All Articles Tagged "black hair"

Black Women Rejoice! TSA Is In The Process Of Ending Black Hair Searches

March 30th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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TSA Is In The Process Of Ending Black Hair Searches

Source: Shutterstock

If you’re a Black woman with naturally textured Black hair whose flown somewhere in the past five years, there’s a good chance that your hair has been patted, squished or searched by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).

But after two Black women (with a little power and clout behind their names) complained to TSA, this practice (is informally) on its way out.

According to Business Insider, Malaika Singleton, a neuroscientist based in Sacramento, California, wore her hair in sisterlocks as she was traveling to a conference on dementia in London. And like so many of us, Singleton’s hair was pulled and squeezed.

“I was going through the screening procedures like we all do, and after I stepped out of the full body scanner, the agent said, ‘OK, now I’m going to check your hair.'”

The same thing happened to Singleton in Minneapolis on her way back from the conference.

Unhappy with the treatment she’d received in both airports, Singleton contacted the American Civil Liberties Union. Coincidentally– or perhaps not since it happens so often–one of the lawyers there, a Black woman, who also wears her hair in sisterlocks, Novella Coleman, had experienced the same thing– twice.

She too was traveling for work. Coleman just so happened to be joined by White and Latina colleagues who didn’t endure that type of search.

When Coleman asked the officer, why her hair was being searched, she was told passengers wearing hair extensions were searched. But Coleman’s sisterlocks were her own. Another officer said that people with “abnormalities” with their hair were searched.

Quite ignorant and discriminatory, indeed.

She too had filed a complaint about the practice back in 2012.

But it never went anywhere.

Coleman, the ACLU attorney, filed another complaint based on Singleton’s experience and on Thursday, the TSA responded, agreeing to conduct anti-discrimination training sessions with its officers when it comes to screening African American, female hair.

In an e-mail from the office of Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement, Bryan W. Hudson, wrote:

The Federal Security Director for MSP (Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport) and the Federal Security Director for LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), through his Field Counsel, also agreed to participate in the informal resolution process. MSP and LAX will both provide retraining to their respective TSA workforce to stress TSA’s commitment to race neutrality in its security screening activities with special emphasis on hair patdowns of African-American female travelers. MB (The Multicultural Branch of TSA) will also commit to conducting an onsite training at LAX, subject to coordination with TSA LAX leadership, during the 2015 calendar year. In addition, even though TSA does incorporate nondiscrimination principles into its regular training, MB will work with the TSA’s Office of Training and Workforce Engagement to make certain that current training related to nondiscrimination is clear and consistent for TSA’s workforce. Furthermore, in light of recent concerns, MB will diligently work with TSA secured airports and monitor them for consistent implementation of DHS and TSA policies. MB will specifically track hair pat-down complaints filed with MB from African-American females throughout the country to assess whether a discriminatory impact may be occurring at a specific TSA secured location. 

You’ll notice the resolution is informal and no formal decision has been made. But still, it’s a step in the right direction. And since this story is being reported across several media platforms through the country, I’d hope, internally, TSA is sending additional communication and hosting more training sessions to make sure this stops happening in L.A., Minneapolis as well as all the airports throughout the country.

When was the last time your hair was searched at the airport? Are you optimistic about this reform or does it feel like hot air to you?

“This is A Disaster” The Time President Obama Did Malia’s Hair

March 20th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Fab four. #ThrowbackThursday #TBT

A photo posted by First Lady Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

This story is ancient in pop culture news terms. But it’s new to me and just too adorable not to share. So here I am bringing it to you, on the off chance that it might have slipped under the radar for you too.

Remember back in 2012, when President Obama was running for re-election he and First Lady Michelle Obama were having dinner with voters? Well, President Obama being the charismatic dude that he is, he shared a very charming story about the time he had to style his eldest daughter’s hair.

My favorite story out of this is Malia, when she was 4, she had a little dance thing. Well, Michelle was gone that weekend so I’m taking her to ballet. And I get her in her little leotard and her little stuff. I did her hair, put it in a little bun.

