…According to you guys and the Glam Network, that is! That’s right, bellas — thanks to your support, yours truly won the title of Best in Beauty in this year’s Glam Network Awards! And a big ol’ photo of me is the front page photo on the slide show! Wow, wow, wow.

Thank you all so much for voting for me. Honored isn’t the word. I am so excited and proud and… hang on a second. I am tempted to get all teary eyed Sally Field “you like me, you really like me,” here, but Mama Bella reminded me that they play off over-long speeches at the Oscars. So I’ll save the fabulous dramatics and keep it short and sweet.

In August 2006, I dreamed up a blog that captured the essence of the kind of magazine I wanted to read, the kind that wasn’t at the store shelves. Something that was primarily about beauty, but didn’t make me feel like I wasn’t just as precious, delicate and gorgeous as the models of the opposite race, size, and hair texture as me. Afrobella started out with the intention of being a pure beauty blog with not much beyond product reviews and musings about natural black beauty, but along the way it evolved into so much more than that. Afrobella is an outlet for everything I care deeply about — beauty, hair, music, fashion, politics, whatever. The variety of topics has led to my exclusion in certain circles, but that’s OK. It’s also led to some wonderful ongoing opportunities, like the honor of participating in the blogger’s round table on NPR’s News and Notes. (I’ll be on again this upcoming Monday, April 28)! It’s been a wonderful ride, and the lesson I’ve learned is to follow my heart, and never limit myself.

It is such a pleasure and a privilege to be able to write about my obsessions and musings, to share my Caribbean culture, to put my thoughts about being a naturally beautiful black woman out there, and to participate in the exchange of ideas with so many of you all over the world. You make my life so rich and wonderful. I have so many big dreams for this blog and for myself as a writer — my mother always said, “Thursday’s child has far to go.” I’m on my way! Thank you all so very, very much for making one of them come true, and thank you to everyone at the Glam Network for your continued support.

My prize for winning is a Flip video camera, so I hope to start making some makeup and hair videos on YouTube soon.

Click here to see the slide show of this year’s Glam Network Award winners, which includes one of my first blog inspirations Beauty Addict, Hollyscoop, Popbytes, the amazing YourCause.com, and In Case You Didn’t Know.

YAY!!! I love you guys!! Thank you so, so much.

