Is it important for you to see hair that looks like yours on TV, billboards, big movie screens, dolls and beyond that, in corporate meetings? This is an important question to ask, especially on behalf of young girls who may not fully comprehend what they see represented on these various platforms.
Most black women can testify to not seeing hair that looked like theirs anywhere, while growing up. The dolls that they played with had silky blonde hair, the TV stars they looked up to and wanted to be like, had long silky hair, with the rare exception. They were also probably taught that their hair needed to be straightened in order for it to be “neat” for school and even later on in life, for work.
Black women have always been taught their hair is just not good enough, that it’s dirty or wild and unkempt and not beautiful enough. And because it is not good, it is not acceptable, so they have to change it. Therefore leading to the notion of “good hair” and the pursuit of it via hair relaxers and weaves.
Thanks to the “Natural Hair Movement” though, this notion has been somewhat remedied. There are a lot more women adorning their natural hair now and doing natural hairstyles on platforms where it was previously frowned upon or just unseen. And this should not be taken for granted at all. It is definitely progressive!
There is something reassuring about seeing women that look like you with afros and big curls on TV and billboards. There is something assertive about a black business woman in her suit and her TWA. There is validation in seeing braids and dreadlocks at the Royal Wedding. Validation to us from us. It’s like a big nod from women who look like you, that says “It’s okay sis. We’re here. We look like this, and we’re worthy!”
When you especially see this from a very young age it can do a lot for your self-assurance. It can do a lot for your confidence in different spaces. To be able to walk into a room being confident in and accepting of yourself also speaks to the way that you will be able to perform and carry tasks out.
It is important to feel worthy, and that you deserve to be in a space, regardless of what your hair looks like. Hair representation definitely matters.