After Finding No Images of Black People in ‘Beautiful People’ Search, This Mom Decided to Change That Damaging Narrative

I Am Beautiful 365 creator Candace Edwards and her daughters. Image courtesy of Candace Edwards.

I Am Beautiful 365 creator Candace Edwards and her daughters. Image courtesy of Candace Edwards.

As she sat down to her computer one day and Googled the phrase “beautiful people,” former substitute teacher Candace Edwards was disappointed to find no images of African-American men or women. Searching the words “beautiful Black people” didn’t help much either. Dissatisfied with the results, Edwards took it upon herself to make a change. Cue the birth of I Am Beautiful 365.

Launched in 2014, I Am Beautiful 365 seeks to encourage African-Americans of all ages to develop positive images of self.

“…We focus on creating a healthy image I would say for men, women, and children of color because there’s so much negativity out there about African-Americans when it comes to the media,” Edwards told Atlanta Black Star.“So [we’re] just trying to constantly put something positive out there for people of color to see.”

Edwards said she initially launched the site to sell her children’s books and t-shirts, but over time her brand evolved into more than just a marketplace. Her site now features creative blog posts and positive imagery centered abound Black success and beauty.

“In my mind, it’s all about positive programming or positive brainwashing,” she explained. “I feel like perception equals reality. And so unfortunately, we do see a lot of negativity in the news about people of color. And you’re gonna start to believe it if you see it all the time. So we need to put something else out there.”

The full-time mom and entrepreneur cited the impact of positive Black TV shows like “The Cosby Show” and “A Different World.” She said those shows prompted an influx of Black doctors, lawyers, and graduates, reinforcing her belief that if you put the positivity out there and see it repeatedly, then positive things will come from it.

Edwards’ self-authored children’s book are also a vital part of her I am Beautiful 365 brand. In fact, she said the site was birthed from the creation of her children’s book series.

“I was just inspired to write the books, and from the books I created a series,” Edwards explained. “And then the series turned into my brand, I am Beautiful 365, which we’re trying to grow now. I’ve published two books in the series so far.”

The published works are titled “I Love My Hair” and “I Love My Skin,” which encourage children to embrace their diverse hair textures and love the skin they’re in. Edwards said her five-part book series is still in the works but will focus on negative stereotypes that often affect African-Americans.

“You know [there’s] the “good hair” stereotype or the “you’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl” comment,” she said. “[I’m] just trying to teach kids to appreciate themselves…and let our children know we’re all different and it’s OK to be different. Just love and embrace who you are.”

The mother of three said she expects to have the third book published and ready to sell by the end of this year.

Edwards explained that since publishing her last two books, she has become much more critical of what she puts out there for the world to read. She is now in the process of writing and rewriting her stories, trying to “make them perfect.”

In the next five years, Edwards said she hopes I am Beautiful 365 will be a well-known brand that African-Americans can rely on to bring them positive and insightful news about people who look like them.

“The children’s book series will definitely be completed by that time,” she stated. “And I’ll be doing my workshops, working with children on self-esteem boosting activities and having a healthy image of self. I do it a little bit now, but I don’t do it as much as I would like to.”

Edwards explained that her site isn’t just about promoting positivity as far as appearance goes, but also promoting images of Black success, such as African-American lawyers and business owners.

“So we have kids out there who want to be the next Beyoncé or LeBron James,” Edwards said. “But what if you see more professionals, more doctors, more lawyers that look like you? You will aspire to be that. So that’s a huge thing we want to get out there and want people of color to see more of.”

Edwards’ children’s books are available for purchase on and Amazon.

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