington through The#DarkSkinRedLipstick Project (, 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…


Published by Christin Webb

Hi Reader! I am a passionate young woman always aspiring to become better each day. I use the word passionate often, but I do so because I truly believe it defines who I am. I do everything passionately. I love to write. I enjoy singing. I love speaking and teaching. I desire to inspire others through my work and in turn myself. This blog is all about encouraging myself and others to find their true happiness in life through living out their passions. More formally, I am a single mother, writer, producer, businesswoman, thinker, and believer. If I haven't learned much of anything else in the last thirty plus years, its that a person must be happy with self. I know that if you're not happy with yourself, then no one around you has a dying chance in meeting your expectations or positively affecting your life. I hope this blog reaches tons of people desiring to better themselves through what makes them happy the most! That's my purpose. That is my plan.

4 thoughts on “Passion Lived Out Loud: RIP Karyn Washington and all the beautiful women that have inspired yet battled with their own despair

  1. This was a heartfelt story… my heart goes out to those individuals that did find peace through her voice. As you stated, don’t allow her legacy to perish, we must remember her and the messages that she conveyed to many. Although I didn’t know her or what she’d done, but by reading this I felt like I’d known her, and lost a dear friend. We have to really read between the very lines what people are saying when they aren’t saying them at all. I encourage everyone to be a that listening ear to other, because at the end of the day we never know what it was they were trying to say before its too late.

    Thanks so much for sharing this post, it really and truly pierced my heart. I will pray for her family as they are left to deal with the nature of her passing. God grant them peace, understanding and rest in the midst of their loss.

    1. Ornitha, thank you for taking the time to read this article. Hopefully you will share and others can receive the same message that you so clearly translated. It is such a tragedy to lose such a woman to suicide, but hopefully her story will inspire others to find a way to live passionately out loud!

  2. Karyn’s story is an unfortunate reminder of how urgently important it is for people to never assume anything about the battles others face in their daily lives. From personal experience, I know there can be devastation and indescribable heartache behind that gloriously beaming smile. In my worst moments of despair, I can wear a smile that beguiles onlookers into believing that everything is wonderful in my world, even as my entire world has shattered around me. For the truth to be revealed, you have to be in my innermost circle.

    I have a feeling that her drive behind what she did was a result of her own struggles with despair. Perhaps sometimes it helped bring her some peace in her heart to know the impact she had on others. And other times, she may have felt alone. Depression and battling suicidal tendencies and a whole array of mental illnesses are draining, life-emptying wars where futility and hurt and loneliness can become so overwhelming that the logic no longer trumps the hurt. I cannot generalize and speak for everyone, but the intent for many (including me) was not that life ends. My logic, my objectivity was so clouded by despair that my only need was for the pain to end.

    It is my battles with depression that I have fought for years that ignited such a love of compassion so powerful that I try my best to extend as much encouragement and mercy and kindness as I can… even when I myself am in dire need.

    This is such a tragic story of another beautiful life lost to this battle. Thank you for sharing it with others. Hopefully it will give them something to think about. I will keep her family and friends in my prayers, as I am sure they will all need as much comforting as possible in the weeks and months ahead.

    1. I love your openness of this post Marie. It’s so endearing and captures exactly what I feel needs to be shared often. Even I, while often seen as strong, experience those days that closing a door seems better than opening up to the world. Keep sharing your story. It’s insightful and inspiring.

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