For a while, it seemed nearly every week we were reporting the story of a Black woman or girl who had lost her job or was kicked out of school over one of the most trivial aspects of our being: hair. Not only did these incidents shed light on prejudice policies, they also resurfaced deep-seated insecurities about the “otherness” of women and girls of color and how hard it is for us to let our hair just be hair. Kelly Rowland and Dove are working to reverse those negative notions about being “different,” however, with the brand that has long encouraged women and girls to embrace their natural beauty joining the singer to write and produce an original anthem called “Crown,” encouraging young girls to embrace the style choice, texture, length, and color of their mane just as it is.
“I remember being that young girl and feeling insecure about my hair,” Kelly Rowland told us about partnering with Dove on their #MyHairMyCrown initiative. “I remember not being able to go swimming when I wanted or it just being a ‘to do’ to do my hair and just knowing that there was some sort of difference, and even being picked on. I just love the fact that myself and Dove are opening up this dialogue for a brand new conversation to take place that allows girls to really get a sense of confidence about their hair at an early age so that they understand even though there are so many different things going on in the world that they’re living in, they get to also change the narrative and start to embrace their own hair beauty and knock down these hair beauty stereotypes.”
More than just giving young girls a song to connect to, Kelly and Dove invited pre-teens across the country who’ve been treated unfairly because of their hair choices to star in the music video for “Crown” which launches today. Two of those girls are 11-year-olds Tyrielle Davis and Faith Fennidy who were kicked out of a Louisiana school due to a sudden policy change that banned clip-ins and extensions. Another pair are sisters Jorja and Sarah Orrik. When 11-year-old Jorja started being bullied for cutting her hair short, Sarah cut her own waist-length hair in an act of solidarity.
“To be so young and to understand that at an early age and to celebrate it as a brand and have it celebrated and have these girls be able to tell their stories on such a platform — we’re headed in the right direction and that’s what makes me so excited,” Kelly said.
Kelly knows a little something about standing out for having short hair. But where some girls feel insecure about a lack of length, Kelly said she felt like a new woman when she chopped all of her hair off just as Destiny’s Child entered the music scene in the late ’90s.
“I was actually just texting Tina, B’s mom, and she was the one that actually was like, ‘Baby you should cut your hair.’ I said, ‘Really?’ and she said, ‘Absolutely because everybody will have a look. B has blonde and da da da da da and you’ll have short hair!’ And I was like, ‘OK let’s do it!’
“I cut my hair and I was a brand new person. I had a brand new walk, a brand new talk, a new attitude. I didn’t even have hair but I was throwing the hair that I did have. It was individuality served on a plate and I was so excited about it. I’ve heard someone say when everybody starts to look alike, that’s when things get boring and I think that that’s another thing I love about this campaign. The fact that we’re celebrating individuality and I think that sometimes that’s not celebrated enough.”
As for the name of the song and the accompanying “MyHairMyCrown campaign, Kelly said that idea stems from her mom.
“My mom would say, ‘Oh baby, your hair is your crown and glory, and that’s where we got the whole idea for the song to be called ‘Crown.’ When I was a kid I had all these different, you know, insecurities like I said about my hair and she was like, ‘your hair is your crown and glory,’ so I wanted to put that back into the atmosphere and this was the perfect way to do it.”
Check out the video for “Crown” below. To stream the song on Spotify, click here.