Growing up in the 90s you hardly saw much black representation in the media.
More importantly, black women protecting loving and caring for their natural hair on camera. There weren't even dolls that looked like us. Fast forward to the early 2000s, these individuals were few and far in between. We're grateful for the ones we saw such as Tracee Ellis Ross in girlfriends, Whitley from A Different World, and Lisa Bonet from The Huxtables. Prior to the natural hair wave that grew in 2018, we mostly saw black women with "Relaxed" hair in the media. Whether we watched tv shows, movies or music videos, these women had their hair permed or was wearing a straight wig. So younger children consuming those content at that time didn't see anyone who "looks" like them rocking their curls. Then, they assume that that's what beauty looks like so they or there parents conform. Conforming means they were either taken tot he hair dresser to remove the kinks. Or, no one took the time to research or practice on how to take care fo their hair. If this was their experience younger, then they would do the same t their child.
There is a lot of speculation in the natural hair community about what "Sparked" this worldwide phenomenon. Although no one has put their finger on it. Here at Entwine we're grateful to anyone or the group of persons who decided to take back their power. They no longer sat at the salon every 6 weeks for someone to remove the kinks in order for their hair to straighten to fit Eurocentric standards of what beauty was. Then, they came online and shared their wins, losses, products, tips and tricks of handling their hair. When one person came online so did many others. Now young girls were seeing different women with different curls, textures and hair types sharing their natural hair journey. They were able to use their platform to encourage other girls to start embracing their natural curls. They were the becoming the media representation we needed for our "black hair".
Since then, there has been more acceptance of black kinky, coily and curly hair in mainstream media.
We have seen stars big chop to love, protect and care for their kinks.
[Sanaa Lathan - Big Chop in 2019]
We have seen starts launch their own natural hair brands
[Taraji P Henson - TPH Launch in 2019 ]
We have seen naturally curly hair be worn throughout multiple seasons on trendy tv shows
[Yara Shahidi in Black Ish]
We have seen young girls who sport locs being embraced by the music industry
[Chloe x Halle - Grammy Nominated Artistes]
We have seen curly hair events to meet and mingle with curl friends.
[Curl Fest - Circa 2019]
We have seen the creation of "black" dolls
We have seen the creation of black hair care products designed by our hair for our hair.
and so much more examples of Black Hair Acceptance in the media.
All of this representation matters - 100%.
Now young girls who consume media in whichever form, they will be able to see that there is someone who looks just like them. Not only do they have the melanin skin tone, they also have their hair type. A young girl can look towards any of the examples out there and think, "if she can do it, then I can do it too".
And more importantly it teaches them to PROTECT, CARE and LOVE their MANE.
How do you think that black hair in the media has changed?