In the Eye of the Beholder: Natural Hair in the Mainstream

Amazingly, the mainstream beauty publications still does not embrace the natural hair community. Endless magazines including hair magazines for African-American women still promote European images even though there is a large population of black women who have transitioned to natural hair styles. They feature only a small section on natural hair styles or articles about maintaining natural hair.

Although there are more images of naturals in TV commercials, the overall beauty industry still has not accepted or come to terms that African Americans welcomes their beauty when society does not. Models, musicians and celebrities continue to sport weaves and wigs and swing synthetic strands in the media.

I’m personally not against women wigs or weaves, but there is a problem when the media continues to portray images of African-American women with straighter hair as the acceptable norm for beauty when by birth we have coarser, wooly hair textures that is consistently frowned upon to wear in public. It still carries a negative stereotype that a woman is defiant or militant if they choose to wear their mane in a more organic style.

Transitioning to natural hair is not a trend or fad. It has become the most beneficial way to wear your hair due to the health benefits and styling options available. It’s an exciting journey to see the positive results in nurturing and caring for your hair properly.
As the natural hair community continues to grow in the masses, we need to be conscious about how the media is still portraying African American women, even in the most subtle, underlying messages that we continue to digest on a daily basis. 

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