#CrownAndglory: 5 Questions with Zenita Collie of TruleyTalentedBeauty
Inspired by spring – a season for renewal and reaping the fruits of our labor – we’ve launched #CrownAndGlory, a month-long series celebrating Black women creators who have been hard at work planting seeds to build a better world for themselves and the next generation of content creators. By telling these stories, we hope to give this community their overdue flowers (or praise) and empower more creators to share their story both on and off YouTube.
When it comes to beauty, the limit does not exist for Zenita Collie aka TruleyTalentedBeauty. As soon as you land on her channel, you’ll see her passion for getting to the root of a good heatless curl, best practices for type 4 hair, and more all through her candid lens.
But Zenita’s beauty content isn’t just skin (or hair) deep. As part of our #CrownAndGlory conversation, she spoke about why she started her channel, her journey to finding her voice as a creator, and why it’s critical that Black women see their contributions recognized.
For those who have yet to follow you, can you tell us a bit about your channel?
My name is Zenita, AKA TruleyTalentedBeauty. I focus on all things beauty, and I love to look at the realm of beauty as a limitless place of possibilities. And if you come over to my side of YouTube, you will definitely find yourself laughing a little bit – I do have a goofy side – but on the serious notes, you'll find texture education, fashion inspo, and some lifestyle. I definitely wanted to provide the looks that I couldn't find when I was searching on YouTube, which I feel is what all of us do when we can't find something: We look up for some inspiration on YouTube.
So, the heart and purpose of my channel is to showcase a limitless side of beauty and to allow others to truly embrace their own type of beauty.
What does being a creator mean to you?
Being a creator to me means true self-expression: the ability to explore, define, and showcase yourself in a way that you see yourself and without limitations. Being able to share your art in a way that feels true to you or home to you. It does feel great to have that art be celebrated, but being able to just find your own voice and stick to that voice when showcasing yourself as a creator I feel is super important.
How did you find the confidence to share your voice and story?
It took a while to truly find the confidence, as well as my voice, to share my story. I definitely was thinking about everything that people would say – criticism – and I would go back and forth. I'm not going to sit here and say that once I got out on YouTube I was like, "Yes, let's do this!" Honestly, I still question it. It's a continuous process, because at the end of the day, you're still putting your art out for everyone to see and everyone wants to critique things nowadays. But as I grow as a person and I'm willing to showcase new parts of myself, I eventually start to gain certain levels of confidence.
I just had to look at myself and be sure of myself. I think it's important to know yourself or at least know your core – and no one can shake that once you know that about yourself. Everyone's going to have an opinion. The only one that really should matter is your own.
And why did you choose YouTube to share your creativity?
I feel like there's a space for everyone on YouTube. YouTube is one of those places where if someone wants to find you and they like you, they will definitely continue to watch you and support you. It might be a steady growth. It might be a fast growth, but you know that people who are coming towards you are here for you versus maybe something that's just trending or something that just went viral. I feel like on YouTube, you can actually find a community – a real community – that translates over to other platforms and just into life in general. It's very surprising when I can go somewhere and people can recognize me because of my content. To have a true sense of home and be able to showcase myself authentically, that’s the real reason I ended up choosing YouTube and still forever always will.
But by recognizing Black women, especially their contribution and their voice, it allows me, as well as those who are younger than myself, to really see that they actually do matter, that our voice is important and that we're not invisible.”
In your own words, why is it so important to recognize black women's contributions to culture and to the world?
There's actually a quote that speaks to this in one of my new favorite shows, Abbot Elementary – which was created by a black woman, Quinta Brunson, who also started on YouTube and created a lot of digital content. There was a scene where they had a gifted program, and in the gifted program, some of the kids got to see a chicken hatch, and some of the kids got to see snakes hatch. When one of the teachers was asked how they felt about the gifted program, they said, “After a while, if certain kids are given snakes, they're gonna start thinking that that's what they deserve.” So, it's really important to highlight Black voices and make sure that we're paying attention to Black women's contributions because after a while, if we continue to act like they're invisible, if we continue to make it seem like they don't matter – that is something that gets internalized, and that is what we will feel we deserve.
But by recognizing Black women, especially their contribution and their voice, it allows me, as well as those who are younger than myself, to really see that they actually do matter, that our voice is important, and that we're not invisible.