We get to the dance studio and one of the mothers there right away comes up to Malia – she thinks she’s out of earshot of me and she says, ‘Sweetie, do you want me to redo your hair?’ And Malia who she’s 4 says, ‘Yes please, this is a disaster’ you know, she didn’t want to hurt daddy’s feelings.

I love this story because I’ll forget the week my mother was out of town visiting her brother, my uncle, in California. I remember it for basically one reason and one reason only. It was the first and last time my dad was left to style me and my sister’s hair for school that week.

The first day I naively thought that since my dad was go great at everything else he did with us, doing our hair would be the same. I was sadly mistaken. Not only does my father have large and heavy hands, he had absolutely no idea how to style our hair like our mother did.

But that didn’t stop him from putting up a good front. That morning before school he asked us what we wanted. I was about 8 and by this time I’d had a relaxer for a few years. And since it had been a while since I’d been to the shop, my hair was too old to be worn down. So I told him I wanted a ponytail.

My father’s hands trying to scoop up the strands of my hair felt like mallets clunking against my scalp. It was anything but pleasant. And on Tuesday, I told him I’d do my own hair. My sister, who is just under two years younger than me, whose hair wasn’t relaxed, just had to suffer until my mom came back home.

Needless to say, after a week of me attempting to protect my scalp and my father struggling with my sister’s three staple braids, we were looking rough…real rough when we picked my mom up from the airport.

We all look back on that week and laugh. Those are some pretty fond memories, even if it was less than amusing when I was going to school looking crazy.

Did your father ever have to do your hair for some reason? How did he do?

How Much Is Your Money Worth? What $25, $50 And $100 Will Get You In Go-To Hair Products

March 5th, 2015 - By LaKrishia Armour
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Ever wonder just how far your money can really go when you’re shopping for hair care products? Well, here’s a guide that shows what you can get for your money at the drugstore, the beauty supply store and at a high-end beauty shop.  See what hair care products you can get for $25, $50 and $100 during your shopping trips. Each price point builds on the previous one. Good luck getting more bang for your buck!

 

“I Want To Embrace My Full Self” Willow Smith Says She Wants Locs In New CR Fashion Book Spread

March 4th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Willow Smith Says She Wants Locs In New CR Fashion Book Spread

Source: CR Fashion Book

By now, surely you’ve noticed that Willow is not your average 14-year-old. And while most were walking around with words plastered across our booty at that age, Willow Smith is slaying a full fashion spread in CR Fashion Book. 

And while Willow gets to wear designer duds by Emilio Pucci, like us, she still has yet to determine a signature style…if she will ever settle on just one.

For now: “I think my look changes all of the time. And right now, it’s a bit more messy, kind of grungy.” 

More than style though, Willow is working on herself. She told the publication: “I just want to have dreads. I want to embrace my full self, as natural as I can be.” 

The issue featuring the youngest Smith child will hit newsstands tomorrow. But in the meantime, check out the stunning images from the shoot.

Willow Smith Says She Wants Locs In New CR Fashion Book Spread

Source: CR Fashion Book

Willow Smith Says She Wants Locs In New CR Fashion Book Spread

Source: CR Fashion Book

New Hair Care Products And Brands Force Old-School Brands We Grew Up With To Make Big Changes

March 3rd, 2015 - By LaKrishia Armour
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Corbis

Corbis

 

New hair care brands are giving our old cabinet standbys a run for their money. Literally. The popularity of small, kitchen-made products and boutique brands has forced the masterminds behind big hair care brands to rethink their plan for creating and promoting new products. But do newer brands really have the power to choke-out large, well-known brands with a legacy? I don’t think so, but I do think healthy competition is a good thing in the hair care market.

