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ellen pompeo recognizes representation


“My daughters are black so it’s very important to me that they see a lot of images of beautiful, powerful, strong black women,” Ellen Pompeo, the 46-year-old star of Grey’s Anatomy recently revealed in an interview with People Magazine.

Pompeo shares two-year old Sienna May and 6 ½-year-old Stella Luna with her husband of nine years, Chris Ivery, a record producer. She stated to People how important it is for her daughters to be exposed to strong women who look like them while they watch television and she regularly points out the accomplishments of African-American women to them.

“Every time there is a black woman on a magazine cover, whether it is Kerry Washington or whoever it is, I make sure that magazine is in my house and on my table. For me, that’s super important.”

“Every time [Venus and Serena Williams] play tennis, I make sure my daughters watch them.”

Pompeo is currently working on a project with beauty brand Philosophy to eliminate stereotypical perceptions of middle age.

Although some may think Pompeo shouldn’t get any kind of kudos for making sure her daughters are surrounded by positive images of black women, I can imagine how it might take some extra effort to point out the #BlackGirlMagic occurring in the world that you may not exactly be able to identify with yourself. As a mother of an almost two-year-old daughter I am beginning to notice the importance of exposing my daughter to not just positive images of black women, but diverse images of them as well. I want her to know that beauty, class, intelligence and personality come in all shades, shapes and sizes. I want her to know that she is in control of the image she chooses to present to the world, and that even if she finds herself being a little more like Keke Palmer than Skaii Jackson, that’s fine since we’re all beautiful in our own way.

Whether it’s turning on Doc McStuffins or watching Michelle Obama give moving speech at the Democratic National Convention, it’s important that our young women are surrounded by these images from the start, so they can grow up with the knowledge that their voices and contributions matter to the world as much as anyone else’s.

Pompeo also notes that she’s happy to see that her daughters are growing up I a time where there are so many positive images to choose from, namely the President of our country:

“I feel really fortunate that they are growing up in a time [in which] the first president my daughter knows is Barack Obama. That’s an incredible gift.”

In what ways do you make sure your children see positive images of African-Americans regularly?


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