It's Ridiculous To Say Black Women's Natural Hair Is "Unprofessional"!

News anchor Angela Green recently got a lot of attention because of a video she put up on her Facebook profile.

In the vid, Green gave her personal advice to an intern with gorgeous naturally curly blond hair. Green talked about how the intern was told that her hair was  “unprofessional” and too “distracting”. Obviously these were comments from people who don't understand the science of black hair. Responding to the situation, Angela Green suggested that the intern straighten her naturally curly hair just this once in order to please everyone.

Some naturals ripped into Angela and her advice. Some others said that her advice was practical. They noted that the ability to be mindful of your image is key to your ability to advance in the workforce, especially when black people deal with so much discrimination in the workplace and don't understand their rights in the workplace anyway. Why offer another reason to be judged harshly and unfairly?

Many woman strongly felt that a black woman straightening her hair only to appease others at work was considered “selling out.” Yielding to these workplace microaggressions against how black woman wear our natural hair means discarding a crucial piece of how we were created naturally. I have to agree with this last point of view.

In order to fully understand the scope of the push back against black women wearing their natural hair, we have to think about how American society defines and determines what’s considered “beautiful” and acceptable.

A culture’s standard of beauty can come in many forms, depending on the country you compare yourself to.  In Saudi Arabia, newscasters may wear hijabs, etc. In India, you will find women wearing saris in TV commercials.

In Western culture, the celebrated standard of beauty is typically white women with straight hair. We see this everywhere from fashion show runways to TV commercials to highway billboards, it's always the same look. In American society, the further a woman deviates from this "ideal", the more undesirable you appear in the eyes of those that live by the set agenda.

So this set agenda makes you wonder. How does Western society deal with those that don't bow to its "standard of beauty"? The women that push away from the set status quo? What occurs when society’s perception of beauty is shaken up by a particular hairstyle they have no intentions on embracing?

Black women are, and have always been, the outliers. Traditionally, outliers (i.e people who are outside of society’s normative standard of beauty) are forced to conform to what society deems acceptable or risk being push away. This is what Green was attempting to communicate to the intern. The intern’s hair is a “distraction” simply because it’s outside of society’s traditional standard of beauty. No more, no less.

angela green madison natural hair

The Natural Fact Of The Matter

Her naturally kinky curly hair shouldn’t have been an issue. Professionalism in the workplace should only be referenced when it comes to a person's competence and skill. Had professional appearance been a problem, we’d have to make it fair across the board and put a mandate in place regarding ANY physical appearance be it makeup, hair, etc. How people wear their hair is an art and it’s the only wiggle room women have in the workplace besides makeup.

Of course, there had to be SOME reason the intern was singled out. Obviously most black women's hair doesn’t naturally straighten, it naturally stands up and stands out. Standing out in society, much less the workplace, isn’t always rewarded. Because the intern deviated too far from the classical conception of beauty, she kept being reprimanded, even in the subtlest of ways.

Natural Hair Often Unfairly Aligned With "Threatening" Images

Don't let this though get lost in the mix. Without a doubt there's a deeper, more nuanced reason that American society seems put off by natural black hair. Traditional styles such as afros and locs (some refer to them as "dreadlocks") are often connected to militant black movements. Many women in the Black Power Movement during the 1960s wore afros as a symbol of defiance in the eyes of some, although many would argue it was a symbol of embracing themselves. Mainstream society saw black men and women, who were conscious, armed with guns, and ready to defend themselves and their families, all while wearing these hairstyles. Back then, embracing your natural hair signified rebellion against society and centuries of self-hatred that has been ingrained in African-Americans since the days of slavery. Because of this, society still thinks of our natural hair in terms of being a disruption against the status quo and a hostile force, especially in the work environment. They need to shake that thinking and see people as proud to be themselves and not in need of changing into some watered down version of themselves.

In short, while Angela Green’s advice may have been understandable in the context of being able to advance in a predominantly white work environment, it does much more harm than good. It forces black women to choose complacency in a broken system that continually discriminates against anyone different. It's far better to embrace our our natural selves the way that God made us, our culture and face discrimination head on than continue to yield to unequal and invalidated bias societal beauty standards. Embracing our natural hair means embracing ourselves as beautiful, as worthy, and we need to fight for the right to show our natural selves in the workplace. Of course there are standards set, but my natural hair isn't an "offense". We are beautifully made.