Traditional brands realize they’re losing a part of their market share to new brands available on the Internet and in department stores. These new brands appeal to a buyer with better discernment who realizes she has more options. There are many products to choose from now, and you can look at the sprawling ethnic and curly hair care aisles in Target for proof of that. The best part of this change is that Black women now realize that we’re running the hair care market. We determine what products are successful. We are running it. We don’t have to buy petroleum-based products if we don’t want to buy them. And best of all, we don’t have to go to beauty supply stores and get treated poorly. We can type in a few keywords online, order a great product from another Black woman and figure out what does and doesn’t work for our locks.

Established companies must step their game up to meet the demands of this new consumer mindset. These big brands can’t keep coming with the same cheap re-packaged products and think that we’re going to continue to spend our money with them. We know we can choose to buy a great conditioner at a local craft fair and or try a new moisturizer that is YouTube hair guru approved. We have more alternatives and we aren’t forced to buy terrible or potentially harmful products anymore. And if the options we do have don’t appease us, we can create our own concoctions in the kitchen.

I think women these days look at brands we grew up using as inferior. For example, we might think that women who still grease their scalps with pink oil are unenlightened. We know a little bit more now, and have more access, so we’re inclined to make better purchase decisions because there are more options. But we can also that power to resurrect a granny-esque product. Just look at Blue Magic hair grease challenges and growth testimonials. Competition in the market doesn’t always have to hurt old-school brands, but it does push them to update their product lines.

Buying Black beauty brands both big and small creates healthy competition. Businesses, and Black women in general, are finally realizing that we are the number one spenders when it comes to hair care and hairdressing, and we’re starting to realize the power in those numbers and statistics. We’re not this homogeneous group that blindly supports one company. Diversifying how we spend money on hair care is good for the market and good for us in general.

New hair care companies are giving these bigger brands a run for their money, and you know what? I’m perfectly fine with it, and you should be too. We have the power in our purses to choose what we like and make business owners listen. We buy what’s right for us, and if a big brand doesn’t want to listen, then it’s on to the next, and we’re taking our dollars with us.

LaKrishia believes every woman has the power to choose her own adventure. She writes about creativity, lifestyle and big ideas at www.ARMOURELLE.com.

E! Confirms Kelly Osbourne Has Left “Fashion Police”

February 27th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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E! Confirms Kelly Osbourne Has Left "Fashion Police"

Source: E!

We really can’t say we’re surprised to hear that Kelly Osbourne is leaving “Fashion Police.” After all, when the whole scandal between Giuliana Rancic and Zendaya Coleman broke out, Osbourne was quick to take to Twitter and proclaim that if Giuliana didn’t apologize, properly, for her comment, she would say goodbye to the show.

Well, Rancic did apologize. And Osbourne even commended her for it, tweeting:

“It takes a strong woman to apologize & makes a forgiving woman even stronger! #ThisTooShallPass” 

But perhaps, after further reflection, she realized it just wasn’t a good fit; because, she quit anyway.

The network confimed with this statement.

“Kelly Osbourne is departing E!’s Fashion Police to pursue other opportunities, and we would like to thank her for her many contributions to the series over the past five years, during which time the show became a hit with viewers,” E! said in a statement. “Fashion Police will return, as scheduled, on Friday, March 30th at 9:00 p.m. and no decisions have been made on her replacement.”

TMZ first broke the story and said that Osbourne officially quit on Friday.

Perhaps Osbourne felt like the joke was a reflection of the nature of the show and the people behind it. In fact, “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush said the joke was written by a “Fashion Police” writer and was not something Rancic came up with by herself.

According to other sources, Osbourne had other issues with the show’s producers before the Rancic controversy. She was said to have been unhappy with the way the show was produced after the death of Joan Rivers.

What do you think about Kelly’s decision to leave the show?

Should You Take Your Bonnet Off For Your Man?

February 27th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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We’ve already talked about the communication problems Kandi and Todd are having, all being played out on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” In addition to dealing with distance and the failing of their musical, “A Mother’s Love,” the two are only having sex once a week.

