WHY 2016 IS THE YEAR TO EMBRACE YOUR FRO22:16
|SOURCE: dazeddigital.com // PHOTOGRAPHER: Evan Schreiber|
If anyone didn't know hair could be so political, they certainly did after the release of Beyonce's Formation. (If you still don't know, you can get an intro here.) The fro is having a mo, and I'm sure I'm not the only one rejoicing. You can say it's just hair but it goes a lot deeper than that. Hair is our identity. It's often the first thing we try to change when we want to change ourselves, evidenced by Emma Watson chopping her locks off after ten years as bushy-haired Hermione, Miley Cyrus ditching her long brunette waves for a peroxide pixie crop and of course, Britney Spears' bald-headed breakdown in 2007. So you could say that after several years of moulding my identity to fit everyone else's, I am ready to start shaping my own. Here's 5 reasons why it's the perfect time to ditch the straighteners.
1. INDIVIDUALITY IS IN
Conforming is out - as discussed in my last post. Nobody worth noting achieved success by trying to be someone else. Being yourself is important but I've been learning that it's not always easy, especially now when we're faced with more influences and opinions than we necessarily want or need. The people I've always admired and quite often those who become icons do so because of what makes them different. Whether it's a tooth gap, a scar or just big curly hair - wear it with confidence.
2. AND SO ARE AFROS
There have never been so many models on the runway wearing their natural hair texture. Model Maria Borges became the first to wear her natural hair on the runway at the Victoria's Secret show last year. It's late but it's still a sign that the industry is slowly changing and coming round to promoting more than one beauty ideal. I never realised the importance of this more so than when I watched these little girls on the Tyra Banks show who believe their own hair is ugly and that people will only like them if they have straight hair. If they saw more women around them enjoying their curls/afro, then they wouldn't grow up feeling bad about their own. Which is why I love Beyonce for Formation.
3. BEYONCE SAYS SO
'I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros.' Just a small line but one that has caused much discussion. Blue Ivy is so young and yet her hair has already come under scrutiny when thousands signed a petition against it's unruliness. Beyonce's letting Blue Ivy and thousands of other girls know their hair is fine as it is. Growing up as a mixed race girl, there weren't many people around me (or celebrities) with my hair type. If I wore it down at school I felt uncomfortable: everyone would want to touch it, boys would make jokes and I was very aware and embarrassed by the fact that it was different. As I got older I would try to hide it as much as I could in buns and ponytails, only to feel ugly in comparison to the girls everyone liked at school, consequently resulting in the damaging years of forcing my hair straight. I'm paying for it now in the long process of trying to get my curls back.
Thankfully we are living in the internet age, meaning instant help is only seconds away. There is so much information out there now, bloggers and vloggers and floggers and joggers. Ok I'm getting carried away but you get my point. Youtube is probably the best place to start because you can find everything there, styling tutorials, product reviews, hair mask recipes and overnight techniques. The best person I've found is Sunkissalba who had her own natural-hair-epiphany a few years back and hasn't turned back to heat since. Watching her is enough to make any heat addict put their straightening irons down. And the best products I've found so far are from the Kinky Curly range. The Curling Custard is a life saver.
5. LOVING YOURSELF IS IMPORTANT
Cheesy but it's true. You know what's attractive? Confidence - someone who is happy in their own skin. This is not me saying that you should never straighten your hair or that straight hair is horrible, it's just me saying that it's ok not to when many of us feel pressured to look a certain way. It's about redefining beauty standards and being comfortable with who you are. Love your hair the way Darcy loves Bridget - just the way it is.
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