Mom & Daughter Do The "Afro Dance" - TOO CUTE!

afro hair dance natural hair mom and daughter

This is a super cute video of a mom having fun with her daughter and at the same time teaching her to love her natural hair. All to the tune of Afro-Dance by Les Nubians.

I really loved the question that her daughter asked her in the middle of the song, it shows she's being raised right in more ways than one! Check it out!

Video Description from the mom:

Me and my daughter celebrating our Afros! Please Please PLEASE! help our lil girls understand the value of our beauty. Media is heavy against us. FYI you must start with yourself!

Teach Them Young

Help your daughters celebrate their beauty, have fun and help them nourish and protect their hair instead of trying to chemically change it, damage it, and insult it like so many of us had to live through. They'll thank you for it when they grow up with a full head of hair and a soul full of self esteem.

Hilarious Viral Natural Hair Video Creator Speaks

it aint over natural hair song video
Laugh out loud funny! OMG!

Had me laughin' like I was watching Bernie Mac & Cedric The Entertainer!

Myisha Thomas, a proud natural-haired South Carolina woman who made the transition to natural hair a while back has created a HILARIOUS viral Facebook video, popularity has exploded with over half a million views in a matter of a couple days (at the time this writing).

In the video, Myisha Thomas uses her beautiful voice to sing her comedic lyrics about her struggle from relaxed hair to natural curly hair. " For all the transitioners," she wrote. "#ItAintOver #BeEncouraged."

We tracked the new natural hair sensation down and we were excited to ask the talented natural a few questions about her motivation for the vid! We'd actually posted her video this morning in the OMG Black Hair Conversation FB Group and the group members went crazy over it! We were  very happy to get a chance to interview her, so take a look at the question and answer she gave to BlackHairOMG and check out the video below if you haven't seen it or want to laugh AGAIN!

BlackHairOMG Q & A With Myisha "It Aint Over" Thomas

Q: Black Hair OMG -  Myisha, your viral video was one of the first things we posted in our OMG Black Hair Conversation group the morning after you posted it, it's a HUGE hit with naturals. How did you come up with the idea to do your song parody?
A: Myisha Thomas - I was thinking about a conversation I had with one of my cousins this weekend about her transitioning process and when I heard the Maurette Brown-Clark song, it just came to me.
Q: Black Hair OMG - You have an amazing voice and that made the video so much more  impressive. Tell us about your singing history...

A: Myisha Thomas - Well I've been singing in church since I was about 5 years old,  but I've never had any formal training.

Q: Black Hair OMG - Besides your beautiful voice, you have everybody DYING laughing with your sense of humor. Who are your comedic influences (famous or non-famous)?

A: Myisha Thomas - Katt Williams is definitely my favorite comedian of all time, Kevin Hart is another big influence, but honestly, the funniest people I know are my mother and father. Seriously, those old people have jokes for DAYS! Lol

Q: Black Hair OMG - How long have you been natural and for how long?

 A: Myisha Thomas - I transitioned for 8 months and finally gave in and did the big chop in May 2015.

Q: Black Hair OMG - Was there any underlying message you were sending to the natural
community or were you just having some fun?

A: Myisha Thomas - I just wanted to encourage girls like me who are transitioning and may feel like giving up, to keep going. The message is patience, love, and perseverance!

Wrapping It Up

Well, the Black Hair OMG family are huge fans of yours. Please let us know if you have any more videos you'd like the fam to see in the future, we'd love to premiere them! We love the positivity and fun you bring to the movement.

For anyone unfortunate enough to have missed out on this video, see it below. Myisha has created an instant classic.




"Weave Loan Store" Commercial Makes Me Want To Puke!

Are we being serious right now? I saw a commercial today for a weave loan store. The commercial was so patronizing and so ridiculous that I honestly thought it was made as some joke video made by some racist or mean-spirited "gender war" participants. But nope, it is a very real business.

Although the idea of a weave loan shop in itself is a bit weird, I wouldn't have had such a huge problem with it IF THE COMMERCIAL WEREN'T AN ABSOLUTE DISASTER. Hey, if someone thinks there is a need in the market for a weave loan shop...... Whatever (I guess), do your thing.

