By Lilly Workneh (Article originally published on theGrio.com)
Karyn Washington, the 22-year-old founder of the empowering and uplifting website For Brown Girls, reportedly committed suicide Tuesday.
According to Madame Noire, Washington faced a few tough struggles and reportedly dealt with depression after facing the loss of her mother.
The inspiring young lady helped to empower young women through her work in celebrating the beauty of African-American women, particularly those of dark-complexion.
One example of Washington’s great influence was her #DarkSkinRedLip project, which she launched after rapper ASAP Rocky openly criticized women with darker skin for wearing red lipstick. With this project, Washington allowed all shades of women to band together in knocking down barriers in beauty by encouraging them to embrace their beauty and claim confidence in wearing any lipstick they please.
Washington served as an inspiration to her league of fans, many of whom are left devastated as they express their condolences on Twitter. In doing so, fans helped to shed light on the issue of depression and suicide in the black community.
Washington’s long-time friend, LiaLia, wrote a heartfelt blog post honoring the memories and amazing work Washington left behind:
When I look at you I see a reflection of myself and most certainly that is why this hurts so badly. From now on I’ll forever remember your big beautiful smile, your charm, ambition, professionalism, entrepreneurship, confidence, humility, your drive, and your beautiful Brown Skin. That is what I’ll choose to remember… because to be honest, I’m a bit angry with you. Indeed I’m being selfish, but my heart is devastated- yet, because I know a tad bit about what you were going through I can understand. I’m guilt tripping because I wish I could’ve been there for you a little bit more. I’m so sorry, but I can’t help but to think that with just a little bit more time or a little less distance, proximity would’ve allowed me to make, maybe the slightest difference…. Forgive me!
To view some of the work Washington’s legacy leaves behind, visit ForBrownGirls.com.