In a world that asks you to be less, here’s your reminder to embrace yourself more.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Soulcare is self-acceptance and self love. For Black women, who are often denied public appreciation and recognition across the board, soulcare becomes survival. Learning to reach within to find peace and balance in the face of intersectional oppression is more than just self-care: it’s self-preservation.
For many Black women, part of the journey is about the beauty of their hair. Black women have celebrated and expressed their divinity and style through their textured tresses, despite ongoing discrimination. Even our goddess-in-chief has been an inspiration for natural hair on the red carpet, defying standards of what’s glam alongside others like Zendaya, Lupita Nyong’o, Gabrielle Union, Lizzo, and more.
With this in mind, we’re taking a moment to celebrate Black beauty. By unlearning the “beauty standards” that simply don’t meet our standards, we can acknowledge why Black women embracing every texture, style, and curl is absolutely revolutionary.
1. Your Hair Makes History
In July 2019, California became the first state in the U.S. to enact The CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act. The bill, championed by the CROWN Coalition, prohibits race-based hair discrimination, including discrimination against specific styles like locs, braids, afros, and bantu knots. The victory in California has since led to 13 more states and 28 municipalities signing onto the bill or enacting their own version of the law locally. Currently, the bill has been passed by the House and is on its way to the U.S. Senate, with the hope that it will become the first of its kind to offer federal protections to Black people experiencing hair discrimation at work and in school.
2. Your Hair Is History
Hair isn’t just hair when it comes to the Black community. From locs to cornrows and afros to box braids, Black hair isn’t just about aesthetics, it’s about the health of hair in protective styles, the roots of ancestry in every curl, and the celebration of revolution against cultural norms. The woven technique of plaited hair was used to hide rice and grains by enslaved Africans fighting hunger during the Middle Passage. Afros continue to be seen as a symbolic rebellion against assimilation and conformity. The expressiveness of Black hair has shifted and grown through the years, but its spiritual and cultural significance still holds true.
3. Your Hair Is Professional
When TV anchor Tashara Parker went on air in a natural style, it sparked an old and ongoing conversation about Black hair and professionalism. The Dallas reporter went viral for having what many deemed “unprofessional” hair as she rocked her iconic mohawked style. Tashara went on to address the issue with the support of her team, saying, “It takes a level of confidence for Black women to show up fully, in all their glory, without having to adjust to who’s in the room or how they will be perceived once they get there.” And she’s correct. A recent study reported that Black women are 80% more likely to change their natural styles to meet expectations at work. The same study found that this pressure stems from consequences, like being seen as unfit for certain roles or being 1.5x more likely to be sent home from work for their hair. The CROWN Act and queens like Tashara Parker are making way for Black hair to be seen in every way. But until all hair is treated equally, take this as another sign that your hair is as professional as it is beautiful, so give yourself permission to show up exactly as you are.
Black women, you deserve the world. Like all things soulcare teaches us, the more authentically you can show up, the better you can connect to yourself and to others. By everyone doing their part to create safer spaces for those facing systemic and structural barriers in our community, we in turn create a safer world for all of us. (And what’s not to love about that?)
Ready to help end hair discrimination? See the petition from the CROWN Coalition and learn more about how you can help!