But I honestly would like to interview the weave loan shop owner that thought a commercial of a ghetto-grammared, weave slanglin' black woman with blonde hair and green eyes was a good idea.

That's how you want to represent your business? As a ghetto mess? Is that how you want your customers to be seen? You might want to change your advertising angle. All attention is not GOOD attention.

Look, some women wear weave. No big deal.

But who in their right mind would walk into this "place of business" after the buffoonery they make out of themselves and their customers?
weave loan store

Detailing The Foolishness In This Weave Loan Shop Commercial

I literally had to go to Google and put in... "Is the weave loan store commercial for real?". And unfortunately, I found out that, yes, it is very real. They even had a television news feature about them. This ridiculous weave shop commercial (which I have for you below), starts off with a black woman stomping her feet and crying because she can't afford to buy a good weave.

REAAAALLY?

Then, the "spokeswoman" speaks in her best "stereotypical black girl voice", saying things like "Don't worry girl... get a weave loan and GET YOU SOME HAIR."

ARE WE BEING REAL RIGHT NOW???

Then, check this out. Instead of using the word "we've" they replace it with "weave".

For example they write about getting a weave loan and say "WEAVE made it as easy as 1,2,3!" and talking about the need to become beautiful, they write "WEAVE got you covered!".

How clever.....(Blank stare.)

But over everything else, I think the most offensive part of their poorly thought-out, unprofessional, stereotypical, piece-o-crap commercial, was that they inferred that you aren't beautiful until you can get weave in your head. One of their tag-lines is "Now you can afford to be beautiful!".

Maaaaaaaan, I wish I was lying about this. I still can hardly believe this is a real business, but they clearly have a real website, a real phone number and a real physical address on 8 Mile in Detroit, MI. (Nice job shaming my hometown...)

Anyway, I have the commercial from Youtube below, please share this article & leave your comments below, tell me what you think about these "business owners" and what you think of this weave loan store commercial.
 

Curly Kids Coloring Book - Natural Hair Styles For Kids

Curl Centric has created a new natural hair styles for kids coloring book to give children a positive portrayal of curly-haired people, so they don’t feel isolated by one of their defining features.

Unfortunately, kinky curly hair is often considered a nuisance for those who have it, but its true potential is far more varied than straight hair can be. Unfortunately for curly-haired children, their minority status can see them subject to bullying and derision. As such, it is important that this is counterbalanced with positive messages.

Because the media can't be counted on to portray curly hair in a positive light, people have been left looking for alternatives, and Curl Centric has provided one. They have just published a new Natural Hair Coloring Book for children with curly hair.

The Curly Kids Coloring Book is a new product, and was created because Curl Centric understands the importance of representation. It is important for little girls with textured hair to see images that look like them. The coloring book features more than thirty different images, including action shots, mermaids, princesses and ballerinas with natural hair.

The girls in the coloring books have also arranged their hair in a variety of styles that range from cornrow braids, puffs, two strand twists, bantu knots, wash and gos, locs and many more, to show girls with curly hair the amazing potential their hair has to be defined and redefined.

A spokesperson for Curl Centric explained, “Those with naturally curly hair in the media tend to straighten it, leaving little girls without role models. The coloring book is designed to fill that void and offset the lack of representation. This is just the beginning however, and showing girls it’s possibly to have a curly-haired princess or action hero will open them up to a world of possibilities for their own hair, many of which can be found on our website. The book is available now at Amazon for $5.99.


Lee's Article Highlights:

  • I wholeheartedly agree with what Curl Centric is doing, they realize that little girls need to see themselves and associate representations of themselves as something pleasant and positive. Natural hair styles for kids is something to be proud of and they need to know that as they grow up. I look forward to seeing more and more products like this in the future, they are long overdue.
  • If you think that products like this are important, you need to show your support and let others know about it too. Many positive products die on the shelf because they don't get the same level of attention as less-valuable products that get promoted.
  • The Curly Kids Coloring Book contains more than 30 coloring pages for little girls. The coloring book features a wide variety of natural hair styles for kids, the little girls are wearing natural hair buns, puffs, braids, afros (or low styles), updos, twist-outs, and bantu-knots. Get the colored pencils, crayons, water colors and makers ready. The coloring book is recommended for children age 1 year and older.

