Grace_Jones11As Black women we are often put into a box of either vixen, Mamie, diva or soul sister. However, in our global world, what it means to be a black girl is becoming less and less concrete. From fashion to music, Black women are stepping outside the box and breaking down genres and stereotypes with their beautiful, unique flair.

Enter the quirky Black girl. She’s the girl listening to Little Dragon, reading Proust and wearing sunflowers in her hair. She’s less concerned with the latest trends as she is with expressing herself whether it be through an interpretive dance, a raging metal band or a vintage frock.

The originator of quirky Black girl style is none other than the legendary dancer, Josephine Baker. An outcast in her own community, Josephine danced her way through Europe, breaking down barriers and stepping outside of the norm with her infamous “banana skirt dance”. She spawned a legion of Black style icons who aren’t afraid to be the “atypical” black girl.

Every decade has had its eccentric icon; from the 80s over-the-top antics of supermodel/singer Grace Jones to the 90s earth child Lisa Bonet, whom begets today’s own poster child for quirky black girl style Zoe Kravitz. Whether these women are wearing an avant-garde designer or a pair of 5 dollar jeans they are comfortable in their own skin. They stand apart from the crowd, showing that black women are more than one-dimensional.

What fearless, unconventional Black girls do you love?

-Fajr Muhammad

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  • Tay

    i like the idea of this post but i agree with lauren. i dont know if creating a whole new stereotype eliminates the ideas behind older ones. i think this post should have been more about black women stepping out from stereotypes period instead of zeroing in on “The New Quirk Black Girl.”

    • Hyperbole

      I think it’s more of a celebration of versatility and finding that versatility has a place without being accused of not being black enough. Its about expanding the definition of “Black” (even though its a given that we’re of course, diverse) because many people subscribe to the rigid aforementioned archetypes (vixen, mamie, r&b diva)

      I’ve never fit into those categories and people (many times black folks) are usually taken aback or offended when I divulge I don’t watch BET or listen to hip-hop, and reject black commercialized popular culture.

      It’s not about squeezing ourselves into another niche, its about expanding. There must always be alternatives.

  • lola

    Lol Quirky girls are not celebrated, especially not black ones. Outside of club kids, fashion girls and gays nobody has ever thought Grace Jones was cool. Today being “quirky” or “weird” has become so trendy. I also agree, true quirky girls are just social misfits. They don’t try to go against anything, they are just girls who don’t fit in and get sick of trying and decide to be themselves regardless of criticism. I think we should celebrate our differences as a race, but I don’t like the labels. I think the real message should be embracing ones self.

    I also find this post sort of hypocritical of this site. Can you embrace ‘quirky” then heavily critique the fashion and looks of celebs? If we’re telling people to “do them”, but ask people to judge them? Doesn’t that defeat the point of being your own person? Lol just saying$

  • df

    the quirkiest black girls I have ever known did not look the part but turned out to be unforgettable.