I posted this image on my Facebook page a few months back. Struck by the awkward signals that this image gives to me, I made several observations.
The first young lady is (I assume to be) middle eastern of descent, yet, her hair is poker straight. There is an awkward look on her face as if she is searching for something. The second model is clearly black, but possibly bi-racial with a forced smile. The third model is a pretty ordinary girl with wavy hair, exuding a confident smile. The last model, the one who concerns me the most, is looking up and over to the wavy model–her fingers nearly a perfect point to the image beside hers. It is as if she is saying “I want HER hair!”
We have all had a period in our lives, natural or relaxed, when we saw an image that struck a chord with us. A sophisticated model in Essence, a fun-looking set of portraits on Instagram, a facebook post with someone modeling the perfect curl. Media is designed to make you question yourself and encourage you to purchase or follow something that will fit the fantasy that THEY have constructed into your thoughts. Daily is your mind colonized with thoughts from music and spoken word of your inferiority and how to make yourself better.
The current obsession with and tagline of “curly” is bothersome. What happens to my sisters with less wavy and more tightly curled natural hair (hair that shrinks severely in water. What about my sisters with multiple wave patterns & texture inconsistencies throughout the head? I understand that marketing specialist want everyone to share in the love-your-natural-hair revolution, but honestly, hair isn’t a struggle for them as it is for us. No one ever told a Jewish, Scandinavian, Western or Eastern European woman that her hair made her less of a woman/less feminine.