September 27, 2019

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Start from the Root: Unlearning Western stigmas on black hair

September 18, 2019

 

Unlearning Western stigma on Black hair is the catalyst and root to cultural and self appreciation. With the platform of social media we are constantly creating content or capturing footage passionately reminding those outside of the African diaspora the old and necessary tale of redefined beauty standards and cultural appropriation as they colonise our box braids, cornrows and bantu knots and call it high fashion.

 

Regardless of non-melanated cultures gaining capital on our identities, let's be real, only children of the diaspora understand the feeling of having a hot comb pressing out our kinky curls with built up anticipation for the possibility of it grazing against our earlobe as the smell of hot grease permeates through our mother's kitchen; just to walk outside and get caught in an unexpected rainstorm or heatwave that coils us right back to where we started.

 

Whether we are addicted to perms and texturisers or if we embrace our natural curls, we are the beauty standard. There is no such thing as "bad hair". Unhealthy hair is more accurate than our own follicles being considered, "bad". Today's generation celebrates Black hair in all forms. Unlearning the false narratives of Western beauty standards is becoming more normalised as we continue to unpack ourselves. Western ideals have, in the past, led us to believe that our coils were dreadful, therefore, coming to love the variety of our curl patterns and hair texture is a celebration that is tightly knitted into our cultural DNA. This is a journey we get to navigate as we learn to tell our own stories entangled in our lustrous hair.

 

Love, MPL

 

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