(Buy The Coloring Book Here...)

Is The Fashion World Warming Up To Natural Hair?

Some of the most-talked-about beauty moments of the season have come via black models whose natural hair has taken center stage.

Dominican newcomer Lineisy Montero stole the show at Prada with her short Afro adorned with a bejeweled barrette, and at Balenciaga, Nykhor Paul, Ajak Deng, Grace Bol, and Mari Agory all wore close-cropped natural hair with Alexander Wang’s demure collection.

Montero brought the style to Céline’s Paris catwalk, where she was joined by fellow model Karly Loyce, who sported a beautiful, larger-than-life ’fro.

natural hair


Lee's Article Highlights:

  • In this article, fashion model Lineisy Montero says that the head of her modeling agency actually ENCOURAGED her to go with a natural TWA (teeny weeny afro) for her fashion show, for me this really shows the change in image the natural look is getting.
  •  

  • Social activist Bethann Hardison says that the wearing of weaves and extensions wasn't about trying to be white, but instead it was the model's way of staying in the game and getting jobs. It was a matter of supplying what was demanded, but things are changing.
  •  

  • Montero says that after she went with the natural hair look she got even more jobs and achieved a higher status in the modeling industry within her country.

(Go to full article)

Black Girls Rock! Give Us Your BGR 2015 Review!

Black Girls Rock had Twitter on FIRE!!! Everybody was talking about the great performances, Will Smith's loving speech towards his beautiful wife of nearly 20 years, Jada Pinkett-Smith.

The ladies were loving how Fantasia was tearing the house down with her powerful voice and Michelle Obama repeating for a second and for emphasis, that "Black Girls Rock!".

I couldn't even keep up with all of the reaction and feedback on twitter. They are talking about it on the new Natural Hair Facebook Group, you basically can't go anywhere without hearing about the Black Girls Rock award show gala.

Black Hair OMG was on top of it all, and we expect a lot of reviews to be coming out all this week from just about everybody with a voice.

But we want to hear what you had to say? Specifically, what was your favorite moment of the night?

What do you think about the controversy and backlash over the event? Do you think an event like this is needed?

Here is an interview with the creator of the Black Girls Rock Even, CEO Beverly Bond and two young women she's mentoring, Sage Adams and Kathie Duperval. They join Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC to talk about the Black Girls Rock awards show on BET and why affirmation and representation are so crucial for black girls and women.

The interview above touched on some important points. It's good to hear affirmation of your worth when you have been neglected and disregarded for so long. The ladies are not trying to slight anyone else, they just feel it's important to encourage those who have been lacking it for so long as a group.

If you haven't seen the Official BGR Pledge, check it out below....

black-girls-rock

Ok, so again... What was your favorite moment of the night?

What do you think about the controversy and backlash over the event? Do you think the Black Girls Rock event is needed? Comment below right now.

The Natural Hair Movement Goes To Facebook!

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: The Natural Hair Movement is on the move...

BlackHairOMG is taking Facebook by storm! If you don't know about this website, you're one of the few. It's one of the ABSOLUTE HUGEST social websites in the world but it has been notoriously lacking a big natural hair presence...

Until we came along.
natural_hair_forum

With almost a billion visitors per year (yes, billion with a B) it had to happen. So we were able to get our own little Facebook group home for naturals a couple of days ago  and now we are inviting everyone over to the house, click here to visit the new natural hair care Facebook.

I suggest that you get in and just start posting links to your favorite natural hair stories and commenting right now, you'll figure it out as you go. (It's kinda like jumping rope, it takes a couple of tries to figure it out but it's super-fun once you get the hang of it.)

Do you often share natural hair articles, black hairstyle pictures, and your opinions with your friends online? Facebook is a place where your friends can vote your posts up(or down), and when you get a lot of up votes your questions, pictures, thoughts and articles get TONS OF ATTENTION and stay on top of the other posts. .

If you often share your thoughts on natural hair, this is the perfect place to share your favorite websites, videos, photos, questions and personal opinions.

If the stuff you post is good, you'll be rewarded with lots of upvotes, attention and conversation.

