The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project NEW!
From the 2nd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Color Complex

Entered in Social Justice

About this entry

Color Complex is a digital series that explores how people of color around the world struggle for visibility and learn to navigate the prejudices, beauty standards and social hierarchies associated with their skin tone. Our objective with the series was to create conversations around what it means to be Black today through a unique historical and social context told through voices across America and Africa.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Color Complex covered unique topics through the voices of Black women and their experiences in society. The thoughtfully shot profiles explored how the lives of these ordinary individuals have shaped them to be women who are not afraid to use their voices and talents to create acceptance in society.

The stories explored stigmas and celebration of natural black hair in America, Albinism in Kenya and beauty standards of multiracial backgrounds.


The Color Complex series was distributed on multiple platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on's website. The series garnered more than 2.2 million views with high engagement in comment threads showcasing positivity, acceptance, and celebration with the topics covered:

"For years I sat in the kitchen on Saturday night while my mother pressed my hair. At the age of 12 she decided to perm my hair. I was 45 when I decided no more relaxers. 8 years later, I still love with my hair and I love the texture. Returning to my natural hair has made me more confident."

"What a beautiful strong woman. She is so inspirational and has taken the negativity in her life and has used it to help others. I love seeing stories like this."


Video for Color Complex

Entrant Company / Organization Name

The Root

Entry Credits