The below article is written by friend and CN.com correspondent, Stephanie of EXTRAordinary Chic! 

My Black, Your Black, Her Black, His Black….Our Black was indeed
Beautiful during the New Orleans during the 2012 Essence Music
Festival.

Procter & Gamble’s My Black is Beautiful was one
of the top highlights, at this year’s Essence Music Festival. Outside of
Queen Aretha Franklin’s and other amazing performances, throughout the
weekend, I dare anyone tell me that the MBIB Booth Experience was not
THE highlight of the official EMF daytime activities.
::waiting…waiting:: I thought not.

Imagine a Future…

MBIB kicked the festivities off on Thursday evening by announcing an amazing and exciting initiative, Imagine a Future, that is a collaboration with UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and Black Girls Rock! (BGR!). Imagine a Future is
designed to positively impact the lives of one million black girls over
the next three years by documenting the current state of black
beauty and providing tools and resources to foster a greater sense of
self-esteem and confidence within the next generation of young black
girls. Over the EMF Weekend, MBIB distributed $3,000 in book awards to
six black female students and one $5,000 academic scholorship to a New
Orleans-based black female student through the UNCF Empower Me Tour book
award sweepstakes. The announcement of this iniative was a beautiful
thing to be a part of, as the cause is one that I am passionate about,
especially since becoming an aunt to my now 7-year old niece. If you’d
like to learn more about Imagine a Future and the MBIB movement, please visit: www.myblackisbeautiful.com or www.facebook.com/mbib. You can also follow and join the movement on Twitter @MBIBmovement.

Beginning at 9:30am on Friday morning, and steam-rolling like a
riverboat non-stop through Sunday evening at closing, festival attendees
in town (from all parts the world) made their way to the hottest spot
in the Ernest Morial Convention Center…the My Black is Beautiful
booth! It truly was the place to be, all weekend long. Not only was it
your one-stop shop for all things beauty & personal care. It was
also the place to spot your favorite celebrities hanging out, one behind
the other. Celebrity Makeup Artist, Ashunta Sheriff (who I found out
is a fellow Mississippi Girl…whoop whoop!), held live
makeup demonstrations each day and filled us in on all of the fabulous
and affordable products in the CoverGirl Queen Collection. You had the
opportunity to sign-up for consultations and touch-ups provided by the
talented team of MUAs, as well. Face Beat? Check. Next, you
moved over to Pantene Relaxed & Natural’s Touch-up Beauty Bar. I
loved that they had a variety of well-versed hair stylists there, which
only helped to acommodate us curly girls! (And there were PLENTY of us,
let me tell you! That in itself was such a beautiful sight to see. I
almost felt like I was the natural hair show and I didn’t receive the
memo. It was that many curls, kinks & waves everywhere you turned,
this year.) Pantene had us all covered this year. So if you weren’t
feeling your hair, as Nikki says, then all you had to do was sit down
for a nice, healthy hair dry style and learn about the Relaxed &
Natural line of products. Hair? Check. Then, you stepped over
to Olay’s studio inside the booth to indulge in mini-massages and skin
consultations. Pampered Bella? Check. Celebrity Dentist, Dr. Catrise,
was on hand at the Crest Smile Wall to offer screenings and give you
tips on putting your best smile forward. Picture-Perfect Smile? Check.
Finally, it was time to step in front of the camera and strike a pose
and give face for the MBIB photo cameras. “Smile….You’re a Star!”

You also had a chance to test new products at the Gain “My Scent” Booth,
and if lucky, got to play the Matchmaker game w/ host Demetria Lucas to
find your perfect scent match. Everyone, throughout the convention
center all weekend, was able to experience how Bounty brought it with
cleaning up spills and how Charmin enhanced the bathroom experience with
their attendants, products and more. On top of all those fabulous
services, you received lots of swag at the many stations that you
visited inside the MBIB Booth.
And, then, if ALL of THAT wasn’t enough? MBIB was definitely where to
find your favorite celebrity dropping in to help celebrate the
inspirational movement that our BLACK is indeed BEAUTIFUL. When Ms. Bevy
Smith (MBIB Ambassador) speaks, everyone listens honey. From Beverly
Bond to celebrity hair stylist, Chuck Amos, everyone dropped by to chat
with the social diva throughout the weekend. A snippet of
that list reads like this: June Ambrose, Goapele, Toya Wright, Faith
Evans & the Real R&B Divas (Monifah, Nicci Gilbert, KeKe Wyatt
and Syleena Johnson), LeToya Luckett, the OMG Girlz, CoCo Jones, Q
Parker of 112, Raheem DeVaughn, The Braxtons, Eric Roberson, Free, Eva
Pigford, Cynthia Bailey and many more.
In wrapping, I’ll just say this: If you plan on attending the 2013
Essence Music Festival, numero uno on your EMF To-Do List should be the
My Black is Beautiful booth experience! I’m not just being biased
because I worked with them this year, either. I have pictures to prove
that the lines did not quit all weekend, until forced to on Sunday
evening. MBIB is an exciting movement that is on its way to
spreading their inspirational message to even more girls and women
in African-American communities throughout the world. With MBIB’s help,
we will indeed redefine and/or create our own individual beauty
standards.
So, save the date, chicas! Next year’s Essence Music Festival is taking
place July 4-7, 2013 and it is definitely a “Bucket List” kind of
experience. I think that every African-American should experience the
EMF festivities at least once in their lifetime. Now, who’s down for a
curlfriends vacay to NOLA for the 19th Annual Essence Music Festival? I
hope to see all of my fellow curlies in Nola to help celebrate with me
and all of my Gulf Coast natuarlistas!
A very special thanks to my new curlfriend forever, Nik, for allowing me the extraordinary opportunity. You Rock, chicadee! 🙂
My Black is Beautiful w/ MBIB EMF 2012 Blogger Correspondents
(Veronica W. for MadameNoire & Myself on behalf of CurlyNikki.com)
Until next time….
Extraordinarily,
Stephers

Be sure you keep up with all things MBIB (My Black is Beautiful) and their new Imagine a Future iniative by visiting www.myblackisbeautiful.com. Also, Join the movement on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mbib) and Twitter ( @MBIBmovement).

For more of Stephanie’s pics, check here!