We literally JUST started our very own Facebook group yesterday, so you are the first to know about. A year from now, you'll be one of the "Ol' Gs", one of the Originals that sparked the hugest natural hair Facebook group on the planet. Start posting right now.

When this Facebook group hub has tons of article links, comments and photos, it will play a major part in bringing the natural hair movement to the forefront. Join today or at least bookmark this page...

The natural hair movement is now on Facebook! Join us!

Experts of Natural Black Hairstyles Reveal 3 Favorite Moisturizers

Natural black hairstyles are taking over and as more products come out you probably want to use the absolute best. Right?

Good, we've got tips from 50+ expert naturalistas about the best natural hair products on Earth. Some products that you've heard about, others that you will be discovering today.

BlackHairOMG is bringing you a never-been-done-before expert panel interview with some of the most widely-known and successful natural hairstyles experts on Earth.

We heard your concerns after we made the top 50 best-selling hair products for black hairstyles article. You wanted to know about the specific products your favorite natural women had on their cupboards. Well, we are going to give you what you asked for, I guaran-darn-tee you that, we got the best of the best for you.

natural hairstyles
We have natural CEOs, popular black hair bloggers, film producers, published authors, star YouTube vloggers and even a couple of scientists! They’re all naturalistas, and all are spilling the beans on the products they use that have helped their natural black hairstyles become inspiration for thousands and thousands of women across the globe(literally)!

Many of these 50 natural hair gurus have been featured in Essence, Ebony, The New York Times, Elle Magazine, Marie Claire, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, BlackEnterprise.com, Dr.Oz and on The Today Show.

I asked these 50 celebrated naturals an interesting question:

“If you could only use 3 moisturizing hair care products FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, what would they be?”

The question was designed to cut through the fluff and extra stuff and get straight to the best natural hair products. Period.

Click Here for the full article and answers from 50+ Experts of Natural Black Hairstyles

Our experts include....

Abiola Abrams, Afrobella, Aisha M., Alexandria Williams, Alma Ruddock (BlackHairInformation.com),

AlleySinai, Amber McKinnon, Antonia Opiah, Ariane Williams, AsToldByAllie, Atilola Moronfolu,

Audrey Sivasothy, Cassidy Blackwell, Chimere Norris, Chris-Tia Donaldson(TGIN), Christene Carr,

Christina Patrice, Courtney P., Crystal Michelle, Del Sandeen, DeLaurian Burton, Felicia Walker Benson,

GlamTwinz334, I Am Posh Syd, Imani A.Dawson, Janna Peterson-Waddell, Jenell B Stewart, MS ED,

Jenni J., Jessica Gray, Jocelyn Reneé, Jolie Luvlee, Karen Tappin, Kcurly, Krystle Sims, Lisa Irby, Louisa Kiwana,

Lucindy Lumu, Miko Branch, Miss LaLa, MsJGray, MsVaughnTV, Nicia Alston, NikkiMae2003, RazorEmpress,

Renee Morris, Sista WithRealHair, Tarin Boone, Taylor Bryant, The SistahChick, Vashti Patrick-Joseph,

Victoria Olubi and Who Is Sugar

They went ALL OUT to give you tips for your natural black hairstyles....

Click here to read the full interview from our natural hairstyles experts!

Natural Hair Is Going Mainstream - Why Isn't It Going Hollywood?

More and more black women are shunning wigs, chemical straighteners and flat irons in favor of wearing and celebrating the hair they were born with—but you wouldn't know it from the hairstyles shown on television.

In primetime, nearly every black female character—from Kerry Washington's high-powered handler on "Scandal" to Taraji P. Henson's Cookie Lyon on Lee Daniel's new series "Empire," plus Nicole Beharie ("Sleepy Hollow"), Gabrielle Union ("Being Mary Jane") and Alfre Woodward (playing the president in "State of Affairs") —wears a wig or weave. hollywood natural black hair

It is also nearly impossible to find real hair on reality television.

 


Lee's Article Highlights:

    • The natural hair movement movement is so big that major corporations are taking notice, businesses like Target, which has shelves dedicated to natural hair products for black women.

 

  • Fewer of today's shows are truly for us, by us, with black writers and producers and creators

 

 

  • According to image activist, Michaela Angela Davis, many actresses still think that natural hair means they're making a statement or that they need to be playing a character who is political or some kind of bad girl. Most actresses want to appear neutral so that Hollywood sees them as a candidate for any role.

