[INTERVIEW] Creator of Instagram @Blkgirls, Tianna Sankey

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If you’re not following @Blkgirls or at least been on there and like a few photos then what else are you doing on Instagram? Oh you’re looking at the hundreds of half naked girls instead.. Well get your life! @Blkgirls is awesome and totally empowers women of color to just remember to love their self. I had the wonderful pleasure to speak to the creator of the booming Instagram, Tianna Sankey. She’s such a sweetheart and exudes intelligence and sophistication. Her Instagram account currently has 76.6 K followers and growing! @Blkgirls is all about positivity and provoking thought. It was such a pleasure speaking with her.

https://www.instagram.com/blkgirls/

How would one describe Tianna Sankey as a person?

Tianna Sankey is a goal oriented young lady with big dreams, shes also an outside-the-box kind of girl, she motivates herself to get something done when she sets her mind to it, she is different and that’s perfectly fine. Tianna Sankey doesn’t take no for an answer when she’s passionate about something, she goes for it as all young girls and young women should.

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“Tianna Sankey doesn’t take no for an answer when she’s passionate about something, she goes for it as all young girls and young women should.”

What made you want to create the account BlkGirls?

It wasn’t anything specific it was a build up of different experiences throughout my life. It all began in Jamaica where I was born and raised for 11 years. Jamaica is very famous for Reggae and Dance hall music and as most music the message behind it wasn’t always very positive, in Jamaica one of the popular messages behind the music was skin bleaching and of course this made wanting to become a lighter tone a practiced trend. Moving to America and making more friends most of which were of dark complexion really made all the difference for me , but one in particular was a girl I met my freshman year of high school , we became very close and something I definitely noticed was that her skin tone would automatically make her the butt of all jokes. She would hear the jokes and of course she would laugh as if it were okay because she wouldn’t want anyone to think it affected her as anyone in her position would probably do. But imagine hearing those things almost everyday, there’s no way that doesn’t affect someone mentally. The thing about it is was that to me she was gorgeous , her smile was stunning , she was intelligent and her personality was beautiful also but no one seemed to care about that because she wasn’t their idea of beauty. A little before the summer of that year was when I began my blkgirls page in hopes of reaching as many women of color as I could.

How did you grow your success on social media?

People ask me this all the time but I just took an idea that I was passionate about and I stuck to it. No strings attached and the page just blew up and may women started tagging their friends and it would build up more . I would also receive direct messages on a daily basis about how MY page helped changed someone’s view on themselves and that is the reason for BlkGirls’ success because if I can help someone in such a dramatic way then that’s what I will do even if it’s just one.

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What are your thoughts about being a black girl in America?

Being a black girl in America is like being the only sunflower in a bed of roses and you can take that as a compliment and go out in the world and shine and take as many opportunities as you possibly can or you can see yourself as a victim and sit in that bubble that you’ve created feeling like less and limit yourself for being different. I’m not going to name all the negatives about being a black girl in America because we can go on about that honestly, but there are black women out there that are very successful and very happy with themselves because they didn’t make themselves a victim.They turned their world in what they wanted it to be despite all the negativity that came with it , being a black girl in America can be a beautiful thing but it’s all based on your outlook.

“…that everyone else loves black features and basically praises them as long as they’re not on black people and that’s a shame.”

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I loved the post you made about Kim Kardashian and her hair being braided and how braids of all sorts have always been a part of our community and now all of a sudden it seems to be a ‘thing’, however when black people do it we are ‘ghetto’, why do you think this thought even exist?

Thank you , anybody can have any kind of hair style they want it’s just inappropriate to change the name because when black people wear cornrows they sometimes are looked at as “ghetto” or “ratchet” I can’t speak for all black people but I’m sure most don’t appreciate Kim Kardashian changing the name. It’s fine that she wants to wear them that’s her decision and now “boxer braids” are trending when they’ve been around. I can see her calling them by the actual name and them trending that’s okay.

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Sometimes I secretly feel like some white people want to secretly be black and that’s why they try to depress us because they are basically just hatin’ on us because they aren’t us (hence they go tanning, the twerking, the slang, the list goes on)… What are your thoughts on the topic?

My thoughts on this is that everyone else loves black features and basically praises them as long as they’re not on black people and that’s a shame. I just hate the fact that a black woman can love how red lipstick or a bold lipstick colors look on her,goes out into the world and gets beaten down for it but if a praised culture does it it’s’ ‘chic’ or ‘trendy’.

“BE the change you want to see in yourself and your community.”

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What are your thoughts on natural hair verses weave on black girls?

In my opinion coils and kinks are beautiful but so are extensions and weave and just because you you find weave and extensions more manageable and you like how it looks on you go for it that doesn’t mean you love yourself any less than the woman rocking a fro .I believe wearing wigs and weaves only becomes a problem when you tell yourself you’re not beautiful otherwise and try to meet the European standards which have basically been forced upon us. You should feel 100% beautiful with a fro and with a nice sew in.

Do you have a specific plan with your Instagram account? It’s only going to continue to flourish.

My only plan at the moment is to continue to move and motivate as many women of color for as long as possible.

Anything else you’d like to add….

YES! black girls are beautiful, smart , gentle , kind , thoughtful and appreciated and you are not to believe otherwise.BE the change you want to see in yourself and your community.

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