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Black as a clothing color is a staple in many closets as it is de rigueur—so slimming, but as a skin color it has struggled to be accepted by the fashion mainstream. Yes we have seen our biggest pop (crossover) stars more readily contracted for fashion advertising, but this does not translate into acceptance. “I find that much is lost in translation when it comes to the discussion of black stereotypes,” Shamayim tells BE Modern Man. “We all know those stereotypes but many don’t have a solution as to how to cleanse ourselves of the toxic ones. I prefer to let my art speak on my behalf. I create images that stimulate the people who see themselves within the four walls of the image frame. The image translates that ‘ye are Gods’. Once we can see it, we can start to believe it.”
Allowing his passion to lead the way, Shamayim is determined to use his gift to unlock the visual beauty that exists within our culture. More than an artist, he is also a businessman. “I took a skill-set that I was blessed with and relentlessly pursued excellence in my field,” says Shamayim. “I refused to stop working to change the media perception of my people. It’s important to me to show young black children that there are many more options to being black and successful outside of the common routes of sports and entertainment. The pursuit of perfection is the defining trait of a BE Modern Man.
The BlackEnterprise.com team salutes Shamayim for his recognition of the polarizing inequalities that exist in the world of high-end fashion and fashion photography. Frame by frame he continues to change the stereotypes that bleed inside the fashion world by visually capturing beauty that cannot be mistaken. We look forward to seeing Shamayim raise the awareness of what beauty looks like as his artistry is displayed across every media platform.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.
Pic Title/Alt text: BE Modern Man Spotlight – Passion to Purpose – Salim Weldon
Pic Caption: Darryl Wilson, Jr., The Wedding Concierge and Global Marketing Director for Diann Valentine Living Well
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