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Throughout Black History Month, many individuals pay tribute to movements and achievements spearheaded by black people. But there is one young woman in particular who has grabbed our attention with her amazing cosplay honoring prominent black women from the past and present.
Staci Childs, better known as Allhaildakween on Instagram, shared a side-by-side photo of herself and Queen Nefertiti on the social media platform. Childs re-created the Egyptian queen’s signature look with a replica of her royal headdress and makeup using blue eyeshadow and gold shimmer brushed onto her neck.
Her caption reads: “Day 1 of Black Queens: Queen Nefertiti… 1330 BC. She and her husband secured the biggest bag in Egyptian History. When he died, she ruled over Egypt… I hope I did you justice, queen.” A flood of positive comments followed, and people shared their love for Childs’s detailed transformation, noting, “This is EVERYTHING queen!!” and “Pure gold goddess.”
The Texas-based third-year law student’s #BlackGirlMagic didn’t stop there. She continues to share more transformations on Instagram, highlighting other prolific black women such as California congresswoman Maxine Waters and political activist and author Angela Davis.
While Black History Month is the perfect time to launch a photo project of this magnitude, Yahoo Lifestyle couldn’t help but ask Childs to reveal her true inspiration. “The ‘Black Queendom Series’ is a creative photography series created to shed light on black women and all the wonderful forms we come in,” says Childs. “I was inspired because I think there’s something supernatural about black women — our skin, our wit, our compassion, our abilities to bounce back, our spirits, our flair — both famous and ordinary. I believe that we need as many opportunities to shine as possible.”
Childs makes these makeovers look effortless, but she admits that none of her Black Queendom transformations have been that simple to achieve. Each one takes approximately two hours to complete, from idea to execution. First, she determines which powerful woman she wants to emulate and why. Next, she researches a photo that captures the essence of that woman. Then, she usually calls on one of her friends to take her final photos. (Sometimes she takes the photos herself with the help of a self-timer.) Finally, she shares the photos on social media and tags the person she has transformed into when applicable, which has prompted responses from celebrities such as Laila Ali and Cardi B.
Speaking of Cardi B, the rapper has been one of Childs’s favorite muses to transform into thus far. “She inspires me because she is truly herself and doesn’t care how she’s received. That resonates with me because I, like several women, have struggled with insecurity — especially in this age where you’re constantly being compared to the next person,” she says.
Another one of Childs’s most-loved transformations is supermodel Iman. “It is one of my desires to enter the plus-size modeling industry, which will require me to completely step out of my comfort zone. Re-creating Iman made me do just that! I put on a lot of oil and bronzer to make my skin look as flawless as Iman’s! I also showed a little more skin than I would normally show on a regular post via social media. I felt my most vulnerable yet the most liberated.”
Yahoo Lifestyle recently interviewed popular cosplayer Kiera Please, who stressed the importance of showcasing characters of color. Childs has this same objective when it comes to highlighting black women. “Black women, in particular, have lived through the stereotype of being called ‘angry, bitter, extra, and least desirable’ for too long,” she says. “I want my work to show the world that black women come in the most varied forms and we shine in everything we do. This work is especially important for young girls — young girls of color need to know that they can grow up to be beautiful outstanding queens as well.”
In addition to recognizing public figures, Childs has also has made sure to acknowledge equally amazing everyday black women. In one transformation, she salutes a local custodian and notes in her Instagram caption: “A lady that puts up with our sometimes haughty attitudes and does her job with humility while we get our fancy-schmancy Law degrees. And a queen who always invites me out for a turn up. Peace to you queen.” The Texas Southern University student explained that Queen Yvonne (the custodian), didn’t initially understand why she was being honored, but once she saw all the feedback, she was overwhelmed with joy. “This made me feel validated in the fact that I chose to humanize her and recognize her for being a queen that’s worthy of some praise,” says Childs.
Childs’s Black Queendom Series has garnered positive feedback and heartwarming responses. “It’s exceeded my wildest expectations,” she says. “I hope people learn that queendom comes in many different forms. Being a great mom makes you a queen. Coming fly to work or school each day, with all the effort that entails, makes you a queen. Doing your best makes you a queen. Being honest and true to your convictions makes you a queen. Queendom is not reserved for just a few.”
While Childs didn’t give us any spoilers on her upcoming transformations, we know they will continue to inspire and uplift. Be sure to follow her on Instagram to see which black queen she’ll honor next.
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