 

(Go to full article)

Natural Hair Movement Hits The Neglectful Hair Care Industry In The Pockets

CEO Jane Carter says she has seen “definite” changes in the hair industry as black women chose to spend money on nurturing their hair rather than disguising it.

Women no longer must bow down to straight hair and the perfection demanded of them in glossy magazines and celebrity culture and are making a statement, she says.

Women that really take a stance like this—whether it is political, or to say “‘I love myself,’—are making the same statement as those who moved forward in the civil rights movement.”teamnatural

She says that only in the last six years has she seen young women decline to relax their hair, making it smoother and silkier.


Lee's Article Highlights:

  • It really is impressive to see the amount of support naturals have given each other through social media channels. Naturals have truly created a self-supporting and empowering beauty movement that is now starting to effect the big hair care companies in the pocket because of the years of neglect.
  •  This one isn't exactly an article highlight, just my thoughts, I'm so proud to be a #teamnatural and #naturalhairmovement supporter. It really is one of the most exciting shifts in the psyche of black women that I've seen in my lifetime, the effects are nothing but positive. As your biggest male cheerleader, I must say, I'm proud of you!
  •  The best selling hair products for naturals are not being bought from the giants who ignored black women for decades.Now that they are losing money because of the movement, I can only think that we'll soon see these same companies who've never put natural hair on display or even tried to make products for kinky textured hair jump on the band wagon in the next couple years. My question is, should you support them when this happens? (Leave a comment below...)

 

(Go to full article)

Fired Weather Woman Rhonda Lee Has New Job & No Regrets After Defending Her Natural Hair

Rhonda Lee had long been told that she needed to make her natural hair "more pleasing to a wider audience," she told HuffPost Live on Thursday, but she never expected her hair style to actually compromise her job.

Lee, an African American woman who currently works as a meteorologist for WeatherNation TV, recalled how comments she made in response to Internet vitriol targeting her hair ultimately led to her being fired by her former network.rhonda lee natural hair


Lee's Article Highlights:

  • Rhonda says it's a blessing and a curse that people can say exactly what they think about you at any given time on social media.
  • It's amazing to think people consider statements about your own hair "controversial", as Rhonda said, she didn't consider her hair to be controversial but something that grows out of her head.
  • Rhonda Lee was told on her job interview at KTBS 3 News, an ABC affiliate in Shreveport, Louisiana, that it was seen as "the white station" in town, later she was told she might want to change her hair to appeal to a "wider" audience.

(Go to full article)

Porsha Williams' Natural Hair Is BOMB - and Hidden

Hairstylist Kellon Deryck shared the same photo and added, "@porsha4real got hella hair but it's time to put that #flawlessillusion back in"

So what exactly is Williams using to get her hair so grand? What do you know, she has her own hair extensions line. Her high-fashion hair line is described as "premium quality virgin human hair extensions," the products promise to give any women that Real Housewives style.

 


Natural For a few Seconds Porsha Williams Shows Off Her Real
Lee's Article Highlights:

  • I'm loving that Porsha's natural hair is looking so beautiful, Natural For a few Seconds Porsha Williams Shows Off Her RealI'm hating that she only shows it as a teaser to the next weave. I agree with Porsha's stylist, the constant weave is an illusion, I'd disagree that it's flawless though. The flaw is acting like your own hair isn't acceptable and not good enough to be seen in public.
  • Porsha looked naturally beautiful in her shortly-lived natural hair moment. Genuinely beautiful, but.... She feels the need to... Ahhh forget it. Do what you wanna do Porsha.
  • Porsha Williams is definitely a weave queen, it'll be interesting to see if that changes one day. Sometimes I have to wave the white flag and hope for the best, this is one those moments.

 

(Go to full article)

Abena Appiah Taking Natural Black Hair To The Miss Universe Stage!

By and large, people assume that a Black woman wearing her natural hair is making some sort of political statement, which is why I predict that depending on how far she advances in the competition, Abena Appiah’s coiffure will illicit no small buzz once the event is televised.

We shall see!