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COMMENTS

nyc/caribbean ragazza says:
April 24, 2008, 1:26 am
Congrats!!! As a fellow natural caribbean girl I "heart" this blog.
homeinkabul says:
April 24, 2008, 1:32 am
You really deserve the honor! Congrats!
Nichelle says:
April 24, 2008, 2:38 am
Congraulations Bella!
heyhey says:
April 24, 2008, 3:12 am
That's awesome! Big congrats!
sungoddess says:
April 24, 2008, 5:25 am
Congrats Bella... hope this means you make some money. :D
Diana says:
April 24, 2008, 6:24 am
I never had a doubt in my mind that you would not win. :) Congrats and keep up the great work.
Mrs.Mckinzie says:
April 24, 2008, 7:17 am
Congrats Afrobella! I can't wait for those You Tube videos.
Latasha says:
April 24, 2008, 7:20 am
Congrats:)) Keep up the good work.
bella says:
April 24, 2008, 7:59 am
Sungoddess -- me too!!! LOL! But the money sometimes takes a backseat to just being able to express myself and communicate with the world. Thank you all so much for your kind wishes, votes, and love. I really appreciate all of you!!
islandgirl550 says:
April 24, 2008, 8:08 am
Ohhhhh Bella! Congrats! You inspired me to start blogging. Kept doing what you're doing. Now many print will follow your lead and do spots on natural black hair.
ceecee says:
April 24, 2008, 8:31 am
congratulations Bella!! You deserve it!! Just being curious: what circles have you been excluded from?
Marsha says:
April 24, 2008, 8:33 am
Yay, Bella! Congrats!
Candy says:
April 24, 2008, 8:40 am
Congrats Bella, your brother in Trinidad put me on to your blog and i haven't missed a day since, your words are truly fascinating and come straight from the heart. Congrats again and God's blessings to you in all your future endeavours!
Yolanda says:
April 24, 2008, 8:42 am
Bella, I am so happy for you and for us! I include "us" because it feels you are representative of "us". I believe that was your intent in starting the blog, having a place where we can celebrate ourselves. You have created(and continue to do so), a most interesting, informative, original and of course fun platform for all women of color. I enjoy clicking "afrobella" on my favorites list every morning!! Congratulations and much love from one of your biggest fans. Love and Light, Yolanda
pets says:
April 24, 2008, 8:44 am
Congrats! We here at home all know just how much ability you have & now others are seeing it & recognising it publicly! Do you get a Glam "best blog" sticker for the afrobella site? Continue to be true to who you are & where you came from and always remember to thank those that helped you along the way & your star will continue to rise..we love you much..
Xica Bahia says:
April 24, 2008, 8:47 am
Congratulations Bella! A very well deserved win. Peace & blessings to you. Xica Bahia
Aziza Ayo says:
April 24, 2008, 8:58 am
Congratulations Bella!!! You are much loved :)
Anonymiss says:
April 24, 2008, 9:08 am
Props!
Plastische Chirurgie Rumänien says:
April 24, 2008, 9:12 am
Congratulation, thats really awesome!
terri says:
April 24, 2008, 9:18 am
rock on
Katie says:
April 24, 2008, 9:29 am
Hooray! You totally deserve it!
tycajam says:
April 24, 2008, 9:42 am
I feel extremely privileged to have stumbled across your site when I did. Congratulatiions!!
Los Angelista says:
April 24, 2008, 9:48 am
Wow, that's fantastic! Yeah for following your heart and dreams! Congratulations on such a well-deserved award!
Patrick Jnr. says:
April 24, 2008, 9:54 am
Little sister I will be taking a drink for you later in Trotters! Congratulations again, I don't think you'll ever stop making me proud!
Vivrant Thang says:
April 24, 2008, 9:56 am
This made me smile this morning. Congrats Bella!!! VERY well deserved. I've come across so many that majorly heart your blog. Although I don't always comment, I'm always stopping in to check out what you're talmbout *smile* I have so many posts saved for future reference. Keep shining lady!
Rockstar Bella says:
April 24, 2008, 9:57 am
Finally! MY VOTE COUNTS!! yeah!
DH says:
April 24, 2008, 10:01 am
Congrats! You deserve the accollades :)
Bebroma says:
April 24, 2008, 10:02 am
Congratulations! You certainly deserve the honor. You are a bright spot in the day of so many!
Joy30906 says:
April 24, 2008, 10:05 am
CONGRATS, Bella!!!!! Very well deserved, you know we got your back. Keep up the great work. Best blog ever, the first time I found your blog I read EVERY page in two days. Love it!
auragirl says:
April 24, 2008, 10:19 am
SO HAPPY to be part of the ABSOLUTE AWESOMENESS that is AFROBELLA! As long as you'll be writing, I'll be reading! Someday I hope to be able to see Afrobella on the newsstands next to Cosmo, Glamour, Ebony and Essence...it's so different from anything else out there! I hope you're working on that---Afrobella in print would be AMAZING!!!! It can be a possibility---NEVER STOP DREAMING! Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS Bella! You are super talented and you deserve all the praise for your blog! I love it! :)
b. says:
April 24, 2008, 10:19 am
