Kelly Rowland’s “Coffee” Reignites a Self-Love Moment for Black and Brown Women
Reminding women to reignite their magic.
“We need to celebrate ourselves more often — with this song, I want you to have yourself in mind. I want to remind women all over to reignite their magic!” — Kelly Rowland
Utterly gorgeous, glowing, and ethereal, the video for Kelly Rowland’s “Coffee” — directed by Steve Gomillion — has subtly lit a match for self-love during this period of quarantine. A sultry montage of brown skin women of various tones peppered each scene, set in a still water oasis. Simplistic, yet evocative, it’s a version of the imagery we haven’t really seen before. Quiet movements, soft intonations, and sweet shifts from one figure to the next provides both a mood and esteem stimulator.
Unsuspectedly, Kelly’s soft but brassy vocals provide an ambience to examine a topic that’s just a little bit bigger than the music itself.
Regarding the visuals, Kelly says, “To me, COFFEE is about embracing your individuality, sexuality, or imperfections. Not comparing yourself to others. We need to celebrate ourselves more often — with this song, I want you to have yourself in mind. I want to remind women all over to reignite their magic!” She moves to achieve goal by featuring women of medium to darker skin tones (including herself) with natural glowing makeup and wearing crisp white and natural nude colors on a still beach. The women intimately focus on the camera or on the distant view as they sway softly and seemingly unbothered within their surroundings. You can feel through the screen that they are truly are living in their own magic, satisfied with their identities and their existence in that world.
The visuals are stunning, without question.
“Society can have a strong hold on self-esteem and the way a woman moves through the world no matter what her race is.”
Surprisingly, even living in a time where cultures collide and similar interests, concerns, styles, and aesthetics are shared, the topic of self-love among Brown and Black women continues to be an issue. There are still pervasive beauty standards that many do not fit, yet work tirelessly to meet on a daily basis. Society can have a strong hold on self-esteem and the way a woman moves through the world no matter what her race is. So, some relief sets in when you see images like those in “Coffee”. Those small reinforcements give women a moment — especially since the video is only two minutes and twenty-four seconds long — to see themselves reflected on a broad scale, being appreciated and admired for exactly who they appear to be.
“So, as trivial as a music video like “Coffee” may seem to some, Black and Brown women see it as a small call-to-arms. A chance to stand up pridefully.”
Many who live different bodies (non-WOC) often question the need for validation when, to them, there are some many Black and Brown women on television, in music, in magazines, and on social media. But, what people need to understand is that this is a relatively recent occurrence in mainstream media. It has only transpired because women of color really began pushing for inclusion, taking control of their creative realms and related marketing, and found supportive allies willing to work tirelessly alongside them to make these changes happen. However, that does not negate the fact that many grew up being told and witnessing their purported irrelevancy in mainstream life . This has led to lifelong struggles for many in their personal and social lives, their careers, and in regards to their mental health. That fact does not simply disappear just because now, in 2020, we see more women who look like us after lifetimes of exclusion and being outright forbidden from those spaces just based on our skin colors.
So, as trivial as a music video like “Coffee” may seem to some, Black and Brown women see it as a small call-to-arms. A chance to stand up pridefully. Pride not just in our appearances, but also in our differences from others, in our flaws, in our efforts and daily work, and in our persistence and resilience while living in a world that often sees us too late or not at all.
So yes. The topic of self-love among Brown and Black women continues to be a thing. For that reason, we deserve reminders — big and small — that we are valued, beautiful, relevant, and diverse. Hopefully, with each reminder, we can throw away one instance in our lives where we were told otherwise. Hopefully, we will be given more moments like “Coffee”.
See the full video for Kelly Rowland’s “Coffee” below.