Before there was Unbothered, there was a group of Black women at Refinery29, looking for ways to amplify their voices as a community. “They kind of came together and said, ‘Look, we are not seeing enough of ourselves represented, not only at Refinery29, but just in digital media in general,’” says R29 Unbothered managing editor Danielle Cadet. “‘So we want to come together and do this thing.’”
On this episode of the Go Off, Sis podcast, Cadet hosts two women with a similar story to tell: Breann Davis and Nadirah Mutala, the masterminds behind Procter & Gamble’s My Black Is Beautiful platform. While initially a space for the Black women of P&G to celebrate themselves and feel seen, the platform quickly grew into a public, online initiative with a loyal, devoted following. And most recently, they’re bringing something new to the table: A line of MBIB hair products, designed for all textures of natural hair, crafted according to carefully sourced data from the women already involved in the initiative.
“It really started internally, kind of a grassroots effort from Black women that were working at P&G. They were looking at examples of how Black women were portrayed in media, and they just felt a permission and responsibility to really address that. So for the last 10 years, it's really been a way we connect with the community [internally and externally],” says Davis. “But along the journey, consumers have always come back and told us, ‘Hey, you guys should really launch some products.’”
Naturally, they listened — and the product line is the direct result of requests, demands, and inquiries from women already loyal to the My Black Is Beautiful platform. Each product is made with a blend of honey, turmeric, ginger, coconut milk, and coconut oil, concocted to celebrate and care for natural hair in all its different textures — and all are available for purchase at your local Sally Beauty.
“The MBIB community is over three million strong, and it includes all ages and walks of life,” says Davis. “I mean, we've got the women who joined us 10 years ago and are still with us, and then we have younger women who maybe just [found us], so we're constantly evolving. But we really tried to enroll our community, and I think that is how we're sure and we know that our products will work.”
Below, listen to the podcast to dig deeper into the MBIB origin story — and the Unbothered one as well.