This makes a great day better! Many congratulations and blessings to you, Afrobella :D
kia says:
April 24, 2008, 10:20 am
congrats bella! you rock!
AmiJane says:
April 24, 2008, 10:28 am
Awesome! You definitely received the recognition you deserve! You inspire me in so many ways. Keep it up Bella!
T says:
April 24, 2008, 10:39 am
Congratulations!
elle says:
April 24, 2008, 10:55 am
I am soo happy for you!!! I'm a recent convert from another beauty blog for women of color. You inspired me to start wearing my hair natural and stop wasting my money at a Dominican salon each week and just embrace my curls. I love your *honest* commentary and the fact that you review stuff that doesn't end up in a magazine ad the next month (i.e you just don't review new products that you got in the mail yesterday from a pr person). Bella, keep up the good work on blogging about beauty, the islands, and pop culture in general!!
nolagirl says:
April 24, 2008, 11:27 am
A person I voted for won something?!.... There's hope that it can still happen! Congrats bella! I think I am as excited as you are!
Styleis20/20 says:
April 24, 2008, 11:32 am
Congrats Bella! JOB WELL DONE!
warrior11209 says:
April 24, 2008, 11:34 am
A well deserved CONGRATULATIONS to you!! I am so proud of you and this site- and to think I found this site by accident. Can't wait for the You Tube videos!! You are beautiful(as always) in the photo on the GlamNetwork site. Yippeee for Afrobella.
Michelle says:
April 24, 2008, 12:09 pm
Congratulations, Bella. You so deserve it. You put your heart and soul into your blog and it shows.
misstwists says:
April 24, 2008, 12:14 pm
Hey Afrobella! Congratulations :-) You deserve it!
Candy says:
April 24, 2008, 12:19 pm
YAY!!!!!!!!!!! Bella!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats!
Miss Maxine says:
April 24, 2008, 12:19 pm
Congratulations! I love your blog and it's great to see it get the recognition it deserves!
afrobella says:
April 24, 2008, 12:23 pm
I'm doing a little happy dance under my desk at work, reading all of your comments. You guys are the BEST. Love to everyone!!
ondolady says:
April 24, 2008, 12:48 pm
Congratulations on your award, it is very well deserved.
BKBajan says:
April 24, 2008, 1:04 pm
CONGRATULATIONS!! Well deserved!! while you are doing your happy dance at your desk, imagine a soca song and spin some pooch!
Raina says:
April 24, 2008, 1:19 pm
congratulations, Bellaaaaaa!!!! you so deserve this award - all us babybellas are uber-grateful for your site....where else could we learn about the ish you're serving up?? looks like you'll be out of "here" sooner than later...hurrah!
Jacquie says:
April 24, 2008, 1:20 pm
Go Bella Go!! Congratulations! Your blog is the ONLY blog I MUST check daily. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into your blog. We appreciate you Bella. :)
Roxy says:
April 24, 2008, 1:37 pm
Awwww .... you're fantastic, Bella! Well deserved ... xo
Joi says:
April 24, 2008, 1:44 pm
Congrats. I'm so happy for you. I love this site. Its been six months since I've had a relaxer. I've been wearing different braids styles to let the perm grow out. Yesterday when I took out my braids and washed my hair I had the biggest fro' I was literally afraid. I almost went out and got a perm but I thought of this site and got some cornrows instead.
Wes says:
April 24, 2008, 1:45 pm
I'm new to this whole blogging era, but Bella I must say you have truly been an inspiration to me... You're like my big sister!!! lol... Keep up the good work and make sure you stay 'Afrobellicious'!!
Kymberli says:
April 24, 2008, 2:24 pm
CONGRAT!!!! YAY, BELLA, YAY!!!
MCat says:
April 24, 2008, 3:39 pm
Congrats!
Ayosi says:
April 24, 2008, 3:47 pm
Roooooollllll it gal, "ya smart and ya pretty" Yea Bella!
tanya says:
April 24, 2008, 4:07 pm
we love you too, bella. congratulations! the people have spoken!
Sass says:
April 24, 2008, 4:12 pm
OMG you truly deserve it! CONGRATULATIONS!!
the M says:
April 24, 2008, 4:41 pm
WHOoOooOOoOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Go AfroBella!!! Congratulations! I love love love your blog. Its my go to guide for everything!!! keep up the amazing working lady! xoxoxoxox
BigHeadGurl says:
April 24, 2008, 5:34 pm
CONGRATS!! you deserve this and so much more. You go bella!
Calming.Corners says:
April 24, 2008, 5:41 pm
Congrats Bella!!! You deserve it!!! Much success to you!!!
berrybrowne says:
April 24, 2008, 5:43 pm
congratulations bella! you're the only beauty blog i actually bookmark, so i think they are 100% right:-)
NiaSoul01 says:
April 24, 2008, 5:56 pm
You go girl! I'm so happy for you!
Exquisitely Black says:
April 24, 2008, 7:15 pm
Congrats from a new reader who loves your blog!
CaterFly says:
April 24, 2008, 7:43 pm
Congrats! I think this marks the first time that I've actually voted for someone and they won! Yay! =)
CaterFly says:
April 24, 2008, 7:48 pm
1 down, 1 to go. Now, if only we can vote Obama into office...
Sabrina97 says:
April 24, 2008, 10:00 pm
