The Afro Question : A Political Statement Or Just Your Hair?
To fro or not to fro? That is the question. The afro, which was once a somewhat political statement proudly worn by the likes of Angela Davis and members of the black pride movement, now sits comfortably in hipster culture as a signifier of being cool and stylish and current. Just look at celebrities like Solange and Questlove whose hairstyles are almost as famous as they are. As such, our next question goes out to the current pro-fro community: Is your hair a statement, an expression of self, or is your hair just simply your hair?
The New York Times today reports a variety of answers to that question. It seems that today’s young afro wearers are thinking less critically about their what their hair means, and instead considering more rational reasons for going au naturale. The affect hair products have on the environment, for example, is what worries one 16-year-old in Brooklyn who claimed ““I’m an environmentalist. That’s where the locks come in. It’s like all natural.”
Another girl in Brooklyn doesn’t see the big deal with hair anyway, and just wants to stay true to herself. She says “This is just how my hair grows out of my head. I’m not trying to make a statement. I’m just more comfortable being who I am.”
Others still just enjoy the aesthetic. One girl told the author of Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair, “I don’t wear my hair natural because I’m strictly Afrocentric or don’t believe in the white man’s perm. I wear my hair this way because I truly think I look adorable with natural hair.”