At Brit + Co, we believe that all women are beautiful in their own special way, no matter what their height, weight, skin color or hair looks like. But that sentiment isn’t always reflected in the fashion industry, especially not for women of color. Frustrated with fashion’s limited definition of what “beauty” looks like, one fashion blogger decided to take a stand by creating an incredible photo series celebrating women who go “Beyond Classically Beautiful.”


Abi Ishola’s photo series comes in the wake of a highly-criticized review of Shonda Rhimes’ How to Get Away with Murder, which referred to Viola Davis as less classically beautiful than other actresses. The hashtag #lessclassicallybeautiful began to spread on social media, spurring Ishola to start her project of photographing black women.


To promote awareness and take a stand against this kind of offensive and racist language, Ishola titled her series “Beyond Classically Beautiful” because, as she says, “In my mind it’s the best way to shake the idea of being ‘less’ anything. We are not less than. Black beauty goes beyond any label or word anyone can drum up.”


We couldn’t agree more, and the stunning photos in the series more than prove her point. Check out the photos and get a glimpse at some of the work that went on behind the scenes of this incredible shoot.

Does this project inspire you? Do you think this will help open up the conversation about beauty in America? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!