By: Santali Carrizales
Here at Lindblom, we are populated by naturals, meaning people have and wear their hair in it’s natural state. Curly, natural hair here is greeted cheerfully and welcomed with open arms here, but elsewhere, mostly predominately white schools, it’s looked at a bit..awkwardly and almost like they are forced to like it.
Coming into Lindblom, I could tell there was a big change in environment. I loved that so many others had curls and that everywhere you looked there was volume. Coming from a predominantly White and Latino neighborhood, I didn’t know that there were specifically structured ways to care for curly hair. Now, I know about the benefits of coconut oil, shea butter, hair oils, leave-ins, and protective styles.
Being embraced on a daily basis for having curly hair changes your views on everything. You notice more about how society is racially biased in favor of caucasian skin and hair; it’s seen as more beautiful hair styles, especially protective styles that started in the black community are transformed into “Stylish Twisty Knots” or “Trendy New Boxer Braids”. Because who in the white community would even bother to know that those “Stylish Twisty Knots” are Bantu Knots? Or that “Trendy New Boxer Braids” are Cornrows that have been around for centuries?
⅔ of America’s population has curly hair ranging from loose waves to kinky curly. It’s all so beautiful. I’m not knocking straight hair, but it just doesn’t have volume. Looking around here I see so many girls actually look genuinely happy and hearing students talking passionately about hair products and pride in their culture is even more beautiful.
Being constantly asked why I don’t straighten my hair or how do I get my hair so textured at white schools is slightly annoying especially after you’ve just left such a welcoming and free environment. Most white people equate curly hair with being unprofessional or untidy. I was even told when working either my hair had to be in a bun or straightened if I wanted to wear it down because no one wants to see a “bush of hair” when they first come in.
All I’m saying is that there has to be a change in the standard of beauty, universally. There needs to be an inclusion of all hair types, all body features, skin colors, all races. America is called “the melting pot” for a reason. So, why are we still stuck in the same vision that white is beautiful? Black models still aren’t shown earlier in style magazines. You don’t see one dark skinned model until 10 or more pages in. In the makeup industry, they just recently started on creating foundation colors darker than their darkest shade. Makeup has been around for awhile, so why are we just now creating colors for darker complexions? Why is skin bleaching still a thing?
It’s not just black people either, it’s Indians, Chinese and almost every other minority group. Influenced daily that certain hair styles aren’t accepted or certain aspects of their culture are taken way out of context. It’s unacceptable and needs to be changed.