Seeing You: Black Girls Across The Country Embrace The Natural Hair Movement
They are questions thousands of women ask of themselves day by day.
“Am I too skinny ”
“Am I overweight ”
“Do folks suppose I’m enticing ”
They’re questions that replicate the pressures women and ladies face on the subject of body and self image.
For girls of shade, significantly African American ladies, there is one thing else creating extra anxiety — hair.
“I remember, my earliest reminiscences of my hair,” says Marley Ariyahu, a natural hair stylist and founder of Natural Hair GR. “My mother worked at GM and she was busy every morning and didn’t all the time have the time to fashion my hair. So, I would go to school and my hair wouldn’t be the perfect, as far as styling.
“I remember being teased for not having the cute hairstyle or the long hair, or the silky black hair other classmates of mine had.”
Theresa Mosley, a successful entrepreneur and the CEO of the Mosley School of Cosmetology shared the same experience during a roundtable they participated in with WZZM 13 Information.
►Related: Doorways open to solely Black-owned cosmetology college in Grand Rapids
Watch the video beneath to see the complete discussion with six West Michigan women and how they embrace their pure hair.
“My mother put a relaxer in my hair when i used to be seven. If you happen to wore your natural hair, you would get shamed. Hair when I used to be in school was such a big thing,” recalled Mosley. “I remember not having cute enough hair and getting talked about. They might dog you out an just harm your feelings to the core. Hair is so essential to me immediately because of these experiences.”
And, for most people “good hair” meant straight hair. That pressure to be straight extends beyond childhood years and is commonly a prevalent subject within the workplace.
Lower than 50 years in the past, Melba Tolliver, the primary African American to anchor a network information long straight black wig with bangs program, was fired from WABC for carrying her brief afro while masking the White House marriage ceremony of President Richard Nixon’s daughter.
Black women, for many years, have felt the pressure to conform to conventional requirements of magnificence or suffer the consequences.
“I had twists and braids and after hearing about girls at work being criticized for his or her hair or younger girls at school being criticized for braids, I used to be involved coming into work that will occur to me,” said Rhonda Spencer, a information producer at WZZM. “In reality, I was ready to defend my hair. The second I got here in with those twists.”
►Related: Hair care professionals share tricks to care for pure hair
“I can recall a number of of my mates, as we’re going by this journey of getting our degrees, and entering the professional world. We would have interviews, and had been like ‘okay ought to we put on a bun for the interview And, after the interview, we will put on our twist outs after which we can wear our hair out,” said Alisha Lauchie, a behavioral well being therapist. “After i bought into the professional world, all of a sudden, I bought so aware about what my hair appeared like. I felt so self-conscious about my appearance. Do I look professional Do I look too ethnic That is a real dialog I had Do I stand out too much “
For generations images on television, magazines and in the movies have bolstered the notion that Black girls ought to straighten their hair, both with chemical relaxers or with heat.
“There may be a regular, I believe when you go to certain professional requirements that you need to put on your hair, or you might be expected to put on your hair a sure approach,” said Cindy Glasper, a pure hair stylist, who has been pure for most of her adult life.
But, instances are changing. And, this time Hollywood isn’t setting the usual but embracing those which are. From scenes from the ABC drama The best way to Get Away With Homicide to Marvel’s Black Panther, where no wigs, weaves, blow-outs or press and curls were on set, pure hair is being celebrated in a approach that is empowering generations of Black girls.
“For a lot of people that embrace that naturalness, it elevates that self love that you have,” mentioned Kayon Tompkins a natural stylist and proprietor of owner of “Nourish Your Curls.”
“I think that hair is so closely tied to identity and, although there are people who say, ‘oh it just hair’, that isn’t true. It’s such a giant part of who you’re,” says Lauchie. “I think that’s why it affects us a lot when someone says your hair is not this, your hair isn’t that. In essence you’re rejecting who I am.
“If you embrace your natural hair, you do have more confidence as a result of you are embracing your self. I think it’s a chance for empowerment and for self love.”
Somewhat paradoxically, the women acknowledge the power of hair whereas at the same time calling it an accessory.
“I really feel like its actually essential for us to mannequin to our younger ladies that that is how god made our hair and now we have so many options. We are able to wear it curly, kinky straight, even stress-free and colors,” stated Glasper. “I would not knock someone for having a relaxer if that’s how they prefer to put on it due to their lifestyle. Natural hair could be loads of work.”
Latricia Trice, a West Michigan marketing & communications skilled agrees.
“Put on what makes you’re feeling good and what goes to make you are feeling confident once you walk into a room. Don’t be held to other individuals’s standards of beauty. Own your individual normal of beauty and be confident in it and rock that,” she said.
That’s the message they hope to pass all the way down to young ladies as the world begins to embrace and accept natural hair.
“I pray that at some point natural hair is so normalized to the point that nobody looks at it twice. Normalizing natural hair to the purpose the place its no longer looked at as one thing that’s unacceptable,” mentioned Mosley.
“To see my daughters being able to stroll around with their pure hair, regardless of how poofy it looks and they are joyful. They feel like they’re looking good and i can see their confidence. It makes me feel good, like man, we can love ourselves at present.”
WZZM has partnered with Grand Rapids Christian Radio station WCSG as part of the Seeing You project. There can be a physique image panel discussion this Thursday at the Pinnacle Heart in Hudsonville, featuring Women’s health writer and physique image skilled, Leslie Goldman.
Anybody in attendance is invited to ask questions of the panel.
Seeing You will assist being a crucial conversation about the significant issues surrounding body image with our children, family and buddies. For extra data on tips on how to get tickets, click on here.
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