Black Hair by Trinbagonian - Gabriella Bernard
You've all seen model and advocate Gabriella Bernard affectionately known as "Gabby" on our Bene Caribe social media pages. To give full credit, Gabby's full 'fro and gorgeous smile are some of the key factors that have propelled some of our images across the internet.
We're so proud to be affiliated with this powerhouse of a woman who has garnered international accolades, and awards. From placing in the top three on Caribbean's Next Top Model and representing Trinidad & Tobago in the World Championship for Performing Arts as the Carnival Queen 2018, to being awarded Model of the Year in Editorial Print by Caribbean Style and Culture in Washington, DC, Gabriella continues to push limits in her career.
"Even though she has faced colorism time and time again, in the workplace, among social circles, and even in the modelling industry, she relentlessly pursues her goals to become an established international model. Her ultimate goal is to become an influencer and an activist, as she already gives a voice to the oppressed in her daily life. She is determined to eventually become the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago and implement feasible and modern approaches to current issues."
-Gabriella's Bio on TTfilmfestival.com
This week, Gabriella will mark another milestone with the release of her film BLACK HAIR at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. The 20 minute documentary film produced by Trinidad and Tobago Rocks is already making the rounds on the international film festival circuit and follows Gabriella's journey to challenge the European standards of beauty that prevail in the fashion and beauty industry.
Gabby's words about the film:
"Hair is more than "just hair" and living in a society that idolizes Eurocentric features and demonizes African features makes it much harder to live my truth in all my melanin glory. Join me as I open up about racist incidents living my truth as a cheap reality show stunt... and still overcome it to start my natural hair journey again." In the film, Gabriella speaks candidly about racist episodes, straightening her hair to be seen as more acceptable, and the moment she started to love herself and allow her natural, curly locs to thrive.
56 years post independence and still breaking free of colonial concepts, conversations on the realities of race in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean are necessary, as they foster our growth and are Good for the Caribbean.
"This film is important for the Caribbean because it tells people of all ethnicities that it is OK to be yourself in your truest form. You shouldn't have to conform to foreign standards to be seen as beautiful, or professional, or even acceptable. It's about time we break away from these mental chains and thrive in all our natural beauty. "
We're proud to support Gabriella with "Black Hair". As it turns out, she's wearing Bene Caribe on the film cover!
Go check this film out!
"I live in a world that tells me that my black beauty is not enough."
– Gabriella Bernard, Model
The Trinidad and Tobago film festival a festival aims to facilitate the growth of Caribbean cinema through a celebration of films from and about the Caribbean and its diaspora, as well as the world.
Visit The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival for more information on showtimes for Black Hair during the festival.