Did J. Crew Do This Black Model A Disservice With The Styling Of Her Hair?

November 10, 2017  |  

I guess I’m going to keep talking about hair today. In many ways it makes sense. Our hair is our art. Therefore Black women are artists and we’re sensitive about our sh*t. So much so that we tend to take quite a bit of ownership over the hair choices of those that don’t even belong to us. We’re nosey, yes. But also, so many of us believe that since we belong to a marginalized minority, one of us being seen as unkempt reflects poorly on all of us. We take ownership over each other in ways people who are afforded multifaceted representations do not.

So when Madewell, sister brand to J. Crew posted this image of one of this Black models wearing a nondescript sweater, Black folk all over the internet flipped their sh*t.

There was a swift reaction.

Still, there were those who attempted to argue that Black folk were making a mountain out of molehills. One user suggested that if Black women want us all to embrace natural hair, this is a part of it.

But there were people to explain the problem.

I’m not entirely sure how to feel about this. There are several possible scenarios here. One, that the stylist on set was not Black and didn’t know how to do a Black woman’s hair. Knowing what we know about the beauty and fashion industry, this is highly likely. But there’s also something else to consider. What if the model liked her hair? What people aren’t tweeting as much is this picture:

Here the model looks more comfortable, like she’s enjoying the shoot and possibly even her look. More than just an ill equipped stylist, it appears that perhaps she was attempting to achieve a messy bun, under polished look. I know it’s hard for some of us to imagine this possibility but what if she actually liked her hair this way? It is possible that the model didn’t like her hair and just decided to soldier on? Also possible. Black women are good for pushing through adverse situations. Unless this woman decides to speak out we can only guess what happened here. Still, regardless of the scenario, I think the conversation is a healthy one. And it’s already proven to get J. Crew to think more critically about their decision making when it comes to photo shoots.

They issued this apology in the midst of the controversy.

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