Congratulations Bella! You do deserve all of the good things that have come from this blog... the spirit of the sisters (and brothers) that look to you for advice, the release you get from sharing your views with the world, and yes, even the freebies you get because a company wants you to blog about their product! :D You done good girl!
Dad says:
April 24, 2008, 10:05 pm
Well done.Keep going
Dad says:
April 24, 2008, 10:07 pm
Well done.Keep going and doing your way. The best is still to come, I am sure about that.
trini4christ says:
April 24, 2008, 11:07 pm
Congrats beautiful Bella! You definitely deserve the recognition. Thanks to you, I am experimenting more and loving my natural hair. Please keep doing what you love.
Eminar says:
April 24, 2008, 11:52 pm
Congratulations, Bella! You truly are the best ! !
p1tey1 says:
April 25, 2008, 1:15 am
Congratulations Bella!!! This is my favorite blog by far.
SolShine7 says:
April 25, 2008, 1:26 am
Congrats! Keep doing what you're doing.
pam says:
April 25, 2008, 1:46 am
Girl you deserve it again and again. You inspire, teach and give us so much knowledge on so many subjects and levels. Girl go on and run for Senate!!! Need someone to help keep people CUTE... Congrats and much love Pam
Hannah says:
April 25, 2008, 4:19 am
Congratulations and thanks for having this blog in the first place. This blog speaks to me not because we're the same on the outside, but because we're the same on the inside--even though the models in magazines are white, I feel they marginalize me as well, and I don't even want to try and model myself after what is supposed to be ideal. I love to read the beauty posts (even though I have to modify some of them a bit when I try them!) along with the posts about music, politics, and life. Your site makes me realise that I can care about my looks and also care about my whole self, and what's going on in the world. Unlike traditional beauty magazines, your site helps me feel like a person who is worthwhile beyond hair, makeup, and men. Thanks again, and your award is well-deserved.
tip says:
April 25, 2008, 8:48 am
Congrat, this is absolutely wonderful! I just discovered your site this year and I love it. Keep it up!
Anita Grant says:
April 25, 2008, 10:38 am
Congrats! Well deserved! Brilliant - absolutely - BRILLIANT NEWS!!! All the best, dearheart! Anita
Tamara says:
April 25, 2008, 10:39 am
You deserve this award! Congratulations!!!!!
Danielle J says:
April 25, 2008, 11:46 am
All the best! You've earned it. :-)
Left Brain says:
April 25, 2008, 6:59 pm
Congratulations!! I knew you could do it.
Anaylli says:
April 27, 2008, 11:52 am
Congrats!!! I knew you'd take the top spot! You deserve it, keep up the good work :o)
Anya says:
April 27, 2008, 2:11 pm
Congratulations - you put Miami beauty on the map every day!
LBellatrix says:
April 27, 2008, 2:54 pm
I am SOOOO late on this but...CONGRATULATIONS! I'm always happy when someone takes her passion and makes it work -- for her and for other people. WTG Bella!
Naturally DevaSTing says:
April 28, 2008, 6:49 pm
See what happens when I stay away for a couple of days, all sorts of wonderful happens!!! Like all the rest of the bellas have duly noted, Congrats, Congrats, Congrats, it couldn't have gone to a more deserving bella!!!! To my Caribbean sista, you make me/us all very proud because you have given us a voice to our dreams, our loves, our dislikes, and most importantly our beauty!!!! All that is left to say really is to for everyone to put their lighta inna di air 'cause "big tings a gwan" for you!!!!!
Arlene says:
April 30, 2008, 12:28 pm
Congratulations!!! This is very much deserved! I love reading your tips and inspirations. Keep up the great work! High-fives, Arlene
Kelly says:
May 5, 2008, 2:08 pm
I wanted to personally invite you to join Gilt Groupe www.gilt.com (Invite only online site providing members access to Men’s and women’s coveted fashion & luxury lifestyle brands- up to 70% off- exclusively online) as I just found out about it and it’s my new obsession. Love your site, love theirs, so thought I would make the intro... Gilt Groupe is an invite only site, so their members are friends who refer friends who friends, but there is no fee associated with joining. You guys can send this link out though www.gilt.com/ggvip which brings you straight to a registration page! They are have some great sales this week (all at 12pm EST)...Tuesday 5.6 Malo and Wednesday 5.7 Natori. Happy Shopping!!
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September 10, 2009, 9:17 am
Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post... nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.
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Hannah Cheesman says:
September 11, 2009, 1:20 pm
Hi, I work on Tyra Banks' publicity team. We would love to have a contact at afrobella.com to whom we can send updates on Tyra's beauty-related projects. Please let me know who the best contact would be. All best, Hannah
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