 


Editor’s Note: Abena Appiah's natural hairFrom www.mindofmalaka.com -When the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant comes around in a couple of weeks(Jan 25, Sunday), we will see something that has never been seen before in a beauty contest of this magnitude.

The beautiful Abena Appiah will be the first Ghanaian woman to compete while wearing her hair naturally.

In the past, it was the norm forn black beauty contestants to rock straight hair in order to fit in, well Abena will stand out from the crowd. There's no doubt that Abena Appiah’s hair will be a central focus of attention and that's a good thing.

Why? Because she's showing women with her hair that they are also "universally" beautiful as their natural selves. I'll be tuned in. Here are our article highlights:

  • The standard of beauty in Western culture is overwhelmingly Eurocentric, which makes her decision very notable.
  • We are approaching a point where natural hair is becoming more mainstream than ever.
  • Although it's important, Abena Appiah is more than just her hair, she's an excelling and intelligent academic student, as well as talented musician.

(Go to full article)

Black Hair & The Twisted Politics Behind It - Video

This was a truly profound and REAL conversation about the way Western and American culture views and treats beauty that sits outside of it's typical standards.

Actress Nicole Ari Parker of Broadway's Streetcar Named Desire, University of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler, cultural critic Joan Morgan, and CurlyNikki.com founder Nikki Walton, sit down with Melissa Harris-Perry to talk about the political messages behind black hair and hairstyles.

 


Editor’s Note: This set of videos is a classic throwback journalistic piece, in case you haven't seen it they talk about how more women have turned towards going natural since 2007 and are changing the economy of black hair.

The ladies really lay it out on the line in this heartfelt conversation, they speak very honestlpolitics of black hairy about their feelings, how having children changed their perspective on their own hair and how America's view on black hair impacts the psyche of black women in their own self-perception.

They talk about the importance of telling little black girls how beautiful their hair is when doing their hair instead of saying derogatory remarks, like "you look a mess", "you ain't going outside looking like that" and "let's work on that kitchen". Here are our video highlights:

  • It's amazing that it's considered "revolutionary" to wear your hair the way it grows out of your head.
  • They talk about worrying about if black men will find them attractive, will employers want to hire them.
  • Black women have literally been dying of poor health because they don't want to workout and mess up their hair.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The "Touching Black Women's Hair" Phenomenon - Mini-Documentary

A little over a year ago, a group of black women caused quite a stir when they stood in New York City’s Union Square with signs that said, “You can touch my hair.”

Billed as an “interactive public art exhibit,” their event allowed anyone to “explore the tactile fascination with black hair by” touching real-life black hair on real-life black women.


Editor’s Note:
Many black people were outraged at this display, but many were encouraged and uplifted.

Some thought the women subjected themselves to being treated like animals at a petting zoo. Some thought the women were opening lines of communication with people who may not understand ethic differences but aren't bad people because of that.

Look.... We're all human and want to be treated with equal respect. However, I think the main thing here is these beautiful black women are opening themselves up to the world in order to give insight to people who are curious, as well as shed some light on how women in general feel about their hair. As one womantouching natural hair in the video said, some women are more closed off, some are very open, and some feel their hair is an extension of their spirituality or their very being, so that is why it is so closely guarded. I think it's interesting that these women are willing to give this experience to people with absolutely none of black hair. Overall, I feel that without curiosity you can never learn or grow.

But yes, there is a definite line that shouldn't be crossed. Never force your curiosity on someone, especially if you don't know them. I think one of the women in the video was correct in saying that people should make friends first or at least be in a close enough relationship/acquaintance to warrant asking about personal hygiene. Giving compliments, admiring, asking how they get their hair so shiny, those things shouldn't be so taboo though.

At the end of the day, these videos are a nice gateway to not feel so shy or like it's taboo to talk or ask questions about things that we as humans have to deal with on a day-to-day basis like hair care, skin care, fashion, lifestyle etc. Just don't go touching people all random schmandom, you might get hurt that way. Here are our video highlights:

  • Black women feel persecuted for their hair and for good reason.
  • Some people are "honestly ignorant" and those are the people tht can be helped understand the differences in human beings.
  • Hair is an emotional topic of conversation for many women.

