The natural hair movement is one of the most important and impactful beauty movements in recent history. It has been especially impactful for black women, who have faced pressure to have relaxed or straightened hair for many decades. The rise of YouTube has made it easier than ever before to share ideas and tips, which has led to a reawakening of pride in natural hair among black women everywhere. Why is this so important? The answer lies in the way that appearance impacts every part of our lives. The stereotypes surrounding black women’s hair are numerous and often offensive, but they also have a very real effect on how people view us — including potential employers, partners, and friends. When you know so many people who wouldn’t even consider dating someone with your natural hair because it’s “icky” or “unprofessional,” you start to feel like maybe there’s something wrong with you. And that leads many young black women to make decisions about their appearance that aren’t necessarily best for them as individuals. Clearly, there is no limit to what we can achieve when we support each other instead of tearing each other down:
How the Natural Hair Movement Helps Black Women
The natural hair movement, which originated in the United States in the sixties, has been a powerful force for women of all ethnicities, genders, sexualities, and levels of ability. What makes it even more amazing is that it came from a place of pain and a deep desire to feel more beautiful. In a society that tells us how to look, feel and even act, it is not easy to find your true self. The women of the natural hair movement are a testament to the fact that when we are empowered by knowledge, feel confident in our choices, and are unapologetic about the way we look, it is truly astonishing what we can create. Natural hair care is a billion-dollar industry. We see women in Congress, in Board rooms, and in Hollywood rocking their natural tresses. And we see a society becoming more aware of the way it treats people and the effects of those actions.
By Celebrating Natural Beauty
With the natural hair movement, black women are celebrating and centering our own beauty. We are saying, “Hey, we are natural, and we’re beautiful.” There is such power in being able to say, “This is me, and I am beautiful.” When a society sees a group of people as beautiful, that society sees that group as more than just a collection of individuals. It sees them as a whole. It gives them power. It helps them feel more confident and more capable because they are seen as beautiful. In this way, celebrating natural beauty is a powerful way to promote self-esteem among black women.
By Redefining Beauty Standards
Since when were black women not beautiful? Since when did the society around us decide what beauty looked like and that only certain groups of people could meet those standards? The natural hair movement is a defiant response to the idea that only certain types of black women can be beautiful. It’s a movement that says, “No, black women are beautiful regardless of their hair texture.” Every black woman’s hair is unique. There are no two black women who are exactly the same. When we celebrate natural hair, we promote a wider understanding of what beauty really looks like. We also send the message that being a certain way doesn’t make you beautiful. Being confident in your own skin and being unapologetic about who you are is what makes you beautiful.
By Reclaiming Black Women’s Hair
In many ways, the natural hair movement is a reclaiming of black women’s hair. There are many different ways in which black women’s hair is viewed as unruly and unhygienic — despite the fact that straight hair also requires a lot of upkeep and attention. The natural hair movement is a bold and defiant pushback against the idea that black women’s hair is dirty or inappropriate. Every person has hair that grows from their scalp. It’s not just a black thing. It’s not just a white thing. It’s a human thing. When black women decide to wear their hair how it grows from their heads, they are saying, “This is me.” They are affirming their right to wear their hair the way that feels best to them. They are taking ownership of their appearance and saying, “This is me, and I am beautiful.”
By Showing the Importance of Self-Care
The natural hair movement is also a powerful example of self-care. When black women decide to wear their hair naturally, they’re taking a stand for their self-care. They’re saying, “This is what feels best for my hair type and my lifestyle.” They’re saying, “I won’t be pressured into changing who I am because society thinks my hair isn’t professional enough.” They’re telling the world that individuality and self-care are important, and that there is power in being able to make choices that feel best for you. When we make these bold choices, we also make a bold statement about what we value as individuals. We show the world that our choices are important and that we don’t make them lightly. We show the world that we won’t be pressured into doing something that doesn’t feel right. We show the world that we won’t let anyone make us feel bad about who we are.
By Shifting Cultural Discourse About Black Women’s Bodies
The natural hair movement and the conversation that it has sparked are incredibly important because they have helped to shift cultural discourse about black women’s bodies. This movement is one that has shone a light on the many ways that black women have been marginalized, bullied, and even abused for the way that we choose to wear our hair. It has given a voice to those who have felt silenced for far too long. The natural hair movement helps us to see black women as more than just the stereotypes that we have been boxed into for so long. It helps us to see that when we see a black girl with natural hair, we see her. We see her potential. We see her intelligence, beauty, and strength. We see her as a whole person who has so much to offer the world.
There are many reasons why the natural hair movement is the best thing to happen to black women’s beauty. It has helped to inspire confidence and encourage self-love among a population that has been made to feel ashamed of their appearance. It has allowed us to reclaim black women’s hair and remove the stigma associated with it. It has allowed us to show the importance of self-care and to shift cultural discourse about black women’s bodies.