And Kandi is in her feelings about it. So she suggests that they attend marriage counseling. Todd doesn’t really think it’s that deep and feels that if they make some compromises, they should be good. But apparently, “they” is just Kandi.

He did have a suggestion about how they could fix their bedroom issues.

“Let’s be real. I’m not Tyson Beckford and you’re not Rihanna. When’s the last time you didn’t have the bonnet on and you put some heels on?” 

Then Kandi said: “I had the bonnet on my hair before we got married and it was not a problem.”

Todd: If I say the bonnet doesn’t turn me on, you gotta be like ‘You know what well maybe I don’t need the bonnet on. Like, you have to compromise. 

And then in his confessional:

“Man have you seen a lady at night with a bonnet on? The most thirstiest dude wouldn’t get it up!” 

The words sound harsher typed out than they actually were, which is why I included the video at the top. So you can get a true sense. The way they discussed this situation, with jokes, laughter and even some touchy-feely throughout, I think Todd and Kandi will be just fine.

But this bonnet discussion has always been so fascinating to me.  I mean, Black women have been wearing bonnets for at least a century at this point. But all of a sudden Black men are coming out of the woodworks talking about how they don’t find them sexy.

Before Todd, there was Shawn Bullard from “Match Made In Heaven” and one of our male writers made a similar comment about bonnets killing the mood in a random g-chat conversation.

I mean, I get that they’re not exactly the sexiest things around but since when did a bonnet stop someone from getting it in? As a man, you can make a production out of ripping the bonnet off before you get started or gauge your skills in the amount of time it takes for you to work it off during the deed itself.

I’m with Kandi, Todd knew about her bonnet before they got married. Just like a whole lot of other Black men. Someone suggested that Black men started dating White women and now they want to act brand new. Who knows? But the brothas gotta be more sympathetic to our hair struggle. Matter of fact, if they think back to the days when they were wearing braids and waves, they know that they used to have to sleep with a scarf on as well.

Black hair requires care.

And we’re not our hair but our hair is a part of our lives. And just like other elements of life, when it comes to sex, you just have to work around it.

Support Your Sister: Black Women Come To Zendaya’s Defense

February 25th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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black women come to zendaya's defense feat

Though Giuliana Rancic’s apology last night seemed sincere and heartfelt to me, there are still some who are refusing to accept it. But more importantly, other Black women in the limelight who stepping forward to show their support and solidarity.

First, there was fellow loced sister Selma director Ava DuVernay, who wrote this under Zendaya’s initial open letter.

Then “Scandal” actress Kerry Washington commended Zendaya on her open letter to Giuliana.

And finally, Solange spoke about the ways in which the show had been speaking about the fro on the red carpets for years. And she even referenced the time In Touch Weekly compared her hair to a dog. That didn’t go unnoticed. In true Solange fashion, she provided the perfect response for it.

India Arie even released a “Songversation” about this whole thing. See what she said. 


I wanted to jump in and defend Zendaya – but she’s doing that BEAUTIFULLY  herself.

VERY. WELL.  DONE.  It’s a powerful thing to be a TEENAGER in the public eye, and feel empowered to speak up in your own defense. STUNNING!

In my opinion, Entitlement in and of itself, BLINDS people to that very entitlement …  THUS allowing the behavior exhibited.

I’m not calling Giuliana Rancic a RACIST, .. but OF COURSE  it has to do with RACE.   To say it has “Nothing to do with race” .. THAT’S why people get mad.

But lets remember HOW difficult it is for a person of Gullianna Ranci’s social context to really UNDERSTAND how we see race in this issue. How race is a pervasive ISSUE in the entertainment industries as a whole.

We  need more more compassion in this world. Period

So I’m not MAD at Giuliana Rancic I’m SAD at her.  I’m Sad that things LIKE THIS keep happening.

Make It Right: Giuliana Rancic Issues On Air Apology To Zendaya Coleman

February 24th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: E!

Source: E!