Tracee Ellis Ross Proud To See Black Hair On TV

I think what is important about Viola Davis taking her wig off on How to Get Away With Murder is that it illustrates that there is a mask that women are thought to have to wear. For black women, it can be a more complex mask. Our culture has created a very limited view of what beauty is and can be.


Editor’s Note:going natural kinky hairstlyes I've always loved Tracee Ellis Ross and her hair. Being a Detroit boy myself I have a special place in my heart for Motown's own Diana Ross and her daughter. I have to agree with Tracee that it's so good to see natural black hair on TV. Little girls of all races need to see that in mainstream media and know that it's something beautiful. Here are our article highlights:

  • It is important that black girls and women see beautiful images of themselves in the media.
  • Tracee Ellis Ross says she's done playing society's game in order to be considered beautiful.
  • A Black woman’s beauty is far from the European standards of beauty this country follows.

(Go to full article)

Women's Natural Black Hair 10-Min Mini-Documentary

10-minute mini documentary that discusses the historical context of African-American women that are on television and natural hair. The doc highlights Oprah Winfrey, Melissa Harris-Perry, Rochelle Ritchie, and Rhonda Lee.


Editor’s Note:beautiful dark skinned black woman This was a nice and quick 10-minute documentary with a panel of four professional black women talking about the pressures of needing to constantly worry about how they and their hair are seen in the eyes of Western society.

The panel discusses experiences of prominent black women in the media and Professor Yanela Gordon raises an interesting point when she says that in the United States black women and black hair has been portrayed as the opposite of beauty and that tactic was used in order to create and develop an inferiority complex which was required to enable slavery to work in the first place. Finally, there was a point that I couldn't agree with more, and that was that little black girls need to see black women BE black women in order to feel pride in themselves. Here are our article highlights:

  • The panel of black women talk about how they have tried to fit in with the majority "white" look when interviewing for jobs.
  • A lot of times women don't want to associate with their natural selves because they don't know the history behind it and that it's something to be proud of.
  • According to Melissa Harris-Perry, dreadlocks are "locs" not "dreads" and not something to be dreaded.
  • The panel of women thinks that more and more young girls will embrace their natural hair in the future.

Natural Black Hair On The Big Screen In 2014

The film (Dear White People) is partly about the black characters coming to terms with the white characters, and partly about the black characters coming to terms with each other—with the many different possible ways to identify as black.

The characters’ hair becomes a stand-in for their relationship to their identity. As the story unfolds, each character chooses to transform their hair in some way—except for Troy, who tellingly chooses to not change his hair at all. The superficiality of appearance is directly connected to our deepest notions of identity. Olivia Pope from “Scandal” has walked in and out of the White House for every episode of the show without ever revealing to its interior what her hair really looks like.


Editor’s Note: Sonia Saraiya does a good job of highlighting the big year that natural black hair had on television and films in 2014 in this year end review, I'd actual never even heard of "Dear White People" before reading this article, but I'd like to give it a look now and I think I will. It's good to see more of natural black hair on display, I look forward to the time when it won't be so rare that it needs its own article. More than that, I look forward to it being shown in a good light more consistently and presented as beautiful because it is. Here are my article highlights:

  • Without a doubt, the defining moment for natural hair this year was Viola Davis’ character Annalise Keating taking off her wig in “How To Get Away With Murder.”
  • If there's one way 2014 introduced texture and variety to the cultural landscape, it's in the realm of hair.
  • Olivia Pope from "Scandal" finally showed off her natural hair in the fourth-season premiere.

(Go to full article)

Black Hair On The New Orphan Annie - Literally A New Twist

Article Snippet: "Her hair is just wild," Rooks notes. In this version, Annie is played by the African-American actress Quvenzhané Wallis, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild. And Rooks says Wallis' hair, as Annie, continues to stand out.


Editor's Note: A very uplifting article talking about the new "Annie" movie coming out and the new dynamic of having black hair as a central part in the promotion of the movie. I am just now hearing about this movie, I've been out of the loop but I'd like to see it now. My boy Jamie Foxx is in it too. Here are my favorite quotes from the article:

  • "The 'fro is too political or too threatening or too black or something?"
  • "what we hear is that white mothers do not know what to do with black children's hair."
  • "It's difficult for us to find cultural productions that are about the love and care of little black children, I give them two thumbs up for that."

( Read full article )