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Embracing Your Hair Texture: Liberate Your Hair from Eurocentric Beauty Standards

Image by Gideon Hezekiah_Unsplash

In a world where Eurocentric beauty standards have long dominated the conversation around hair, it's time to break free from the narrow definitions of what is considered "beautiful." Embracing your natural hair texture is not only a personal journey of self-acceptance, but it's also a powerful statement against societal norms that perpetuate unrealistic ideals. Let's explore the transformative journey of accepting and celebrating your unique hair texture and why it's a step towards inclusivity, diversity, and true empowerment.

Eurocentric beauty standards have historically favoured straight or loosely wavy hair textures, often relegating other textures to the margins. This limited perspective has resulted in many individuals feeling pressured to conform and alter their natural hair to fit an unrealistic mould. It's important to recognise that beauty is not confined to a single standard and that diversity should be celebrated. But moreover, the effect of living in a world that has used one measuring stick for beauty for decades means many of us have internalised eurocentric beauty standards and believe they are just our preferences.

“Preference” refers to a person's liking or inclination towards something or someone. Personal experiences, cultural background, and exposure to various stimuli are just a few of the variables that can influence it. Propaganda, which is the deliberate spread of information or ideas to manipulate people's beliefs or actions, can also shape people's preferences. Edward Bernays, a pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda, argued that propaganda could bypass the conscious and rational faculties of individuals, targeting instead suppressed emotions and hidden desires to move people to adopt beliefs and behaviours without them being aware of the underlying motivations leading them on.

What does this have to do with your hair? Everything. Our perceptions of beauty and preference are subject to what we are groomed to believe is favourable, which is why so many black women love natural hair, just on other people.

Embracing Your Natural Hair Texture

The journey towards embracing your natural hair texture is about self-acceptance and learning to appreciate the unique beauty that lies within you. It involves letting go of societal expectations and embracing the natural state of your hair and how you look in it. Feeling beautiful in your hair’s natural state is a big feat because it requires you to see beauty where you were taught there was none - beauty in the curls, in the coils and in the kinks.

One of the biggest challenges to accepting your natural hair texture is overcoming the stereotypes associated with different textures. This is where intentional action is required. You need to intentionally educate yourself about the diversity of hair textures and challenge any misconceptions you may hold. Understanding ‘why’ something exists doesn’t automatically cure your bias, but it does give you enough room to work on any shame the bias creates within you.

Once you've made the decision to embrace your natural hair texture, it's important to develop a hair care routine that caters to its specific needs. High-quality hair products designed for your texture can help nourish and enhance your hair's natural beauty. MPL offers a range of products formulated to cater to diverse hair textures, providing effective care and styling options. Remembering that the goal is acceptance not assimilation, is vital to building a healthy attitude towards your hair.

An affirmation

I am allowing my hair to grow as it naturally does, exist as it is, and bloom like it will.

Redefining Beauty Standards

By embracing your natural hair texture, you are not only redefining beauty standards for yourself but also contributing to a larger movement of inclusivity. And it’s easy to undervalue your contribution under the gauze of it being too small or undetectable, but what does Marrienne Williamson say again? As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

It took hundreds of years for the West to assert itself as our beauty North Star, and we know that unlearning something is harder than learning it, so the journey to acceptance will not be concluded over a few nights, and because it is a long voyage, you need community to make it past the quick water. Surrounding yourself with voices who echo your desired sentiments on African beauty is going to help reconfigure your ‘preferences’. Having a visual representation of African beauty and celebrating it out loud need to be daily rituals. The road to purposeful transformation is not unconscious, so you must be deliberate.

Accepting and embracing your natural hair texture is a transformative journey that goes beyond aesthetics. It is an act of reclaiming your identity, challenging societal norms, and promoting inclusivity. Choose brands that support this line of thought, like MPL. Give yourself time to change and grow, but most importantly, recognise your unique beauty. You have the power to redefine beauty standards and inspire others to do the same. Embrace your hair texture, embrace yourself, and let your authenticity shine through.

Love MPL 🧡.

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