Have you ever noticed that darker-skinned women in natural hair advertisements usually has 4C texture? Or why the so-called “curly girl” with 3C hair is racially ambiguous and of lighter complexion?
This is a common stereotype that associates skin complexion with hair texture, in turn the lighter a person is the more beautiful they are and vice versa.
Another misconception is wearing a protective styles like weave, braids or locs means you aren’t “fully” natural. We tend to forget that our ancestors wore braids to symbolize health, cleanliness and identify themselves. Or that many people used to dye their hair with vegetation and yet somehow today, using a dye makes you unnatural?
The natural hair movement has progressed in the last 20 years but there is still work to do. Issues of colorism have caused rifts between Its been instilled in our psyche that we don’t possess what’s considered to be “good” hair – our hair is hard to manage and undesirable.
Just last year a federal court ruled against wearing locs in the workplace which further enforces the stigma of viewing natural hair as, “un-kept”. For us as a community, we need to rid ourselves of these negative texture stereotypes. We know for a fact that the darker-skinned woman can grow a variety of hair textures from straight to tightly-coiled.
Brands that represent our diverse cultures should take heed and assess the powerful message being sent to influence consumers.