Giuliana Rancic was catching all kind of hell today once people learned about the remarks she made about the faux locs Zendaya Coleman wore to the Oscars. It’s been one of the top stories of the day; but in case you missed it, during “Fashion Police” Rancic said that Zendaya looked like she smelled of patchouli and weed. And obviously, with all the stereotypes, misconception and general ignorance surrounding Black hair and natural hair specifically, that wasn’t the right thing to say.

And though Rancic apologized earlier today, on Twitter, stating that her remark was more about a Bohemian lifestyle than it was about race, apparently she, the network and even Kelly Osbourne felt she needed to clarify and expound on that apology live, on air.

Here’s what she had to say:

“I’d really like to address something that’s weighing really heavy on my heart. I want to apologize for a comment that I made on last night’s Fashion Police about Zendaya‘s hair. 

As you know, Fashion Police is a show that pokes fun at celebrities in good spirit, but I do realize that something I said last night did cross the line.

I just want everyone to know that I didn’t intend to hurt anybody, but I learned it’s not my intent that matters. It’s the result. And the result is people are offended, including Zendaya. And that is not OK. 

Therefore, I want to say to Zendaya, and anyone else out there that I hurt, that I’m so sincerely sorry. This really has been a learning experience for me. I learned a lot today and this incident has taught me to be a lot more aware of cliches and stereotypes, how much damage they can do. And that I am responsible, as we all are, to not perpetuate them further. Thank you for listening.”

You can watch Rancic’s remarks in their entirety in the video below.

The Blackness In “How To Get Away With Murder”

February 20th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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The Blackness In "How To Get Away With Murder"

I’m not going to do a full recap of “How To Get Away With Murder” because I’m tired; but I do want to speak about it a little, simply because I felt like last night’s episode was so Black. And I appreciated the hell out of the writers and actors for making it so.

I don’t have to tell y’all how rare it is to see an authentically Black moment on network television. As much as I love “Empire,” “Scandal” and “Being Mary Jane,” shows that feature Black people, there are few moments where I say to myself “This is my life!” (Doesn’t stop me from appreciating the drama though.)

But last night, there were so many moments that reminded me of Black folk, the good and the bad. There was  Ophelia, Annalise’s mother, played by Cicely Tyson, suggesting that she forget the assault perpetuated against her body by her Uncle Clyde. Because that’s what men do, they take things. This could have just as easily been described as a woman’s issue but the notion of suppressing our pain, choosing to talk about only the happy times, or making light of real trauma has been something of a problematic coping mechanism for Black folks in this country, and abroad, for generations.

Then there was the moment where Michaela, discussing Nate’s arrest, asked Annalise: “How are we supposed to be ok with this? He’s innocent…and Black.”

And Annalise responded: “Injustices happen in courtrooms everyday in this country.”

With all the murderers/policemen walking away from the Black bodies they’ve slain unscathed; and in many cases, richer, this comment couldn’t have been any more true, timely and a nod to the very real pain and frustration we’ve been feeling.

But the best and most impactful Black moment, for me, happened as I watched Annalise sit in between her mother’s legs while she parted, scratched and combed her hair. I felt that. And I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it was beautiful.

Annalise, a grown woman who usually presents togetherness, was not too grown or too together to sit in between her mother’s legs, talking about their troubles.

Black girls turned women across the world know that story. Even though Ophelia was combing far too hard for my tenderheaded scalp, I remember those days crouched on the floor, nestled near the place that brought me into the world. There’s something about being in between your mother’s legs that makes you keenly aware of the natural hierarchy in the house, even if that house is your own.

While I hated getting my hair combed or washed as a child; watching Cicely Tyson rake through Viola Davis’ fro, all I could do was smile with nostalgia and even appreciation at the love and care my own mother put into  maintaining me and my sister’s hair.

The moment was only made all the more sweet when Cicely Tyson’s character revealed that while Annalise thought she knowingly let her be raped, she had actually avenged and protected her child. And even though my mother never had to kill anyone for me, protecting her children is what she and all the good mothers do. And I treasured seeing that reflected on television in such a way.