All Articles Tagged "afros"
It was just a few months ago that a charter school in Ohio tried to ban “afro-puffs and small twisted braids.” After a major outcry from not only parents of students from that school, but from folks across the country, the school’s administration sent out a letter of apology to parents and said that the ban wouldn’t be included in the final rule book.
But as the new school year starts, another school, this time in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is trying to enforce a similar ban. In Deborah Brown Community School’s dress code, it says that “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable.”
That’s right. They called locs and afros faddish, ya’ll. And a 7-year-old student at the school named Tiana found out firsthand that they were not playing with the dress code this new school year when school officials told her father that her hair didn’t look “presentable” and tried to send her home.
Terrance Parker, her father and a barber in Tulsa, says in an interview with a Fox affiliate there that she went to the school last year and they had no problems with her hair then. He also wanted to make it clear that from head to toe, he never lets his daughter look anything but presentable. “She’s always presentable. I take pride in my kids looking nice.”
According to the Fox affiliate, an administrator at the school told them off-camera that Parker knew what to expect and that her hair wasn’t acceptable. They feel that such “faddish” hairstyles would distract from the “respectful and serious” atmosphere the school is trying to have. Parker says the school hassled him so much about Tiana’s hair that he decided to pull the straight-A student out of Deborah Brown. She has already started going to a new school where no one has a problem with her hair, but when it comes to how she feels about her old school’s choice to ban her hairstyle, a tearful Tiana told the Fox affiliate, “I think that they should let me have my dreads.”
Of course, charter schools go by a whole different set of rules and ways of doing things, but unfortunately, they left Tiana’s family with no choice but to take her, and her locs, elsewhere. Check out the family’s interview with Fox 23 below.
When it comes to standards of beauty in the black hair community, one of the hot button issues arises from how much of the aesthetic we chose for ourselves comes from norms of attractiveness that have been imposed upon us by mainstream pop culture. In fact, one of the reasons that many women of color decide to go “natural” is in an effort to embrace their own definition of beauty and not to succumb to definitions that seem to be almost strictly decided externally.
As much as there is empowerment in, and a need for, embracing our own unique charm and comeliness, the fact is that we live in an increasingly diverse global village where cultures rub off on each other all the time (I love a Japanese man with locks) and sharing and emulating each other’s differences does not always have to be regarded as a pejorative phenomenon.
Take, for instance, Lady Gaga on the cover of Vogue’s huge September Fall Fashion issue. Wearing an intricately designed purple Marc Jacobs’ gown, Gaga sports a highly stylized blonde fro – a rather scene-stealing hairstyle, given the theatrics of the photoshopped hourglass figure she cuts in her couture dress.
One can imagine that the gravity defying, bodacious coif donned by Gaga must have taken quite some time to assemble by her team of stylists — a look inspired, no doubt, by the amazing properties of afro-textured hair. Our hair has the uncanny ability to assume shapes and heights and fullness that other ladies that lack the same texture dream about. This particular look, I like to call “The Halo Effect.” These are not traditional afros. Soft, full, unstructured and cloud-like, they give an ethereal vision of loveliness that is almost other worldly.
Here are some of our favorite stars over the years sporting their own natural (or not) “halos”.
Earth angels, indeed.
Kelly can pull off straight or textured hair with aplomb, but there is something about big “halo” hair that makes her look fresh-faced and dewy.
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Yesterday, Gabourey Sidibe stopped by “Live with Kelly!” to talk about her role on Showtime’s “The Big C” and there was an interesting exchange between Gaby and the host, Kelly Ripa.
Overall, the interview went really well. Gaby showed off her fun personality which completely conflicted with reports about her having a mean, diva-like attitude—especially considering she entered the set doing the running man.
Later into the interview, Kelly asked about the upcoming season of “The Big C” and mentioned that Gabourey’s character Andrea will be returning to her roots after a trip to Africa. Kelly says she loves African-inspired clothing and wonders if Gabourey feels the same, to which she responded, not so much. She told her:
“I’m actually African, I’m Senegalese, and so I’m over it.” She also added that she she hasn’t worn “stuff like that” since she was like 11.
“I’m very Americanized and I hated the afro.”
Kelly tried to follow up that statement with a question on how long it took Gabourey to kill the afro her character had to wear and change her hairstyle, but it just turned into a jumbled how long-afro-normal-hair-regular-get back to-mess once she realized her use of the words normal and regular probably didn’t come out right. (good catch Kelly)
Gabourey said it only took about 10 hours from the time she landed back home from Puerto Rico where they were shooting to have the fake afro removed and the silky weave she was wearing sewed in, and she seemed quite proud of it. Overall, the convo wasn’t a big deal, but I thought her disassociation with dashikis and the “African style” of dress and hair Kelly is fond of was sort of interesting in a way.
Check out her segment from the show here. What do you think about the interview?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Not to go unnoticed with all the gorgeous designs coming down the runway, hair—particularly celebrity hair—also took center stage at New York Fashion Week. From color to curls to sleek strands, let’s take a look at five of the most notable celebrity hair moments from NY Fashion Week F/W 2012.
Take a look at the pictures at StyleBlazer.com and let us know who had the best hair.
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In addition to her powerful voice and acute rhymes, Lauryn Hill is a natural beauty. And she didn’t have to bare her boobs and butt for us to see it. That’s why it was so hard for us to accept her departure from the music industry. She was truly one of a kind. Since The Miseducation Lauryn has traveled down an interesting path:. multiple children, some diva behavior and most recently, her own Maury Povich moment. But such is life and it wouldn’t be complete without its ups and downs. The same is true for a hair history. If we dig through our old photos, we’ll find some wonders and some womps. Check out Lauryn’s.
I absolutely love this look. Her hair is short, but the style, texture and sheen of her hair in this shot, gives her style so much more dimension and character. The fact that Lauryn’s eyes are so engaging in this photo definitely seal the deal. It’s no wonder this is one of the more popular pictures of her.
We’ve professed our love for the Huxtable family and The Cosby Show before; so it should come as no surprise that we just can’t leave them alone. Before it was all about the clothes, but now we’re talking about the hair. It’s no secret that The Cosby show pushed the envelope when it came to innovative hair styles for black women. If you were old enough to style your own tresses at the time this show aired, then chances are you were inspired to recreate one or more of these fly looks.
Don’t you just love when mainstream magazines that try and portray black and African culture ACTUALLY use black and African people? Refreshing, right? And this time, it’s even more refreshing because you don’t have to track down a European magazine to see spreads like this, instead, you just need to check out the fall issue of T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
Scratch the idea of searching through the magazine, if you just gaze at the cover of the issue you’ll be delighted to see Esperanza Spalding on the cover in all her afro-ed up glory (there’s also an awesome feature about her after the spread). Go inside the pages and you’ll find Solange Knowles, the ladies of Les Nubians and Corrine Bailey Rae also donning their afros in uber-expensive evening gowns by the likes of Bottega Veneta and Donna Karan. We loves it, especially since so many everyday women are letting their big hair fly, so it’s nice to see faces in, and on the cover of big-name magazines that are doing and promoting similar styles. #winning
By the way, all photos shown are by Alice O’Malley and are courtesy of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Enjoy!
My mother has long, thick beautiful hair. My early life was filled with church ladies and family friends frowning over the fact that I did not inherit my mother’s “good” hair. Mine was short, thin and stubbornly refused to grow around the edges. Some women would even give my mom strange concoctions to help my hair out. However, nothing ever worked. As a result, I grew up seeing my hair as a problem.